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Lucie Arnaz, Eden Espinosa, and Laura Bell Bundy Join Carol Channing Tribute in Palm Desert

BroadwayWorld previously reported that some of Broadway's biggest stars are coming out to celebrate international stage and screen superstar Carol Channing, who turns 95 today, in a one-night-only tribute concert produced by the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California on Saturday, March 5, at 8 p.m.

Lucie Arnaz, Eden Espinosa, and Laura Bell Bundy, have just been added to the lineup of artists scheduled to perform or appear at the event.

They join a star-studded lineup including the previously announced: Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Promises, Promises, On the Twentieth Century), Alan Cumming (Cabaret, Macbeth, The Threepenny Opera), Florence Henderson (Oklahoma, Fanny, The Girl Who Came to Supper, The Brady Bunch), Cloris Leachman (South Pacific, Young Frankenstein, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis), Gavin MacLeod (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat), Lily Tomlin (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Laugh-In, Grace and Frankie) and many more. Artists are subject to change.

The McCallum celebration, which will include live performances and taped tributes from an array of show business luminaries, as well as video clips of many of Ms. Channing's career milestones, is produced by Chad Hilligus, with musical direction by Steven Baker, accompanied by a 27-piece orchestra and choreography by Charlie Williams (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Memphis).

A recipient of the 1995 Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, Carol Channing became a household name as the original Lorelei Lee in Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Time magazine declared "Perhaps once in a decade a nova explodes above the Great White Way with enough brilliance to re-illuminate the whole gaudy legend of show business."

Born in Seattle, Washington, Channing's first job on stage in New York was in No for an Answer at age 19. She received her first Theatre World Award for her performance in Lend An Ear. She was spotted in that production by author Anita Loos and cast in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as Lorelei Lee, a role that gained her wide recognition with what became her signature song, "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

Channing would cement her star as the definitive Dolly Levi in Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She appeared in a number of films, including The First Traveling Sales Lady, Skidoo and Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and won a Golden Globe Award.

She continued for many years to star on stage, in films and television. She appeared in several revivals of Hello, Dolly!, ultimately playing the title role more than 5,000 times. She also lent her signature voice to animated films including Shinbone Alley, Happily Ever After and Thumbelina. She also supplied voices for the animated TV programs Where's Waldo?, The Addams Family and The Magic School Bus.

In the new millennium, she published a 2002 autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess and later performed in the one-woman show, The First Eighty Years are the Hardest. In January 2012, Tony winning director and producer, Dori Berinstein, released the critically acclaimed and award winning documentary entitled Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, highlighting Channing's career, now celebrating its 75th year.

Channing is a longtime advocate for arts education and has been honored by the California state legislature for her work to engage the public about the importance of the arts in education.

The McCallum Theatre presents Carol Channing's 95th Birthday: In Celebration of a Broadway Legend on Saturday, March 5, at 8:00pm. Tickets are $152, $107, $87 and $67 and are available at the Theatre's website at or by calling the McCallum Theatre box office at (760) 340-ARTS. The McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Photo Credit: Michael Davis

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