BEVERLY HILLS — Joan Collins showed off more than her talents at Tuesday night's opening performance of her traveling stage play, Legends, when the zipper on the back of her dress slid down, exposing the 73-year-old's lingerie-covered backside to a theater packed with '80s TV legends.
Among those who were treated to the moon: Hart to Hart's Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers; Knots Landing's Michele Lee; Falcon Crest's Lorenzo Lamas; and Dynasty's Pamela Sue Martin, Al Corley, Gordon Thomson and Pamela Bellwood.
On stage, Collins' co-star and Dynasty rival, Linda Evans, 64, struggled in vain to zip Collins up. "I tried, but it just didn't want to stay," Evans sighed at the after-party.
So Collins momentarily broke the fourth wall, vocally acknowledging her "wardrobe malfunction" and inspiring Evans to ad-lib "nice (butt)." Collins, who also was battling the flu, spent the rest of the show delicately sidestepping her way across the stage, occasionally clasping her hands over her posterior.
"That poor thing; what a trouper," Powers said. "I once had a set fall down on me."
At the after-party, Collins shared a booth with sister Jackie, who just finished her latest racy novel, Drop Dead Beautiful, about the continuing antics of heroine Lucky Santangelo
"How embarrassing," Joan said of the mishap. "But I had to make it fun, because if you're not having fun, neither is your audience."
Joan's husband, Percy Gibson, is a producer on the show, which casts Evans and Collins as aging actress rivals. After its two-week engagement in Los Angeles, the show will continue to Phoenix, Denver, Chicago and Boston before concluding in New Haven, Conn., on May 13.
It also was a night to remember those who could not attend. The most missed face was Dynasty patriarch John Forsythe, who had colon cancer surgery in September and was released from the hospital three weeks ago.
Forsythe's wife, Nicole, said her husband, who turns 89 Jan. 29, is cancer-free but is now fighting a leg hematoma. "He thinks he can get up and walk, because he's not getting any pain to his brain," Nicole said.
She planned to make the two-hour drive back to their Santa Ynez Valley ranch the same night so she would not worry her husband, who "saw me getting all dolled up."