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InDepth InterView: Alfred Molina Talks The Actors Fund Tony Awards Viewing Party, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Upcoming Roles & A Career Retrospective

Today we are talking to a world renowned stage and screen star who has continuously excelled in playing a dizzying array of recognizable characters both onstage and onscreen over the course of his uniquely diverse career - the affable and accomplished Alfred Molina. Besides discussing his many upcoming endeavors, Molina points out the importance of The Actors Fund in Los Angeles and highlights his participation in the upcoming LA Actors Fund TONY AWARDS Viewing Party, which will be held on June 7, and reflects on some of his fellow honorees, as well. Offering exclusive news on many of his current and forthcoming projects, Molina also looks back at some of his most memorable roles to date, ranging from his work with Paul Thomas Anderson on both BOOGIE NIGHTS and MAGNOLIA to his recent rapturously reviewed indie hit LOVE IS STRANGE co-starring John Lithgow, not to mention his memorable work on the recent Emmy Award-winning HBO film of Larry Kramer's THE NORMAL HEART and much more. Besides of all of that, Molina also comments on his time spent on stages around the world, notably on Broadway headlining the most recent revival of Golden Age classic FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and runs in the West End in SPEED-THE-PLOW, SERIOUS MONEY, OKLAHOMA! and more, as well as outlines some roles he would like to pursue onstage in the future, both near and far. All of that and much, much more with one of Broadway and Hollywood's very best!

More information on The Actors Fund TONY AWARDS Viewing Party in Los Angeles on June 7 is available at the official site here.

To Life

PC: What are your memories of being on the TONY AWARDS back in 2004 performing with the cast of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF?


AM: Well, I remember being very nervous and I remember that they had me do this walk through the theater - my introduction to FIDDLER ON THE ROOF was done walking through the auditorium, talking to the camera. We did the run-through and it went fine and after that somebody said to me, "Do you know how many people are going to be watching the Tonys?!" and I said, "Shut up! I don't want to know!" I mean, if they told me how many millions of people would be watching me do that kind of thing live I would just have a fit, you know?! [Laughs.]

PC: Talk about nerve-wracking!

AM: It really was - but, it was so exciting. We were just thrilled to be there - you know, we kind of knew that we weren't really in the running, as such. That was the year that Hugh Jackman was there with the Peter Allen musical that was so sensational and everything - it was a tough season.

PC: Many consider 2003-2004 the best season of the new millennium - and for good reason.

AM: It was fantastic. I mean, being on Broadway is always such a treat - in fact, it's certainly artistically, emotionally, personally tied up with some of the best times in my life. There's some fantastic things going on on Broadway right now, as well - it's an ever-evolving place as far as what is being done and it's always a privilege to be there.

PC: Hopefully you will be back some season soon.

AM: Whenever anybody approaches me about doing something on Broadway, I always take it very seriously - it's a very, very special place and I am so proud that I have gotten to work on Broadway three times. Each time has been a fantastic experience and I count myself incredibly lucky.

PC: How did you get involved with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF in the first place? Why were you considered?

AM: Well, I asked Joe Stein and Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, who was still alive then, the exact same question! I remember I got a call from my agent in New York saying, "Would you be interested in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF?" And, I said, "Are you f*cking kidding?! That's amazing! What an iconic role!" And, they said, "Well, if you are interested then they would love to hear your sing." So, I knew then that they would need to hear me really sing - if they are going to cast me in the role, they need to know that I can really sing. So, I started working on a couple of the songs for three weeks with a music teacher out here in LA. Then, I went to New York and auditioned in one of those big rehearsal rooms on 45th St.. I remember that on the floor below that they were rehearsing for the road production of some big show and upstairs they were rehearsing a show involving a lot of tap. And, there I am in this empty rehearsal room staring out at the Manhattan skyline and feeling so, so nervous because it felt like one of those fantasies that I used to have when I was a kid - you know, working on Broadway. Then, my accompanist turned up and we worked on "If I Were A Rich Man" and a couple of other things and we warmed up. While we were rehearsing, I was hugging the piano as I sang - actually hugging it - and the accompanist said, "You know, when they arrive you are going to have to step out from behind the piano." And, I said, "I know! I know!" I was naïve, but not quite that naïve! [Laughs.]

PC: What a vivid memory.

