BWW Interviews: CAPEMAN's Luba Mason
Broadway actress and jazz vocalist Luba Mason will be taking on the role of Mrs. Young from the 1998 Broadway production of The Capeman. This concert version, directed by Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus, will play the Delacorte Theater for three shows only. Mason has appeared on Broadway as Velma Kelly in Chicago (with Brooke Shields), Hedy LaRue in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (opposite Matthew Broderick), and Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde.
BroadwayWorld reporter Nick Orlando spoke with Mason about her Broadway career and albums, "Krazy Love" and "Collage."
Luba, you have recently moved back to New York from Los Angeles. How has the transition been?
It has been great. I am from New York and have been here my whole life, except these last few years in LA. I am from Astoria and went to New York University. I have been dying to come back, but my husband was in political office and we had to wait for his term to end. We finally got back last October and it's great to be back in a show. Los Angeles is a beautiful quality of living, but you can't beat the energy in New York.
Let's go back a few years to your days in How to Succeed in Business... The musical is coming back to Broadway next year. What are your thoughts on the revival?
It's funny you bring that up. I was just talking to a few friends and they said you can still play the part, Hedy La Rue, she would just be a little older! I think it is great that they are bringing it back. It's a great show. It has been about 15 years. I think that is the right amount of time.
What was it like when you were part of the show with Matthew Broderick?
It was kind of magical. We had such a great cast. I learned a lot from him; we had great chemistry. Megan Mullally and Victoria Clark were also in the show and Des McAnuff directed. The show is very moving.
Would you consider coming back to the musical?
Wow! I have no plans. I don't know, I haven't really thought about it. It would be interesting, though.
"Krazy Love" is a follow-up to your debut album, "Collage." How did this album come about?
It's a Brazilian jazz album. I was turned onto this music by my husband 10 years ago. I love this music. Being in LA, I had time to work on the album. I met with Renato Neto and we collaborated. Renato is the keyboardist for Prince. We got along well. He had asked me if I write music and, I remembered a long time ago, I wrote a song and it was not completely finished. Renato said bring it in and the next week I did. He loved it and we finished writing that song. On this album, eight out of the ten songs are original music. I wanted to challenge myself on the second album. It received great reviews.
One of the tracks on this album is titled "This House," which talks about your childhood memories. What do you remember most?
I'm first generation American; my parents are from Eastern Europe. I grew up in a very ethnic household, which was different from my friends. Music was strong, very prominent in our house. My parents loved to sing, but never followed through with it because they are immigrants. They wanted a simple, American dream life.
Why the "K" in "Krazy"?
It's something different. My cat is on the cover and his name is Kooki. I went by the name of Kim Freshwater for a little while. There were a lot of "K's" surrounding me.
Can you talk to us about your training in classical voice, piano and dance? Was this something you had always wanted to do?
I played classical piano for 12 years. I sang in church choirs. In high school, I was involved in the choir and musical theatre. I was in a little Miss America pageant in New Jersey when I was eight years old. I saw my first Broadway show in the fifth grade. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I began taking voice lessons when I was in the eighth grade.