NEW YORK -- In the opening minutes of her opening night, Marla Maples rose slowly from the orchestra pit, a Venus rising on hydraulic lift, and shimmered in gold cowboy boots, gold hot pants, gold cowboy hat and gold hair.
As applause rippled around her, Ms. Maples sang, twirled a giant branding iron, strutted and skipped across the stage, smiled and wiggled her nearly naked behind. She didn't trip, and she dropped neither the iron nor a note.
"Her pants are too tight," Harrison J. Goldin, whispered to his wife, Diana.
"That's the idea," she replied.
Mr. Goldin, the former city comptroller and a financial consultant who has advised some of Donald Trump's creditors, was one of some 300 friends and business associates who Monday night accepted the real-estate developer's invitation to attend the stage debut of his fiancee in "The Will Rogers Follies."
Ms. Maples' singularly apt part (she plays Ziegfeld's Favorite, the sexy girlfriend of the wealthy showman, Florenz Ziegfeld,) was intended to help revive publicity for a year-old show whose receipts were beginning to plateau.
Will Rogers' wife, played by Nancy Ringham, turns to Ziegfeld's Favorite and says wonderingly, "How did you get this part?" The audience cracked up and Ms. Maples rolled her eyes knowingly at the line that was restored specifically for her.