Idol Chatter

alisonarngrim.jpgA few weeks ago, we shared the news that everyone’s favorite prairie tomboy, Laura Ingalls–and her alter ego, Melissa Gilbert–were hitting the road with a touring company of “Little House on the Prairie: The Musical,” a show of great nostalgic value to those of us who valued the stories of the simple, yet challenging, midwestern life. I idolized Laura–the brunette tomboy with an independent spirit–as much as I hated her nemesis, the blonde-ringleted and socially deadly Nellie Oleson.
Nellie was no shrinking violet, and apparently, neither is the actress who played her. No sooner had the Little House musical news been announced, when Nellie Oleson– or should I say actress Alison Arngrim–announced some stage time of her own: while Melissa plays Ma in the musical, touring Minnesota and other stops, Alison’s taking over West Bank Café on Mother’s Day (take that, Ma Ingalls and Harriet Oleson!) May 10 in New York City for her show “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch.”

Just in case you thought the “Little House” co-star didn’t have range, you might be interested to learn that she’s been doing standup since she was 15, plus she became a prominent AIDS activist in the mid-80s, and after coming out at a survivor of child abuse in 2004, she joined the advisory board of Protect, a group that fights to give children a voice in the war against child abuse. In 2006 she received the prestigious Justice Award from Justice for Children, a national child protection organization and an award from The National Association to Protect Children.
The play is at The Laurie Beechman Theatre inside West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue). Tickets are $20 with a $15 per person food or drink minimum. For reservations call 212-352-3101 or buy tickets online.

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