Tony Winner Thrown Out Of Carol Channing Screening!


As the lights were going down for tonight’s Tribeca Film Festival screening of the doc Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, the entire theater heard a woman screaming “Security! Security! Come here!”

Had a drag queen choked on an eyelash?

Two burly guards who had been standing in the aisle watching over Channing came running to the front, where the cry for help had sounded.

And they ended up dragging out a guy who an usher said had crashed!

And was putting up a fight!

And it was …

Gerard Alessandrini!

He’s the genius who created Forbidden Broadway, the hilarious and highly successful franchise of Broadway spoofs and sketches.

Did Gerard feel he’d satirized Channing for so many years that he deserved guest-list admittance?

Not sure; I put a call out to him and am awaiting a response.

But the next time I’m on Broadway — even if I’m just walking on Broadway — he’s totally invited.


Alessandrini just called me back!

Said he:

“I think they thought I was stalking Carol or something.

“I’m friends with her — my mother way very close with her — and we had just talked Wednesday. I said, ‘I’ll come to the movie and I’ll see you afterwards.’

“I went to will call and was sent to the third floor, and everyone seemed very nice.

“They said ‘Write a note to Carol’ and we’ll see if she knows you.

“So I did. A guy came back and said, ‘OK, you can come in now’. He brought us in and we found seats near the front.

“But the woman I’d given the note to started screaming for security!

“She thought I had a gun or something.

“We were escorted out like criminals. By time we got outside, there were four guards and the manager. I said, ‘I’d be glad to buy a ticket,’ and they said, ‘It’s sold out. You have to leave.’

“I wish they had been better organized.”

He added wryly,

“Then I thought, ‘Gee, maybe I am a stalker and I never did meet Carol Channing and I imagined the whole thing with her and my mother, and even my Tony!’

“But I checked with some friends and they assured me I do know Carol Channing!”

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 30, 2011

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