Based on Jacqueline Susann's novel, 1967's Valley of the Dolls was a campy and trashy flop. But it's a beloved flop, filled with glamorous costumes, bat shit-crazy acting and such quotable lines as “boobies, boobies, boobies.” The story revolves around three starlets (played by Patty Duke, Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins), who try to survive cut-throat show business by self-medicating with sex, booze and pills, aka “dolls.” Sound like 2019? Like all cult classics, modern audiences have embraced the film, which is why the Los Angeles LGBT Center is hosting Valley of the Dolls: A Benefit Staged Reading.
Directed by Richard Hochberg and produced by Steve Tyler, the gender-bending cast includes Wilson Cruz (as Neely O'Hara), Alec Mapa (Anne Welles) and Bruce Vilanch (Jennifer North), in addition to Steve Bluestein, Joely Fisher, Mo Gaffney, Robert Gant, Tom Lenk, Greg Louganis, Laraine Newman, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Gordon Thomson, Joan Van Ark and Marissa Jaret Winokur. Proceeds benefit the LGBT center and Alcott Center for Mental Health.
Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., May 3-4, 8 p.m.; $70-$1,000. (323) 860-7300, lalgbtcenter.org.