2006 Tony Awards Q&A: Kathleen Marshall

A double-nominee for Best Director, and Best Choreographer for The Pajama Game, Kathleen's previous Broadway credits include Wonderful Town (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire Awards for choreography; Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations for direction); choreographed Little Shop of Horrors; Follies (Roundabout; Outer Critics nomination); Seussical; Kiss Me, Kate (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire nominations); Ring Round the Moon (Lincoln Center Theater); 1776 (Roundabout); and Swinging on A Star (Drama Desk nomination).


You're doubly nominated this year for the Tonys – how are you feeling?

I got one for Wonderful Town which was great and it's sitting in a cabinet, so I guess I could have bookends or something if I win this year. I don't know, but it's just so phenomenal to be nominated again. You feel great, because you never know, you never know. Being in a business where you're always sort of professionally unemployed you're always thinking that the jig is up and that's it, I've peaked, it's all over and I'll never work again. So to get this double honor is phenomenal.

How did you approach the challenge of bringing The Pajama Game back to the stage?

It's interesting because when you do a revival, and especially a revival that was originally choreographed by Bob Fosse, and by Jerome Robbins and George Abbott, the blueprint of where things happen in the show is already there. Going on, you know what numbers have dance breaks and have choreography. So we created all new dance arrangements, and we added all sorts of new scenarios, and dance breaks and attentions for the dance so in that way it was fresh for ourselves. But the blueprint of dances and where was kind of based on the original.

The show recently announced that it'll be coming back to Broadway this fall – are you planning to recast?

We're hoping to bring most of our cast with us, as many people can or as many people want to come. We're on the prowl for a theatre, and for a leading man and once we get those in place, we'll invite everyone to come with us and I'm hoping that they will.

Have you begun shopping for a theatre?

It's hard because we're in a 730-seat theatre, and there's those perfect middle sized theatres, which are mostly occupied for economic reasons. So, it has to be in a 1200 seat theatre or bigger to be in the commercial formula, but you don't have to be in a barn either.

Right now we're kind of like a vulture flying around trying to see who's not going to be here in the fall and that's a terrible thing. If you really want to know, ask all the head carpenters and stage hands on the shows because they know what's coming and going more than anybody else. I tell ya!

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

I'm taking the summer to be in development and figure it out. There's a bunch of things in the work, but nothing official yet. I'd love to work on a new project, but those are a lot longer in a development so those are long term. Revivals come together more quickly, and I love being in a rehearsal studio so the better I can be back in one, the better for me.

And until then you'll be dancing at home?

When I do dance combinations at home, my dog thinks I'm playing and tries to bite me so the only place I can work on dance steps at home is in my bathroom. When I'm in there the dog is barking at the door trying to get in!

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