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Ted Bales: Lost in the Stars

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TED BALES: LOST IN THE STARS

Tall and terrible, actor Ted Bales is fondly recalled as the corrosively witty Father Ray in Party, the gay Chicago comedy that later enjoyed fat runs in New York and LA and a national tour. In the two years since Bales left us for bicoastal glory, he's met a lot of big names at some fabulous parties. Bales drops those names--in worshipful or withering detail--in this catty solo show, written by Bales and Party cast member Kellum Lewis. The roast-toast reveals a starstruck Bales barely coping with his own quick fame, let alone the legends he discovers. Interacting with the audience (whose answers to Broadway trivia questions decide which celebrities Bales will "spill the dish" on), Bales recounts close encounters with Jerry Herman (also gay and completely kind), Bea Arthur (foulmouthed and not overly intelligent), Michael Feinstein (a happy geek who adores showbiz), Nathan Lane (sad faced and sadder souled), Patti LuPone (who gave the Party cast a private look at her Broadway revue), Dr. Ruth Westheimer (a nonstop talking machine), Suzanne Somers (who turned a guest appearance at an AIDS benefit into a plug for her exercise equipment), and Mary Tyler Moore (who tells the nervous Bales to "have fun and not take yourself too seriously--it's only a TV show"). In the most moving monologue, Bales depicts Liza Minnelli imitating Otto Preminger and confiding, "We all love attention--that's the reason we do this, isn't it?" Bales should know. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. July 4 through 6: Friday-Saturday, 10 PM; Sunday, 8 PM. $15. --Lawrence Bommer

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