BWW Interviews: Dorothy Stanley of Denver Center's WHITE CHRISTMAS - Broadway Beginnings and More
MM: On behalf of BroadwayWorld, I just have to say how excited we are to have you and this wonderful award winning show coming to Denver!
DS: It's absolute heaven for me. If there's one word to describe my experience here, it's that. And, let's see, I had another word, too. It's heaven and very rewarding for those of us who are in the show and working at the DCPA. It's been great. My first experience here in Denver was in the Denver Center Attractions performance of Swingtime Canteen during the millennium. We started singing and performing in the latter part of '99, and I was here when it turned 2000. Although, my husband was doing Fosse in Chicago, so I flew to Chicago and we actually had our millennium dinner in Chicago, and the two of us were just keeping United busy flying back and forth seeing each other, but that's when I first came to Denver, and five years ago, of course, we did the White Christmas, and I came here with the Billy Elliot tour a year and a half ago.
MM: What do you think of our fine city?
DS: At one point I thought about moving here. I just love it. But I sort of have a bit of Colorado back in my life on the East Coast because I have a house in Vermont. So I've got the mountains back there, but I just love it. And we can't believe how blessed we've been with the weather since we got here. I got here on October 14, and other than one evening of a dusting of snow, as you know, we've had just glorious weather. Although I know that Denver would love to see some snow because, like Vermont, that's really good business for everybody. If you don't have snow, it's unfortunate.
MM: We are literally dreaming of a white Christmas.
DS: Exactly, and I hope it comes true.
MM: Me, too. You have quite a fun role as Martha Watson in White Christmas, why is this role significant for you?
DS: Oh, well, it's significant in many ways. It's just fun. The writing is great, so I don't do anything but go out there and just say the words. And luckily, Patti Colombo put me in, my number is usually just done in a tiny little scrim or a wrap of costumes, and she did this number that I get to play the whole stage with everybody on it watching, and it's a really fun number to do, 'Let Me Sing' is really fun. The show means a lot to me because, of course, I was raised watching every year we watchEd White Christmas, and my dad was a general in the Air Force. My mother bought a farm in Vermont when my dad retired he said he wanted to go south of the border, and she said "George, I was raised in Connecticut, so I want to stay in New England." So, she bought a farm and my folks spend seven months in Florida and five months in Vermont, and I sweat that's the reason they outlived their siblings and friends. Best of both worlds. But we had our farm, and my father was a general, and we never had a division come sing We'll Follow the Man, but we certainly vicariously enjoyed what could have happened because my dad was a general. So Martha's just so much fun and Kent Thompson's direction is great. He allowed me to do the one thing that I didn't do last time, which was to break the fourth wall on that one line about having dated 23 horn players and then dump every last one of them. I mean, it may be good for us time, but it works the audience a lot, and it's just fun to get that reaction every night, as you can imagine.
MM: The choreography was thoroughly impressive in this production, do you feel that the choreography has enhanced your character?
DS: Oh, of course, because I know that in the Randy Skinner - the fellow who directed the original - and Walter Bobbie. In the Walter Bobbie/Rander Skinner production, she's not in' I Love A Piano,' but because I'm a hoofer from years ago, Patti decided to put me in a section of 'I Love A Piano,' so that's a lot of fun. And of course I enjoy the applause and the reaction that we get when we do it. And I think she made the call and let me sing - very palatable for what I can do. And you have to sing at the same time. To do a lot of singing and dancing moves, especially in the Mile High City, can be a little tough. I so respect Kate and Nick for doing 'Best Things,' because that's quite the dance. And actually when Kent Thompson asked me back via an email about 10 months ago, he asked me about Patti Colombo. He asked "What do you think about bringing her back?" And I said "You've gotta do it" because all her numbers were such crowd pleasers last time. And so he did and so she came back and we had time because there were so many people that came back from the previous production, Kent and Patti both had time to really hone the musical numbers even more this time. So I think in many ways, the production was much improved this time around.