Carol Burnett Is Making New Show Based On 1950s Stay At Boarding House


Carol Burnett is soon celebrating her 91st birthday, but before that, there’s still more to do, like start up a brand new show! Burnett has announced her latest project, a series that’s rooted in her personal experience at a women’s boarding house in the ’50s.

On Monday, Burnett spoke on the podcast WTF With Marc Maron. During the episode, Burnett discussed her plans for a new series on Apple TV+ set in the 1950s. Burnett is already working with AppleTV, starring in a limited series called Palm Royale, alongside Allison Janney and Kristen Wiig. Here are some of the fun, emotional experiences fans can expect from her latest vision.


Carol Burnett outlines her plans for a new show based on her time in a women’s boarding house

Carol Burnett is already planning her next show, set in a women’s boarding house / HFPA/AdMedia

Earlier in her monumental career, Burnett stayed at the Rehearsal Club boarding house, which was a centuries-old housing initiative dedicated to women in the arts. It was established in 1913 and would relocate a few times and fall under ownership of the Rockefeller family. Men were not allowed in the upper floors but many did mingle in the parlor.


RELATED: Carol Burnett Brought Some Humor To The Emmy Awards With Her Perfect Punchline

The building offered women pursuing theater a place to rest between auditions and projects, as well as a reliable source of simple meals.

“I had these four roommates, and they were all totally different characters,” Burnett recalled. “It was — actually, we’re working on making a series out of the Rehearsal Club on that era, in the ’50s.” Indeed, production has already begun.

The many stories told through the Rehearsal Club

She continued to reminisce, “There were so many women, and we were all young and all anxious. There was a tap dancer, there were actresses, there were singers, there were musicians, all kinds — and each one, of course, has their own story.”

Burnett first found her way to the Rehearsal Club when an unnamed millionaire benefactor paid for her to move to the Big Apple. There, an old musical theater colleague called her and advised her to move into the Rehearsal Club.

“I checked out, pouring rain, walked up, got into the Rehearsal Club,” recalled Burnett. “It was all these women running around with curlers in their hair, playing the piano, vocalizing. It was a beehive of activity.” Her friend Ellie helped Burnett get settled in and introduced her to the house mother, Miss Carlton, who assured the then-aspiring star she was “in luck” because one single cot was available. “And it was in what they called the transit room,” Burnett shared, “which was on the first floor, and there were four other roommates in this one room. Five women, one bathroom, one closet, $18 a week room and board.”

The Rehearsal Club has inspired many stories and uplifted many careers / Everett Collection

“It was like heaven because I had always slept on a couch,” she added.

The Rehearsal Club has been the site of many key moments in the lives of rising stars. It is where James Dean, before becoming a Hollywood icon, visited frequently and dated resident Liz Sheridan. The venue is also the inspiration for Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman’s 1936 play Stage Door. The following year, it was adapted into a film of the same name starring Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers.

Even before her upcoming Apple TV+ project, Burnett paid homage to the important role the Rehearsal Club played in her life. In fact, in 1955, she launched and participated in a showcase of her friends from the club called The Rehearsal Club Revue. The program itself ended up being a major stepping stone for Burnett’s participating friends. Throughout the ’60s, Burnett sponsored scholarships for club members.

While fans wait for what Burnett is cooking for Apple, they can learn more about her time there through her fond recollections that feature prominently in her memoirs This Time Together and One More Time: A Memoir.

Will you be watching?

The location was invaluable to Burnett for helping her to settle into her career / Everett Collection

RELATED: 90-Year-Old Carol Burnett Speaks About Joke She Took ‘Too Far’

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