"six leading ladies who will appear on broadway this season"
(l to r) Carol Burnett in Moon Over Buffalo; Carol Channing in Hello Dolly; Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria; Zoe Caldwell in Master Class; Elizabeth Ashley in Suddenly Last Summer; Uta Hagen in Mrs. Klein
The 1995-96 theater season in New York was a starry affair, with a half dozen well-known actresses appearing in new or revival productions. Burnett was returning to Broadway after thirty years to star in a new comedy, which Hirschfeld made sketches for one of the last times in an out-of-town tryout. Channing brought her 30th anniversary production of Hello Dolly to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, which would prove to be her last appearance on Broadway. Julie Andrews ended her more than 30-year hiatus when she came back in the stage musical adaptation of her classic film. Like the film, the musical was produced and directed by her husband, legendary director Blake Edwards. Zoe Caldwell was in her last Broadway starring role in what was arguably her biggest hit. Ashley, a well-regarded Tennessee Williams interpreter, had only been gone from the Great White Way for 12 years before she returned this season in a Williams classic. Hagen was the only one of these leading ladies who was appearing off Broadway that season, in what was her penultimate role on stage after a nearly ten-year absence.