'80s TV stars make fun of their bitchy, diva-like selves.

Cleveland art
In the behind-the-scenes stage comedy Legends, Joan Collins and Linda Evans play a pair of bitchy, high-maintenance, fading Hollywood stars. Just like in real life! “People love dirt,” says Tonye Patano, who also stars in the touring production, which begins an 11-day run at Playhouse Square tonight. “They’re more interested in feuds than in these stars’ careers. That’s what this play is about.”

Legends tells the story of two past-their-prime actresses who are simultaneously courted for a Broadway show. Only thing -- they hate each other. When the producer promises Paul Newman as their co-star, they sign up. Then the fireworks start. Says Patano: “It’s art imitating life imitating art.”

Patano, who plays pot-dealer Heylia on Showtime’s Weeds, stars as Aretha, a sassy assistant who’s hired to keep the divas in check. “I’m the glue,” she says. “Think of it as if Joan Collins and Linda Evans showed up in your living room, and you get a chance to arbitrate. I play the audience’s eyes.”

But she’s well aware that people are there to catch a glimpse of Collins and Evans, who starred in Dynasty together and whose own disputes made tabloid headlines back in the day. “It doesn’t matter what the truth is,” says Patano. “People are coming to see a perceived rivalry.”
Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 1:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 25, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Starts: March 20. Continues through April 1

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