Stories & Cast Interviews

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Maury Sheds Light!

Posted by: wbtpress on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 11:36:00 am Comments (0)

Maury Yeston, in a recent interview in the Scarsdale Inquirer, explains a few things and sheds light on the Themes in NINE!

“The last thing I expected was for it to become a film musical,” Yeston said. There was a long period of time between the film musicals of the ’60s and Rob Marshall’s “Chicago.” “Nine” was his second splashy film musical. “I could not have predicted it and am thrilled by it,” Yeston said.

“As a kid I fell in love with the movie ‘8 ½.’ When I was young I was inspired to write a work of fiction based on it. It’s an homage to the film that so inspired me. I couldn’t have predicted its fantastic debut on Broadway. The film [“Nine”] was a wonderful experience. The theater and the film are so different. What I said to Rob was, ‘the show will always be the show, but film is a director’s art. You need the freedom to make it cinematic. I’m sure things will change. I trust you. I will change anything you want.’ Marshall wanted to add new songs. He had perfectly rational reasons for it. A song that Sophia Loren’s character sings is for a soprano. It would be irresponsible of me to take music written for flute and give it to a bassoon. I created a new song for her, to play to her strengths.”

Yeston wrote three new songs for the film. “What I love most about composing is to create new things, inspired by the performance gifts of people I’m working with. The payoff is to see Marion Cotillard nominated for an Oscar. The job of the writer is not to be an old fogey, but to be alive.”

Yeston is in no way a fogey, taking creative risks, like finding the optimistic side of a shipping disaster in the 1997 musical “Titanic.”

“It wasn’t hard to get back into the music of ‘Nine,’” Yeston said. “I obsessively loved this piece so it’s given me an endless amount of inspiration to write on the theme of a man who lives like so many Italian princes, Jewish princes, it doesn’t matter what ethnic group you’re from, surrounded by the unconditional love of mothers, aunts, emotionally stunted to think women are still going to treat him like that for the rest of his life. Guido is like that, a serial monogamist. He wants everything. He believes he’s in love with the woman he’s with. He needs to grow up. The issues he has are universal. I found room to express myself in fleshing out the emotional reactions of women who are victimized by him.”

“I’m learning how different theater is from film. I spent my life in the theater,” Yeston said. “Each medium has its own magic. You see the dream on the screen. In the theater, it’s a magic box. The imagination of the audience harpooned. We provide our own details of reality. That’s why live theater is so exciting.

“The film can be film, the show can be a show. It’s a separate entity.”

 

“WBT raises the bar so high for regional theater,” Yeston said. “That’s the great secret of regional theater. American theater isn’t Broadway. Now, a high percentage of Broadway shows are very safe, revivals. Regional theaters are cutting edge. WBT combines both worlds. They have the innovation of a true regional theater and they can draw top flight talent from New York City. It has given them a wonderful edge.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Melody? Sarah? Please step forward!

Posted by: wbtpress on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 2:08:00 pm Comments (0)

Stephanie Wahl as Cruise Director Melody Joy Lapidus

I grew up in Baltimore.  My mother was involved in a local not-for-profit theatre group and got my older sister involved in classes because she was shy.  I went along to rehearsals at 3 years old and started performing with the group when they needed a replacement for Gretl in The Sound of Music.
I had so many wonderful actors around me as a child as well as the artistic director of the company and I learned all my basics from them - it was wonderful.
I've been lucky enough to perform some of my dream roles: Wendy in Peter Pan Laurey in Oklahoma, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Abigail Adams in 1776.  One dream role still eluding me is Hedda Gabler.
I've known about "Nunsense" since it's run Off-Broadway.  And it is truly a delight to get to work everyday with Danny Goggin.  He is kind, generous, and oh yeah...funny!
What is my favorite moment in this show? Of course when I get to say "I can see Russia from my state room".
I think you can learn anything if you have an affinity or love for it.
I love to cook, be with my family, watch movies, and watch other great actors work on stage and film.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bambi in a habit!

Posted by: wbtpress on Friday, March 13, 2009 at 11:04:00 am Comments (0)

Bambi Jones plays the testy Sister Mary Hubert, a drill seargent of sorts..I asked her a bit about her habits!

I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I attended St. Paul the Apostle School for grade school, then Professional Children's School for high school.  When I was a kid, friends of our family did commercials and introduced me and my brother to their agent. It all took off from there. 
I saw Nunsense in New York when it was at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre and loved it! It hit home since I spent 8 years in Catholic School.
I first met Danny Goggin briefly1993 when I was working in Sydney, Australia and he was directing a production of
Nunsense 2.
Little did I know then that I'd become part of the Nunsense family 7 years later. It's great knowing you get to work with your good friends, have fun and get paid doing it. In the show, I really enjoy doing  "Three Shayna Maidels".    It's fun playing those characters and I love singing the tight harmony.  
Comic timing ...is  it innate or can it be learned?   I think a bit of both. Even if comic timing is innate, it can always be honed. 
When I'm not on stage, Give me a good book to escape into and I'm happy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Danny Dishes

Posted by: wbtpress on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 3:48:00 pm Comments (0)

With the ‘Nunsense’ shows, the creator, Danny Goggin, has lifted the human spirit as he has made millions laugh. Meshuggah-Nuns, is the fifth variation in the popular Nunsense” series. For the last 26 years, the Little Sisters of Hoboken have entertained audiences in theatres around the globe, making “Nunsense” an international household name. He received the 1986 Outer Critics’ Circle Awards given to Nunsense for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Music.      

         

                    Danny & The Cast                

Danny says: "I think the most important thing these days is to be hands on. The cast at WBT is our "primo New York" cast and we have become like family over the years. Because I am at the shows I am also doing the wardrobe and having so much fun being backstage.  The bottom line for all our shows is to give the audience a good laugh and fun time.  And I think that starts backstage with the cast even before the show starts."
"Everyone has great respect for one another and I hope that I've had a hand in developing that between cast members. The WBT audiences have been terrific and so coming to work is great fun and something we all look forward to. Come and see us and have a good laugh!! "