AM: At the time, Matthew Warchus was directing the revival and he said that if Joe and Sheldon and Jerry were fine with my singing that he would be, too, and that he didn't need to be there to see me do it. After that, Matthew left the production because of some disagreements with the Jerry Robbins Estate and then David Leveaux took over. But, anyway, they arrived and I realized that this was it - it didn't feel like an audition, though, at the time, it felt like one of my biggest dreams coming true; you know, auditioning for the lead in a big Broadway show like FIDDLER? So, I just thought, "I'm just going to give this everything I've got and go for broke," and it wasn't going to be about the singing, it was going to be about if I wanted this enough and if I was right for the part or not. There was no chit-chat, either - they sat down and said a quick hello and then we went right into "If I Were A Rich Man" and I gave it everything I possibly had; everything.

PC: How did it feel to do that?

AM: It felt wonderful! And, then, I sang another song and after that they said, "Thank you very much," and I said, "I know I should just leave now, but I have to know: why did you think of me for this part?" and, then, Joe Stein, looked at me and instantly said, brilliantly, "It's an actor's role."

PC: So true.

AM: As you know, there are some roles in musicals which are really singers' roles and some roles which are really actors' roles - I mean, I've got what I'd call an average voice; I can sing in tune but there is no innate quality that sets my voice apart. I'm an actor who can sing, not a singer who can act. So, I started thinking about that when I was going back to LA - how some roles you really need pipes for in order to carry off; Sondheim, for example, really requires good voices, as do the best roles in Rodgers & Hammerstein. If you're going to do SWEENEY TODD or OKLAHOMA! you need a really good voice, you know? But, anyway, I got the role and I did it for a year on Broadway and I will never forget it - I had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful time. I lived like a monk for a year, though!

PC: Theodore Bikel will be receiving a special honor with you coming up at The Actors Fund LA event and he is famous for having played Tevye more times onstage than anybody else ever, of course.

AM: Yes, of course! And isn't that a funny coincidence?! I remember I did a movie in Israel years and years ago with him and we talked about it quite a bit - him having played the role more than anybody else and in more countries than anybody else. I, myself, came under a lot of criticism at the time because I was, I believe, the first non-Jewish actor to ever play the role on Broadway at the time - you know, Zero Mostel and Theodore and Topol and Herschel Bernardi were all Jewish actors. It didn't have too much of a negative effect on us, but some people accused us of taking the Jewishness out of the show, which I thought was ludicrous. But, anyway, it was a wonderful experience for me - it really was.

PC: Did you have an inkling that Lea Michele would go on to bigger things?

AM: Well, no one predicted it at the time, but I think, looking back now, she was so wonderful in our show and then the next thing she did right after that was SPRING AWAKENING and then she just knocked everybody out after that and you said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah - I totally get that." It was destiny.

PC: Was FIDDLER your first big professional musical in a lead role?

AM: Well, back in 1979, Cameron Mackintosh produced the first big revival of OKLAHOMA! in the UK - it was his first independent production as a solo producer. Australian actors played the leads and I played Jud Fry and we toured the UK with it and then did a 9-month stint in the West End. Then, after that, in 1982, I did a small musical at the Donmar Warehouse called DESTRY RIDES AGAIN - Rob Walker directed it and it was a very bare-bones production of the show. He specialized in doing what were called postage stamp productions - he did things like GUYS & DOLLS with a four-piece band who doubled as the band in the club in the show, onstage. So, we all played instruments, too, in that production - I remember I played percussion for a few songs and things like that.

PC: Is there a part you are dying to play someday onstage?

AM: Oh, there are so many wonderful parts in musical theatre, aren't there? But, the thing of it for me is that I am 62 now... I remember having a long conversation with Nathan Lane after he finished his first stint in THE PRODUCERS - I had gone to see him in it a couple of times and we went out afterwards. Nathan and I know each other quite well but we aren't terribly close, but we had dinner together one night. I remember I asked him, "How are you feeling?" and he looked at me right in the eyes and said, "I'm exhausted. This just kills you. It's a young man's game." So, I am not sure if I could carry the lead role in a musical now, but if a nice character role came up then that would be a lot of fun to do - absolutely.

PC: You surprised us all singing in FIDDLER, as did your RED co-star Eddie Redmayne in LES MISERABLES onscreen. Did you two ever sing offstage for fun during the run of that show?

AM: Well, we didn't exactly sing, but we had a lot of fun riffing on the idea of turning RED into a musical - we would make up these stupid lyrics and sing them to each other.

PC: Such as?

AM: Oh, just crazy stuff like, [Sings.] "I finished the painting! I finished the painting!" [Big Laugh.]

