Thursday, October 09, 2008

Still in a Whirl

These past 3 months have been incredible, because I have been working fulltime as an actor. It really is a milestone, because so often artists find themselves "between gigs," but since July I've been fortunate to be going from one show to the next, and this is the first time I've been rehearsing for one show while in the midst of performing another.

It has been such a wonderfully wild ride, and there have been so many cherries on this cake... like getting to work with Broadway greats like Ray Wills from The Producers and being directed by the amazing BT McNicholl, who's currently resident director for Billy Elliott on Broadway. Just working with these phenomenal folks really helped me step up my game for Kaboom, Michael Small's new comedy that premiered Off Broadway at the exquisite Cherry Lane Theatre. It was such a blast to work on a new comedy that gave me such room to play and grow with a zany character like Kandy (above left).

Then there was Johnny on a Spot, which closed this past weekend. What a tantalizing treat to dive into a period piece like this one where there were 25 fully fleshed-out characters! You could tell Charles MacArthur loved the vibe of the newspaper men of his day, because there were only 3 women in this show, and even then, us gals were hearty! There was Ellen Zolezzi (left) who played the loving yet wise-cracking secretary, Margery Beddow (center) who played the ballsy madame with a heart of gold, and me, the steel magnolia who would give Scarlet O'Hara a run for her money!
The fellows were all wonderful! Mark Manley (above) played my Uncle Willy and I loved how we incorporated pieces of our characters' personalities to show the family resemblence. No one could throw a temper tantrum like my Barbara, but Mark sure gave it a go with his dotingly befuddled but just as much a foot-stamping uncle.
Kevin Kolack was a sweetpea and played a newspaper reporter as well as the super trooper who would haul me off at the beginning of Act 3. As I said, my character was a trouble-maker and quite the hellcat, but the audiences seemed to love her, and if they were really into it, they'd even give us exit applause as Kevin hauled me offstage.

I made such great friends with all the cast and crew and will sure miss them.

The coolest thing about this past weekend is that my Dad flew out from CA on a surprise trip. He made it to the theatre just in time to catch the final performance of Johnny and he also got to see the staged reading of SIN which I did the very next day.
Sin was a little mind-blowing because I got to perform with one of my childhood acting heroes, F. Murray Abraham. I had seen Mr. Abraham in the film Amadeus when I was a kid, and I was so moved by his wicked yet devoted performance as Salieri. It was beyond a dream come true to be acting onstage with him. I played "the only demon cursed with a sensitive soul" and he played Satan. Yeah, pretty cool. :)

And the rest of the cast which was nothing to sneeze at! There was the beautiful Marilyn Chris, the hysterical Alvin Epstein, Paul Hecht and Mary Rose Synek, all of us directed by Robert Kalfin, who helmed the original production of Yentl, one of my favorite stories...

I just feel so fortunate to have worked with all of these incredible people and to have been able to share these joyous performances with my family (on both coasts) and my friends. My cup runneth over! And I am ever so thankful!

1 comment:

Tina Sams said...

OMGosh I love this entry! Looking over the last couple of months and the way you've soared through them is just pure fun. I have to say I'm partial to Candy (sp?). That costume captures the rare and exotic bird that is you. Love you!