rambling reporter

Carroll does cabaret; B'way comings, goings

Tonight, Diahann Carroll makes a triumphant return to Feinstein's at the Regency, where she had a sold-out cabaret run last year. And even without chriping a note this time around, she's already been held over for an additional week, through March 24. I caught DC in performance last month at the Colony Club in Palm Beach, Fla., and she's singing magnificently, looking great and as dynamic a performer as ever. Diahann also proves again why she received that best actress Oscar nomination for 1974's "Claudine": She's a superb actress, delivering the lyrics of her songs with the kind of intense honesty that Barbara Stanwyck, Patricia Neal and Rosemary Clooney always gave to words, with or without music attached. Hollywood should be using Ms. Carroll more. … Tonight also marks the start of the prevue process on the legit adaptation of Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking" at the Booth, directed by David Hare and presented as a one-woman show, which takes on event status because the one woman in this case is Vanessa Redgrave. The actual opening night for "Year" is March 29. … Also tonight, the new musical "The Pirate Queen" begins prevuing at the Hilton Theatre, directed by Frank Galati. It's another biggie from the creators reponsible for "Les Miserables," Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg. Its opening is set for April 5. … Other prevues starting this week include the first major New York revival of Robert Anderson's 1953 play "Tea and Sympathy," starting tonight off-Broadway at the Clurman, presented by the Keen Company, and the Roundabout's revival of Craig Lucas' 1990 dark comedy "Prelude to a Kiss" on Thursday at the American Airlines Theatre, with Daniel Sullivan directing a cast headed by John Mahoney. … Heading the list of shows that actually open in the next seven days are "Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell," a series of monologues and stories by the late solo performer that have been assembled by his widow, Kathleen Russo, and Lucy Sexton, delivered in this legiter by Kathleen Chalfant and Frank Wood, starting tonight at the Minetta Lane; also tonight, "Blindness," based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, at the 59E59 Theaters. … Launching Sunday is Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio," first seen in 1987, this time starring Liev Schreiber and directed by Robert Falls; the show is having its much-anticipated opening at the Longacre. … Beginning Wednesday for a limited four-day run at Avery Fisher Hall is a concert staging of the venerable "My Fair Lady," with the New York Philharmonic playing Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's matchless score, while Kelsey Grammer takes on the vest (or, rather, takes off the shoes) of Professor 'enry 'iggins and Kelli O'Hara, who became a bona fide Broadway star in the recent Harry Connick revival of "The Pajama Game," plays Eliza Doolittle. … Final curtains fall Sunday on three Broadway shows: Brian Friel's "Translations" at the Biltmore; "The Apple Tree," with Kristin Chenoweth, at Studio 54; and Hare's "The Vertical Hour," with Julienne Moore and Bill Nighy, at the Music Box, directed by Sam Mendes.