"I guess what I love about this play is that it's very tightly written. The comedy is punchy, the characters are very vivid, and from this bizarre opening premise of this weird detail of Barbra's mall/basement, we get to plunge into a world where all the characters are sympathetic and flawed and complicated."
On November 23, 1963 the cast of the British political satire show, THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS, scrapped all the material they had written that week, went on live television and publicly mourned JFK who had been assassinated the day before. There were no jokes, just tearful and sincere testimonials about an American president these Brits described as a “gigantic marvelous present”.
I make my way to South Philly to meet for the interview. When I arrived, I could hear the rehearsal. This was the first run-through with an audience that consisted of the production team. I wanted to walk in but chose to listen through the door. I heard about ten minutes or so of the ending. He’s ready and I do not plan to waste his time.
Jilline was always the smartest person in the room. Her Bryn Mawr pedigree, love of the Greeks, inexhaustible knowledge of movies and songs from bygone eras as well as religious iconography was inspiring. I think of that 1970’s Enjoli perfume commercial, where a sexy woman in purple sauntered toward the camera with a frying pan while a songstress crooned, ‘I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man.’
I’ve been an audience member and fan of 1812’s since Box Office of the Damned. A year later, Jen Childs was my acting teacher at the University of the Arts and I always wanted to work with her and this company. I’ve never recovered from losing the part of Batboy to that damn Ben Dibble. (Who knows, if I had landed that role, maybe I wouldn’t be designing today.)
Jen Childs and I were sitting in the balcony of Plays & Players during the run of The Carols last season when she told me that she'd been thinking for a year or two about this Barbra Streisand play by Jonathan Tolins. I'd heard of it when Michael Urie did it in New York in 2013, and I said it sounded like fun...