BWW Interviews: Actress/Singer Susan Egan Talks About March 1 Concert at Arcadia High School

Did you leave theatre behind to bring up your children? We have missed seeing you onstage.

For me, I transitioned. I now travel the world with symphony orchestras and 75% of the time I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom. I do tons of voice work, I'm making the same living, but now I only have to be away from the kids a week a month, and I get to live in California with my vegetable garden.

Who are your mentors? Anyone in particular influence your work more than anyone else? Your favorite actors?

Tommy Tune was an actual mentor. The people I look up to did not forget their roots: There is Carol Burnett, who I already talked about. Audrey Hepburn and Paul Newman, for example, did a great amount of philanthropic work and helped a lot of people out by using their talents. And I admire that greatly.

What is your favorite role? (one that you've played)

Sally Bowles in Cabaret. She is a little more complicated. When you play the good girl, they inhibit interesting characteristics, but to play a character that is so flawed, there is a lot you can get out of it. So it was great to play someone so terribly misguided - and I learned a lot from Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall.

What role do you long to play?

I love originating things, so the role I yearn to play has not been written yet. I also want to develop other parts of my creativity - especially to write, perhaps a novel. It's a different way of being creative.

Who is your favorite composer? Why? Your favorite musical of all time? Why?

I love the new stuff. I think about Rent and how it was unfinished (Jonathan Larson died during previews). I would love to know what Howard Ashman would have done, had he lived longer. I love Robert Lopez, Jason Robert Brown, and Georgia Stitt. The difference now is that I am friends with all these people. I was around when Jason Robert Brown wrote The Bridges of Madison County and was working on the funding for it. I know how hard it is to get a show produced and what it takes to get that done. I can't wait to see who comes next. I get new music sent to me all the time, since I use it my shows, so I get to track their progress.

Talk about your recordings. I've heard that The Secret of Happiness is quite special and very different for you. Is that true?

Coffee House was special for me. I was playing Millie, from Thoroughly Modern Millie, at night and working on the album during the day. I was listening to Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens. Secret of Happiness is what Belle would sing at age 42, after the happily-ever-after ending. Life is complicated and it isn't what you'd expect it to be. The album has songs by Georgia Stitt and Jason Robert Brown that are brand new. One song is from Daddy Long Legs, which will hit Broadway in about a year. I loved doing it. This album is special - but they are all special. Every album is a child you think a lot about raising and nurturing.

Go see the amazing Belle, I mean, the incredible Susan Egan sing on Saturday, March 1. Tickets, available online by visiting www.Arcadiapaf.org, are $29.50, $39.50, and $59.50; senior, student, and family 4-pack pricing are also available. The theatre is at 188 Campus Drive at North Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia CA 91007. For more information please call 626-821-1781.

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Don Grigware Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website:

www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com

Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.

Don is in his fifth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page.


 
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