Monday, January 28, 2013

Stefanie Powers Replaces Valerie Harper in Looped Tour

Stefanie Powers
Emmy Award® nominee Stefanie Powers will play the role of legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead in the national tour of Looped, scheduled to stop at the Bushnell this spring. She replaces Valerie Harper, who was advised by doctors to take an immediate medical leave after having recently been hospitalized.

“It is with deep sadness and regret that I will be unable to honor my commitment to the tour of Looped,” Harper said. “This play has been such a gift and it was my hope and intention to play this role again in the upcoming tour. But given my doctor’s recent recommendations, I must now put all my energy into getting well and renewing my strength.”

“Matthew and I are obviously very sad that Val won't be able to continue,” director Rob Ruggiero said speaking for himself and playwright Matthew Lombardo. “Working with her on this project has been a delight and has brought us both so much joy and laughter. Right now Val needs to focus on her health and the future. We love and respect her immensely and support her during this challenging time. We are very grateful to Stefanie for stepping in so quickly.”

Harper, who has flown back to Los Angeles to continue medical care, praised Powers stating, “In my opinion, Stefanie is the perfect choice to take over this role. She is extraordinarily talented and will make one terrific Tallulah! I have called to give her my blessing and I urge everyone to go out and see this hysterically funny play and support Stefanie’s participation.”

Powers is no stranger to Tallulah Bankhead, having co-starred with her in the 1965 motion picture "Die, Die, My Darling," playing Bankhead’s daughter. It was during post-production of the film that Bankhead had trouble re-recording the infamous line, “And so Patricia, as I was telling you, that deluded rector has in literal effect closed the church to me,” that is the incident on which the play Looped is based. Powers is best known for starring in the television series "Hart to Hart" with Robert Wagner and has received two Emmy Award and five Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.

The Looped tour launches in Fort Lauderdale at The Parker Playhouse (Feb. 26 – March 3) followed by a Baltimore run at The Hippodrome Theatre (March 5-17) then to Boston at The Majestic Theatre (April 30-May 5) before coming to The Bushnell (May 7-12) where the tour had been scheduled to start this month. The Hartford leg was postponed when Harper was hospitalized. 

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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