From 1950s ingenue to scene-stealing Alexis Carrington Colby days on TV’s “Dynasty” in the ’80s — and numerous stage appearances, not to mention two best-selling memoirs (a third is on the way) — audiences continue to be fascinated.
The star presents a live tell-all, “One Night With Joan,” this week at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in The City.
The event holds a special place in Collins’ heart. It marks her return to The City, where she met husband Percy Gibson, who was a theatrical manager when she was performing “Love Letters” with George Hamilton in 2000.
“One day before opening night, Percy said, ‘Is there anything I can get you?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I have run out of eyeliner.
Could you possibly get it?’” she recalls. “He said, ‘Sure’ and off he went. When he came back with mascara, I looked at it and said, ‘What’s this? I guess you’re not gay, are you?’”
They have been together ever since.
The genesis for her one-woman show actually began about 15 years ago.
“I was sitting next to Gregory Peck at dinner and he had been doing a one-man show,” Collins says. “He said, ‘You really should do it. You’ve really had an interesting life.’ I said, ‘Oh, that sounds so terrifying.’”
The seed was planted, however, and after Collins and Gibson married in 2002, the duo began thinking more seriously about developing the project.
Designer Nolan Miller was among the friends who came up with ideas for the show, which has toured internationally to rave reviews since 2008.
Filled with irreverent, self-deprecating tales — on-set encounters with the likes of Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Richard Burton and more — the show also features rare film footage as well as outtakes from “Dynasty.”
The iconic prime-time soap, which also starred John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Pamela Sue Martin, sent Collins’ career soaring in the ’80s.
She calls it a “great show for its time — absolutely fabulous.” But she doesn’t think it necessarily would work today.
“And I don’t think that ‘Breaking Bad’ would have worked 30 years ago. The business has changed,” she adds.
Describing her career longevity and remarkable joy, Collins said part of her secret is drawing upon some good advice she once received: “You have to eat life, or life will eat you.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday
Tickets: $60 to $75
Contact: (866) 663-1063, www.ticketweb.com