nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kate Weiman
October 11, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Head of Costume Production.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
It seems whenever I have heard others respond to this type of question, the answer always seems to be "Ever since I was two years old!" and the same seems to be true for me. I was fond of being the producer, director and lead actress in my productions. My poor sister and brother were my crew and supporting actors. The stage was in front of the living room fireplace, which provided a front row seat to my parents, who would sit on the sofa and applaud us on. Later on, in Jr. High, the big moment happened when I made the decision to be an actress for real! I ran for student council just so I could go up on stage in front of the whole middle school and perform. I took a Shelley Berman (a standup comedian from the 50's) routine from a recording that my parents had and adapted it to a 13year sensibility. My teacher said I would never win the election (true) but she wanted me to try out for the school play. I was on my way!!
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
gives back to the New York community. I belong to a wonderful company, the Blue Hill Troupe, that produces musicals and then donates all its proceeds to a local charity. This year's charity is the GoProject NYC. The GO Project shapes the futures of low-income New York City public school children by providing critical academic, social and emotional support starting in the early elementary years. GO provides year-round educational and family support services to children who are performing below grade level and equips them with the confidence and skills needed to succeed at school, at home and in life.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I've been a member of the Blue Hill Troupe since 1986. I had to pass a singing audition to be accepted as a front stage performer. During the sight reading part, my hands were shaking so badly, but I managed to hold it together and was accepted. Since then, I have been part of this large voluntary committed group of artists, acting, singing and when I'm not on stage, I work backstage making costumes, hats, wigs, makeup! Every year, in the fall, we have auditions for front and back stage. So anyone who is reading this and wants to be involved in musical theater, whether on the stage or back stage, check us out at www.bht.org. We're always looking for fun, talented people who want to join our large family.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Surprising! I had seen the original Broadway production of Grand Hotel but didn't remember how relevant it is to today. But the show is also Smooth, Sexy and Smart!
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
As I said, I was surprised at how relevant the show is to today's politics. The show takes place in 1928 when the market was about to crash, when the 1% were still flush and the 99% began to question. Sound familiar?