Local Lily Tomlin fans can relax - she's bringing "Appearing Nitely," her much ballyhooed Broadway debut, to the National Theater for two weeks opening July 25. Tickets will go on sale in mid-June.

For those who have managed to miss all the hoopla, "Appearing Nitely" is a one-person gallery of comic characters, many of them hatched since Tomlin's last appearances here. Tomlin and company will appear in Philadelphia for two weeks between New York and Washington.

Tomlin will help fill a gap in the National's bookings caused by the cancellation of plans to present a touring production of "Raisin here. The "Raisin" production didn't do too well in Los Angeles. Following Tomlin at the National will be Richard Kiley back in his original role in "Man of La Mancha."

When the Tony awards are passes out a week from Sunday, Ford's Theater will be particularly interested in the four contests involving its production of "Your Arms Too Short to Box With God," which is still humming in its sixth month on Broadway.

"Box With God" won nominations for Vinnette Carroll as best author and best director of a musical, for Delores Hall as best featured (supporting) actress in a musical and for Talley Beatty as best choreographer. Ford's is taking home 70 per cent of the Broadway take.

Meanwhile, the current Ford's revue, "All Night Strut," has been extended, yet again, through June 26. Marin Charnin, who directed "Annie" and wrote its lyrics, is doctoring "Strut" for its national run - when and if it ever leaves Ford's. Maybe by then it will be called "All Year Strut."

Attention Lee Guber and Shelly Gross: Of the three musicals you're reviving this summer for your chain of suburban halls, it looks like "Wonderful Town," the Bernstein/Comden/Green show, will be the most interesting. Lauren Bacall will star Arvin Brown of Long Wharf will direct. Yet "Wonderful Town" is the only Guber-Gross musical this summer that won't play your local hangout, Shady Grove Music Theater.

We get your productions of "The Merry Widow" and "A Little Night Music," plus Rock Hudson in "Camelot." No offense to those shows is intended here, but we've got another "Merry Widow" at Wolf Trap this summer, "Night Music" was here relatively recently and will soon emerge on film, and "Camelot" music is piped into our waiting rooms and drugstores daily. What's the matter - isn't this town wonderful enough for you?

Joseph Walker, author of "The River Niger" and now a Howard professor, brings his New York company, the Demi-Gods, to Aldridge Theater on the Howard campus this summer for the local premiere of his rock musical, "The Lion Is a Soul Brother."

It's a traditional African story interpolated with a tale of a talking lion from outer space. Previews will begin Wednesday and an opening is slated for June 8. The show is expected to run through July 31.