Tony winner Cynthia Nixon (Rabbit Hole), Tony-nominated writer Charles Busch (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife), Broadway alum Rosie O’Donnell (Fiddler on the Roof) and more will star in a one-night-only reading of Tom Eyen’s Women Behind Bars to benefit The New Group. Helmed by New Group artistic director Scott Elliott, the benefit reading will take place on May 7 at the Acorn Theatre at off-Broadway’s Theatre Row.
In addition to Nixon as Blanche, Busch as the Matron and O’Donnell as Gloria, Women Behind Bars stars Nancy Giles (Mayor) as Jo-Jo, Josh Hamilton (The Coast of Utopia) as the men, Rhea Perlman (The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife) as Granny and the Warden, Jennifer Tilly (Broadway’s forthcoming Don’t Dress For Dinner) as Ada, Rosie Perez (The Ritz) as Guadalupe, Janeane Garofalo (Russian Transport) as Louise, Natasha Lyonne (Two Thousand Years) as Cheri and Oscar nominee Chloe Sevigny (Hazelwood Junior High) as Mary-Eleanor.
Set on New Year’s Eve in 1952, Women Behind Bars is an outrageous send-up of the classic genre of 1950s movies set in women's prisons. When the innocent and lovely Mary-Eleanor is framed by her husband and sent to the Women’s House of Detention in Greenwich Village, her arrival sparks rivalries that build to increasingly dangerous (and hilarious) conflicts among her fellow prisoners.