PC: Would you be open to doing RED again - maybe on film?

AM: Well, there has been talk of doing RED as a movie, of course, but, as you know, the world is littered with actors who had success in a play and then get completely pushed to the side when it comes to casting the film version.

PC: John Logan has hit a career high since RED - HUGO, SKYFALL, PENNY DREADFUL, the new Bond film.

AM: I know! It's incredible. He's really terrific. He's a wonderful writer and he's so young. I loved performing his words and doing that show - I really, really enjoyed it.

PC: I'm curious: have you ever attended The Actors Fund LA TONY AWARDS Viewing Party before?

AM: I have never gone before myself, actually - I have done a couple of Actors Fund events, but they were all when I was in New York, working on Broadway. I've never been to any of the Tony events here in LA, so I am looking forward to it very much and being honored with these great men.

PC: Tell me about your many upcoming projects - first of all, FUN HOUSE co-starring Tina Fey?

AF: Well, we just wrapped that a few months ago, actually. I think they have wrapped on the film, as well - I assume the film has wrapped since I have received my wrap gift.

PC: What is it about?

AM: Without giving too much away, it's about a group of journalists who are embedded in Afghanistan.

PC: Where was it filmed?

AM: We shot in New Mexico. It was great fun - wonderful, wonderful company; terrific cast. I wasn't there for long, but we had a great time working on it. I look forward to seeing it.

PC: You have a TV series starting soon, as well - ANGIE TRIBECA.

AM: Yes, that's right - ANGIE TRIBECA. It's a sweet little show - I am not on it permanently, I am only recurring. It's a bit of a spoof of all those 1960s and 1970s cop shows - it's like LAW & ORDER meets GET SMART; it's got that slightly goofy quality. It's a lovely show to work on and a lot of fun. That starts transmitting soon for its first season and I hope we do some more after that.

PC: Steve Carell is involved, yes?

AM: Yes, he is. I think he wrote a few episodes and he is the executive producer - and, he directed the pilot, which I was in and that was how I got involved with it in the first place. I think it will be on cable here in the States.

PC: Your work on THE NORMAL HEART on HBO recently was superb - congratulations on what a momentous achievement that film is.

AM: Oh, well, thank you very much for that, Pat! It was a pleasure working on that I am proud to have been a part of it.

PC: Have you been contacted yet to be involved with the follow-up film being written?

AM: I haven't - not yet, at least. Of course, I would love to be involved. The last time I spoke to Ryan [Murphy] actually was when we were in the line just before we went onstage when THE NORMAL HEART won the Emmy - I haven't actually spoken to him since then. Honestly, though, I have gotten to work with some truly wonderful, wonderful people over the last 40 years and if any one of them came up to me and asked me to work with them again I would do it in a second - I have been very, very fortunate in that way.

PC: You have teamed up with Kenneth Branagh a few times - including on another recent HBO film, AS YOU LIKE IT.

AM: Yeah, that's right - he's got a great, unique approach to all the Shakespeare and he is one of our most important directors working today, I would say.

PC: Is there a Shakespeare role you are yearning to play? Leontes in THE WINTER'S TALE, perhaps?

AM: Oh, Leontes is a great role - yes. Claudius in HAMLET is another that I'd love to have a go at one day, as well. There are lots. But, again, that is part of what is so great about getting older as a character actor - there are a new generation of roles that you kind of inherit as you get older, particularly in the classical repertoire; there are some great, great parts in Shakespeare and Ibsen and Shaw and even ARTHUR Miller for older actors. Also, I've got my eye on Big Daddy in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF - that's one I would really love to get a crack at someday.

PC: On Broadway or the West End? It is very popular on both sides of the pond.

AM: They have done it a lot in the West End, as well, haven't they? There was a big one with Ciaran Hinds on Broadway recently and there was a big production in the UK recently, as well, so maybe we'll have to let the dust settle for a few years before we try to do it again.

PC: What's next for you?

AM: Well, I just wrapped on a series for the BBC in the UK called CLOSE TO THE ENEMY which Stephen Poliakoff wrote and directed.

PC: Poliakoff's follow-up to the sensational DANCING ON THE EDGE.

AM: It's set in a similar period, actually - the immediate aftermath of World War II. It concerns the chase for the German scientists who had been working on the rocket and atom bomb technology and the chase BETWEEN them, the Brits and the Russians - all of those countries knew that whoever had that technology would probably win World War III. This preempts the Manhattan Project slightly. It's a really wonderful series - