by Alfred T. Hendricks
Now it’s Peggy Lee’s turn to wail the blues.
Friday night a sneak thief hit her dressing room at Basin Street East and made off with $21,000 worth of gowns.
The caper had a familiar ring.
Only the day before, a larcenous gent paid a similar visit backstage at the Broadhurst Theater, where Diahann Carroll graces the musical No Strings. When he departed, No Strings was minus $5,000 worth of costume changes – including two wigs and a pink negligee.
The latest visit of the Backstage Bandit left Peggy Lee with one costume and a wrap to her name. She wore it – a pink chiffon number – during all three of her shows Friday night.
Phoebe Ostrow, manager of the club, said the thief apparently hid the gowns – valued at $3,500 apiece – in an empty staircase, which was near the dressing room, and strolled off with his loot.
He also left behind a white fox-trimmed lace evening wrap.
“I guess he didn’t like that one,” said Peggy.
The vocalist discovered the theft after her first show Friday night.
In her absence the thief had taken three Edward Sebesta originals – a blue crepe trimmed with silver beads, a crystal beaded white chiffon, and a rhinestone-trimmed white lace gown. The other three stolen gowns were Roxanne creations, submitted for her approval.
Detectives at the East 51st Street station are investigating.