June 23, 2006


Filed under: Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 9:09 pm

OMG! Madame, the puppet from Hollywood Squares, is back on stage. It’s not exactly network television, but come on, this is news, dammit. It’s a workshop production, not open for review, but if anyone sees it, let us know what you think. It was a looong time ago, but that pre-AVENUE Q puppet was pretty funny in her day.

Emmy Award Winner & Hollywood Squares Star Returns
July 17 – 31 at The Cutting Room

After an 18 year hiatus, two time Emmy Award winner and Hollywood Squares star MADAME returns with her first full-length live show. Alongside her new partner JOE KOVACS, the legendary comedienne will present a limited engagement workshop of her new show A COMEBACK FROM ABROAD beginning July 17th at The Cutting Room. Please note: this workshop production is not open for review.

In the tradition of shows like Elaine Stritch At Liberty, Sandra Bernhard’s I’m Still Here Damn It! and Suzanne Somer’s The Blonde in the Thunderbird, A COMEBACK FROM ABROAD is a one hour look back at where MADAME has been for the better part of the last two decades — and where she’s going now! It is a show filled with fascinating stories, outrageous anecdotes, razor sharp witticisms and a few songs thrown in for good measure.

Born of humble beginnings, MADAME encountered puppeteer WAYLAND FLOWERS on an NYC bus in the mid-sixties. Immediately smitten with Madame’s bawdy sense of humor, Flowers suggested that they work together as a comedy team. “Honey, it wasn’t long before he knew just what strings to pull and we were bringing down the house!,” says Madame. Now a two-time Emmy award winning performer, Madame made her first TV appearance with Flowers on The Andy Williams Show. She followed with guest spots on Laugh In before occupying the much coveted center square on Hollywood Squares. Later they spent four years on the popular music variety show Solid Gold. “Disco was king and I was queen and believe me, many fans tried to wrestle me for that crown!” In 1983 Madame stole the spotlight in her own syndicated sitcom Madame’s Place (co-starring Judy Landers and Corey Feldman). Showtime also gave Madame her own 1984 variety show special Madame in Manhattan. Madame also performed for years in Las Vegas, most notably starring in Madame Goes to Harlem at The Sands Hotel. When Flowers succumbed to AIDS in 1988, a devastated Madame began a self imposed exile until she met JOE KOVACS in 2002.

The Trustee of the Wayland Flowers Estate had been searching for just the right partner for Madame. After a long search Joe Kovacs was introduced to Madame in 2002 and everyone unanimously agrees that Madame has found her new partner.

Originally from Independence, Ohio, JOE KOVACS received two puppets from his Grandfather on his third birthday and rarely put them down. Seeing that this “phase” was not going to end anytime soon, Joe was enrolled in the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Since graduation Joe has performed all over the world, as far away as the exotic island of Bahrain to the breath taking Paris, Kentucky. You can find him doing the “Bear Cha, Cha, Cha” on the Henson Home Video release Bear in the Big Blue House, LIVE. Kovacs has created puppets and costumes for The Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Cincinnati Children’s Theatre. Joe has forged a bond with Madame, taking her out to bars and clubs with him and inspiring her to create a new act.

A COMEBACK FROM ABROAD runs July 17-31, Mondays at 8:00pm. The Cutting Room is located at 19 West 24th Street — accessible from the N,R,F,V & 6 trains at 23rd Street. Tickets are $15, available at 212-352-3101 or www.TheaterMania.com.

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