Ethel Merman was known as "La Merm" during her heyday when she reigned as the queen of Broadway musicals from the 1940s through the 1960s.
An iconic diva, she was bold, brassy and sang with an inimitable Broadway belt that reached the rafters and brought audiences to their feet.
Stage and TV star Rita McKenzie recreates Merman's life and tunes in Ethel Merman's Broadway, playing the Stoneham Theatre Aug. 21-24.
Merman started as a secretary, but made her mark appearing in numerous Broadway hits, including Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy and Hello, Dolly. She never made as much of a mark in Hollywood, but appeared in films and on TV variety shows and comedy.
At Stoneham, McKenzie will channel Merman, singing her hits including "I Got Rhythm," "I Get A Kick Out of You," "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "There's No Business Like Show Business."
Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets $45-$60. Visit stonehamtheatre.org for details
On the marquee
- LANDMARK FILM: Huntington Theatre Company and the City of Boston's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events present a free screening of the 1967 Academy Award-winning film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, featuring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester. Following the screening, Karen Holmes Ward, WCVB-TV's director of public affairs and community service and host and executive producer of City Line, will moderate a conversation with director David Esbjornson and actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner of the Huntington's production of the stage play, which is based on the film and plays Sept. 5-Oct. 5 at the Avenue of the Arts/BU Theatre. Free and open to the public but RSVPs are encouraged at huntingtontheatre.org/StrandRSVP.
- IN THE WINGS: The national tour of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, inspired by an electrifying true story, makes its Worcester premiere Jan.TheHanoverTheatre.org, by phone at 877-571-SHOW (7469) or at the box office at 2 Southbridge St., Worcester.
- A NEW OZ: Cannon Theatre in Littleton holds auditions for Return to Oz on Thursday, Sept. 4, 4:30-6:30 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 6, 1-3:30 p.m. The show is for performers ages 8-17 and will be performed Jan. 23, 24, 30, 31, Feb. 6, 7. For details and audition info, visit cannontheatre.com.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.