A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant is a satirical musical about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, written by Kyle Jarrow from a concept by Alex Timbers, the show's original director. The one-act musical lasts about an hour. Jarrow based the story of the musical on L. Ron Hubbard's writings and Church of Scientology literature. The musical follows the life of L. Ron Hubbard as he develops Dianetics and then Scientology. Though the musical pokes fun at Hubbard's science fiction writing and personal beliefs, it has been called a "deadpan presentation" of his life story. Topics explored in the piece include Dianetics, the E-meter, Thetans, and the story of Xenu. The show was originally presented by Les Freres Corbusier, an experimental theatrical troupe and debuted in November 2003 in New York City, where it had sold-out Off-Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Later performances have included Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Productions of A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant in 2003, 2004 and 2006 were well received. The musical received an Obie Award for the 2003 New York production, and director Alex Timbers received a Garland Award for the 2004 Los Angeles production. The play also received positive reviews in the press.
Angela Lansbury CBE (born October 16, 1925) is a Tony-winning, Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated, and Emmy-nominated English actress, best-known for playing mystery writer Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote.
On Broadway, Lansbury received good reviews from her first musical outing, the short-lived 1964 Stephen Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle, which co-starred Lee Remick. Two years later, she was offered what proved to be the biggest triumph of her theatrical career, the title role in Mame, Jerry Herman's musical adaptation of the novel and subsequent film Auntie Mame, which had starred Rosalind Russell. Opening at the Winter Garden Theater on May 24, 1966, Mame ran for 1508 performances. Lansbury's portrayal, opposite Bea Arthur as Vera Charles, earned her the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. She and Arthur became life-long friends.
Lansbury returned to the Broadway stage for the first time in more than 25 years in Deuce, a play by Terrence McNally, co-starring with Marian Seldes. The play previewed at the Music Box Theatre on April 11, 2007, and opened on May 6, 2007 in a limited run of 18 weeks. Lansbury received a Tony nomination in the category of Leading Actress in a Play for her role in this production, but did not win the Tony that year.