Stefanie Powers to Replace Valerie Harper in National Tour of LOOPED
Emmy Award nominee Stefanie Powers will now play the role of legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead on the national tour of LOOPED. She replaces Valerie Harper, who was advised by doctors to take an immediate medical leave after having recently been hospitalized; she has flown back to Los Angeles with her husband Tony Cacciotti where she will receive continuing treatment and medical care.
"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 of 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."
David Fay, President of The Bushnell said, "While we are saddened to hear that Ms. Harper won't be appearing here, we are still eager to have LOOPED on our stage and look forward to Stefanie Powers giving another great performance."
Harper also 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 2 Emmy Award and 5 Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.
The LOOPED tour launches in Fort Lauderdale at The Parker Playhouse (February 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) followed by Hartford at The Bushnell (May 7-12). More cities will be announced for the Summer/Fall of 2013 as that information becomes available.
STEFANIE POWERS (Tallulah Bankhead) began her career at age 15, dancing for famed Broadway choreographer, Jerome Robbins. She was put under contract to Columbia Pictures in the final years of the Hollywood star system. While under contract, she appeared in 15 of the 31 motion pictures she has made, co-starring with screen legends such as John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Cliff Robertson, Elliot Gould, Roger Moore, Donald Sutherland, Bing Crosby, Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, James Caan, and Sammy Davis. She recently co-starred with Richard Chamberlin in the critically acclaimed independent film, Three Days of Hamlet.
Her first television series, "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.," marked a milestone in U.S. television's history as the first hour long series featuring a female in the leading role. Her television career includes over 25 mini-series, over 200 episodic guest starring appearances, 35 movies for television and two more television series, "Feather and Father" and the long running "Hart to Hart," starring opposite Robert Wagner. She became a member of the Screen Writers' Guild of America in the 1980s and has produced several of the screenplays she has written, one of which, "Family Secrets," was not only a stepping stone for the careers of James Spader and Gary Sinise but it garnered her a nomination for the best screenplay of the year by her peers in the Writers' Guild. Her writing has extended itself to a memoir called, One from the Hart, published by The Robson Press.
Throughout her career she has never neglected her theatrical roots, appearing in productions of; How the other Half Loves, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Sabrina Faire, View from the Bridge, Oliver, Annie Get Your Gun, the West End debut of Matador, off-Broadway in The Vagina Monologues, back to the West End with Robert Wagner in Love Letters, which they also toured the United States with, becoming the cast most associated with the play after over 500 performances.
She once again appeared in the UK in the West End production of The King and I, which also toured the United States for ten months. As a result of the successful remounting of the musical Sunset Boulevard at the Ogunquit Theatre, a US revival is being planned. She appeared once again in the UK in 2012 co-starring opposite Richard Johnson of Royal Shakespeare Company fame, in the play, On Golden Pond. She has recorded a CD with the legendary jazz artist Page Cavanaugh called On the Same Page, available online at Jambomusic.com. Also in 2012 she performed her one woman show, Hart of my Heart, a tribute to the life and the lyrics of Lorenz Hart at the newly opened Matcham Room at the Hippodrome. As much a part of her life as her career, is her devotion to animal preservation and protection, which at times becomes more of a vocation than an avocation. She is founder and president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, established in 1982 to continue and to further her long-time partner's conservation work in East Africa after his death.
She was appointed conservation consultant to Jaguar and Land Rover after creating the Jaguar Conservation Trust which she has operated in Central America. She has been on the advisory board of four zoos in the United States and is a fellow of the Los Angeles Zoo, the Explorers' Club, and the Royal Geographic Society. She is active in the movement to preserve and protect the remaining herds of the North American wild horses and has received numerous international awards for her grass roots work in conservation which she considers a life-long commitment. She resides part of the year in Kenya.