Carol Channing: Larger Than Life

Entertainment One US will release CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE in New York and Los Angeles on January 20, 2012, with additional markets to follow.

I’m very happy to say I’m in the film speaking with my fellow “Hello, Dolly!” cast members about working with Carol and how much we love and respect her.

Performing with Carol for over two and a half years was one of the happiest things I never planned for in my life. Opening nights were an incredible experience – especially on Broadway when the audience gave Carol the longest standing ovation I’ve ever seen. She was an absolute pro to work with and truly gifted. There’s a reason why she’s had such a lengthy career.

The film, directed by Dori Berinstein (ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway, Some Assembly Required, Gotta Dance), examines the life and career of the Tony Award-winning Broadway legend – her extraordinary stage life, her offstage struggles and survival and the extraordinary storybook romance that found her reunited with her junior high school sweetheart after over 70 years.

On top of her long, long career, she’s given much of her time to help charitable organizations like Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and raising awareness of the value of the arts in public schools. When we were on the road with “Dolly” the cast put together a “Chippendales”-esque show that we would perform after “Dolly” performances to raise money for AIDS charities – and Carol insisted on making an appearance at those shows to help raise money.

In the film, in addition to lots of clips from her life, captures the rehearsals for last year’s “Gypsy of the Year” event which is an annual fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The opening number was in honor of Carol, and the organizers brought several members of the 1995 Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” to perform with her. Lucky for me I was next to Carol the whole number, reveling in being onstage with Carol again.

If you see the film open near you, I highly suggest you go see it. Carol is charming as ever, and many stars speak about Carol and her amazing career. AND I get to tell a very heart felt story about Carol and a member of our revival who was ill. You’ll have to see the film to watch me tell the story.