Sally Struthers performing one-woman show in Pennsylvania

CALEDONIA, Pa. – Two-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, Sally Struthers, said reality TV is ruining television by pandering to the lowest common denominator.

“They show people at their worst,” Struthers said. “I think people watch them for the same reason that people who drive past an accident seem compelled to slow down and look. You’re horrified you may see something awful, but you still have to look.”

Struthers said reality shows have not only lowered the quality of TV in general, they have caused the loss of a great many jobs within the production industry.

“Many people can’t find work,” Struthers said. “Actors, set decorators and especially writers are out of work. It seems very wrong to me.”

Struthers is coming to the Totem Pole Playhouse, Caledonia, May 8-12, to perform her one-woman show, “Simply: Sally Struthers.” It will be the first time she has performed at the small theater located in Michaux State Forest.

From 1954 to 1983, William H Putch, husband of Jean Stapleton, star of “All in the Family,” was the producing artistic director at Totem Pole. Putch purchased and reopened the playhouse in July 1970.

“I’ve known about it for 43 years and talked about it extensively with Jean Stapleton,” said Struthers, who portrayed Gloria Stivics on the long-running CBS hit show. “What I’m doing is a one-woman show. Some people do it impersonating another person, like Valerie Harper, who, before she became ill, was going to do Tallulah Bankhead. I do my show about myself.”

Struthers, who will open the 2013 season at Totem Pole, said she does not find the topic of her life very fascinating. Over the years, however, people told her she should write a book about her life.

“I don’t want to write a book because that sounds like a lonely endeavor to me,” said Struthers, who also starred in the Fox TV series “9 to 5; ”in her own CBS series, “Gloria;” and more recently, the CBS comedy “Still Standing;” and in the critically acclaimed CW series the “Gilmore Girls. “I don’t own a computer or a typewriter so I’d have to longhand write the whole thing; and I’d be alone for weeks and months writing the thing and that’s boring, (with emphasis on boorrring). So I decided if people like listening about my life so much, I’ll just put together a one-woman show.”

“Simply: Sally Struthers” is her way to share her story with an audience. From her childhood, growing up in Portland, to her first auditions for commercials, and eventually landing a part in “All in the Family,” Struthers weaves words, songs, stories and humor into an evening of fun and laughter.

“I’ll walk out on the stage and tell my stories and hopefully the audience will go home happy, and I’ll be able to pay my mortgage this month,”said Struthers. “:Later this year I will be on a seven-month national ‘Hello, Dolly!’ tour. There hasn’t been a national tour of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ since Carol Channing. I haven’t done the one-woman show very much. When I’m not in a TV series, I do regional theater.”

Following her engagement at Totem Pole, Struthers will travel to Maine, in June to perform “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Earlier this month, Struthers was in Fredericksburg, Va., for a production of “The Full Monty.”

The exact schedule for Struthers’ “Hello, Dolly!” Tour has not yet been set. Struthers said she is excited to take the lead role in the production which was one of the longest-running Broadway productions in history.

For more information on Struthers at Totem Pole, visit www.totempoleplayhouse.org; and for more information on the “Hello, Dolly!” Tour, visit www.bigleague.org/12_dolly.htm.

Via Balla Network and Philadelphia Examiner.

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