Mazzie and Danieley Making Beautiful Music at Feinstein's
It's here, it's now and it's double the pleasure for all to see and hear. I'm talking about Feinstein's at Loews Regency's current featured debut engagement of Tony Award Nominees and husband and wife team, Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie. The amazingly talented duo performs their show Opposite You from March 24th thru April 4th. The show features music from across the spectrum from Irving Berlin to Harold Arlen to Stephen Sondheim presented in perfect harmony by one of Broadway's leading couples.Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley
Mazzie, the critically-acclaimed actress and singer, has been heard in many of the country's major symphony halls, concert venues, and starred in some of the most memorable musicals on the Broadway stage and London's West End. Having most recently starred on Broadway and in London as the "Lady of the Lake" in Monty Python's Spamalot, she also received Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier nominations and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance as "Lily/Kate" in the hit revival of Kiss Me Kate. Her other Broadway credits include "Mother" in Ragtime (Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics nominations), "Clara" in Sondheim's Passion (Tony nomination), "Aldonza" in Man of La Mancha, Into the Woods and Big River.
Danieley, the equally talented Broadway actor, singer and concert performer has been entertaining audiences from New York's Theatre District and London's West End to Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Jason most recently starred on Broadway in Kander & Ebb's Curtains (Outer Critics Circle Nomination). He made his Broadway debut as the title character in Candide, directed by theater legend Harold Prince (Theatre World Award, Drama League Award, and Drama Desk nomination). He took it all off for The Full Monty in the original Broadway and West End casts. A frequent guest of New York's acclaimed City Center Encores! series, Jason has had leading roles in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and Strike Up The Band. Jason recently released a solo CD with his band The Frontier Heroes: self-titled Jason Danieley & The Frontier Heroes on the PS Classics label.
So, a treat for me, I got to talk to the dynamic duo about life, their CD, the show and getting naked on stage....no, really!!!!
TJ: This is a treat for me to be talking with the two of you. I actually have a connection to you, Marin. Years ago, I did a production of Anything Goes with a very young Jere Shea, who you appeared with in the Broadway production of Passion. And then, I was fortunate enough to see you in Ragtime, where you sang one of my favorite songs, Back to Before.
MAZZIE: That is one of my favorites, too!
TJ: And Jason, I was looking forward to seeing you in Curtains, but the weekend I went, you were away performing in a concert. But I have the CD and you sounded great.
DANIELEY: Yeah, my performance was great! [laughing] You can't imagine how good it was.
TJ: Ok, I have got to ask you. How did the two of you meet?
DANIELEY: Well, we met off-Broadway doing a play together called Trojan Women: A Love Story. There was a theatre company called En Garde Arts that did site-specific theatre pieces, usually very avant-garde pieces. Charles Mee Jr did an adaptation of the Trojan Women, which was the first act, and the second act was the Dido and Anais Story, which he also adapted. Tina Landau, who wrote and directed Floyd Collins, which I was in, directed the show and Marin played Helen of Troy in the first act, which I was in as Anais. My character was the only character that was in both acts. The women playing Dido was let go during previews and Marin was asked to take over that role in addition to her other role, which she did with a 24 hour notice...we only had to cancel one performance. We fell in love pretty fast.
MAZZIE: Yeah! I had a crush on Jason the whole time and I got to kiss him and that sealed the deal.
TJ: And how long have you been married?
MAZZIE: Eleven years...yeah. Together for thirteen this summer.
DANIELEY: Time flies by after a while and you think, "Really?? Eleven years??" Yeah, it's been great!
TJ: Now you're appearing together at Feinstein's. How do you like working together?
MAZZIE: We really like it! It's great to be able to spend the time together. Last night, we got back from a ten day concert tour with the Boston Pops in Florida and we were in nine cities in nine days. We had sung with the Boston Pops a lot and we love them and Keith and all the people involved. It was so nice to have Jason be with me, not only to sing on stage with...but to travel with. You at least have your partner there with you through the whole thing. I love working with Jason and I also love singing with him on stage. It's just such a great thing because you're with the person that you trust the most in your life...who knows what's going on with you...it's very comforting.
DANIELEY: And also, being with the best duet partner you could possibly ever have, which takes that little edge off of not knowing how things are going to turn out. This is as good as it gets, as far as we're concerned.
TJ: When was the first time the two of you sang together?
DANIELEY: We started doing symphony concerts together right around the time we got married.
MAZZIE: It was probably around 1998 when we started doing the concerts together.
DANIELEY: Yeah! Around eleven years ago.
TJ: Now, the show you are performing at Feinstein's is called Opposite You, which is the name of your CD that was released a couple of years ago. I actually listened to a few clips of the songs from the CD and went right into Amazon.com to order it as I fell in love with what I heard. Some of the music is so unique...how did you make the choices of songs to include on the CD?
MAZZIE: Well, we had put together an act in 2002 of duets for the American Songbook series, who came to us and asked us to put together an evening of duets for them. We did and we got together with our music director, David Loud, to put together the music. And because it was for the American Songbook series, that was sort of our jumping off point as far as choices of music. One thing that is not on the album, but is in our act at Feinstein's, is an opening medley, put together by David, of very duet you think we are going to sing...but we don't. We sing snippets of them in this very fun and funny medley...it's like eleven minutes long. Things like People Will Say We're In Love, Almost Like Being In Love, I'll Know, Bess You Is My Woman Now...it's just a lot of fun. So, we got a those out of the way...the typical classical musical theatre duets. And then, we felt free to pick songs that we really liked and make some things duets, like Honeysuckle Rose and we do a very long Sondheim medley.
DANIELEY: A five song Sondheim medley.
MAZZIE: And we out together a great medley of Harold Arlen music including Come Rain or Come Shine and Stormy Weather and Black Magic.
TJ: Do you have a favorite song that the two of you sing?
MAZZIE: I don't know what my favorite would be...the Sondheim suite is pretty intense and is always fun to sing. The opening medley is fun to sing, which isn't on the album.
DANIELEY: We do a song called Nellie The Nudist Queen, which no one will possibly know unless they have some obscure 1920's-30's novelty song album that it happens to be on.
MAZZIE: Jason has it!
DANIELEY: Yeah, I have it and we were trying to find a funny song and since both of us have been, as you said, naked on Broadway [Marin in Passion and Danieley in The Full Monty] , how can we put something funny in the show...not us getting naked... about the naked thing. This song was perfect and we sing it in perfect harmony all the way through and it moves! I think it showcases how we listen to one another, which I think is uncommon in a lot of marriages...listening to each other and having it flow so effortlessly. I really like doing that!
See, I told you!!! Thanks to Jason and Marin. This is a match made in heaven, folks who make beautiful music together both on and offstage. Anyway, this is a concert event that it certainly not to be missed. Catch Mazzie and Danieley's show, Opposite You, at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street, playing now thru April 4th. For tickets, call (212) 339-4095 or go to the club's website at www.feinsteinsattheregency.com. For now, ciao and remember, theatre is my life!