by Justin Ayer. @JustAyer.
NEW YORK, NY. - Virginia Chapman, a Broadway Dresser for over thirty years, thought she had seen his business has to offer - until a recent gig put her face-to-face with stage legend Angela Lansbury’s many, many back tattoos.
“I was excited and nervous to work with her, as she’s a true idol of mine. I would have never have thought she would be keeping such a secret,” says Chapman, who described the tattoo as “an intricate and complicated mural of all the roles she has ever played.” However, she did add that “[Angela] is getting up there in age, so some of the tattoos were hard to make out. Her Mrs. Lovett looked more like a meat pie.”
Lansbury has over 19 Broadway credits with a career that spans 50 years, including famed turns in Beauty and the Beast and Sweeney Todd. So how is it she was able to keep such a secret for so long? The Broadway Beat found out.
“Angie would always go to the same guy to update her back and paid him to keep quiet. It started off innocent enough but then it became a necessity,”, notes a long-time friend of Lansbury (who will remain anonymous for their safety). Our source claims that Lansbury kept people quiet the only way she knew how - money and intimidation. “She couldn’t really be done with a role until it became a part of her body permanently,” added the contact, who again will remain private and asked us to state that they are “definitely not George Hearn”.
Virginia Chapman also claims that Lansbury approached her in an alley after the show near the stage door with an envelope of money, but Chapman refused.
“At first I thought she was kidding, but I could see in her eyes this was real. I couldn’t take the money though, I would’ve never been able to keep that secret. Everyone knows Dresser’s talk. My life is at risk for talking to you, but the story needs to be told.
When asked about her alleged back tattoo, Lansbury’s team refused to comment. However, each member of The Broadway Beat’s staff woke up this morning with a vintage Gypsy Playbill laying ominously next to their pillows. The booklets were signed “Angie” in what appears to be human blood.