In June I took part in a workshop of a beautiful new musical at Lincoln Center Theater. The Dancer Project (working title) has a score by Flaherty/ Ahrens, book by Peter Parnell and is directed and choreographed by the incomparable Susan Stroman. Every day was a thrill to spend time with top notch actors like the Boyd Gaines, Karen Ziemba and NYC Ballet principal, Tiler Peck. Being back in that rehearsal room with Stroman, Boyd, KZ and dear Nina Goldman, all Contact alum, was really sweet. There is nothing better than working at LCT and I have so many wonderful memories of my years in that building. Every creative tool an actor or director needs is at your finger tips: space, sets, props, hats and other costume-pieces and endless doses of encouragement from everyone in the building from ushers and backstage people right up to Bernie Gersten and Andre Bishop. My daughter, Grace, was born during the run of Contact in 2000, and everyone was thrilled to meet her again as a tween. Bravo to Stro and crew for creating an amazing new musical that I hope will be produced soon! You can read more about the piece itself below.
I had a terrific time in L.A. doing Kiss Me Kate at Reprise. I still can’t believe they actually put up a full production with one week of rehearsal and one week of tech. Madness! The creatives and cast were all top notch and the show was a big hit. Tom Hewitt and Lesli Margherita were a spectacular leading couple. I relished playing opposite Meg Gillentine as Bianca (Meg and I first worked together on the workshop of Contact at LCT back in 1999). Choreography was by Lee Martino – a native New Yorker transplanted to LA, who really had her work cut out for her and produced terrific job. As did director Michael Michetti. This show is HUGE. How we put it up so quickly, I will never know. Although, I did develop two cold sores before we got to opening (The stress had to come out somewhere).
L.A. makes me homesick for Australia; the sun, the beaches and the Aussie flora everywhere. I also caught up with a couple of Aussie pals in SoCal (huh!) – Liam Burke (who has started a great Facebook page for ex-CATS! We met on that show in Melbourne in 1988), and Lisa Robertson (we worked on the Aussie production of 42nd St together in 1989. Liam has fallen in love with Santa Barbara and is writing and teaching there. Lisa has been in LA for more than a decade and established herself as a sought after acting coach and now a writer/director of the award-winning short film Commerce (which also has a Facebook page). She is doing the film festival circuit this summer. Bravo Lisa! With Liam and Lisa at the opening of Kiss Me Kate, it was almost like having having family there.