Actress Whoopi Goldberg will lead a one-night-only charity stage reading of Legends to raise money for a crisis center for life threatening illnesses tonight, March 23.

Originally presented in a 1986 year-long, pre-Broadway tour starring Carol Channing and Mary Martin, Legends closed on the road before making it to New York. The juicy on and off-stage antics were chronicled and immortalized in playwright James Kirkwood’s own non-fiction account, ‘Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing.’ In 2007, the play was again presented as a pre-Broadway national tour, this time helmed by ‘Dynasty’ co-stars Joan Collins and Linda Evans. Also failing to make it to New York, the production had its backstage wars chronicled in lurid detail by Ms. Collins in a two-part series in London’s Daily Mail.

Joining Goldberg for the production are Mad Men’s Bryan Blatt, Die Mommie Die’s Charles Busch and award-winning actor, writer, fashionista and lip-synching pioneer Lypsinka. Proceeds from the show will go to Friends in Deed, an organization established in 1991 that has helped transform many thousands of lives through a wide array of free programs and services. It provides emotional and spiritual support for anyone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening physical illnesses. Support is also available for family, friends, and caregivers of those who are ill, and anyone dealing with grief and bereavement. Friends In Deed also runs an HIV prevention program for teens in New York City public schools, having already reached over 100,000 at-risk students.

The show takes place tonight at the Town Hall in New York City located at 123 West 43rd Street. Door sales will be available.

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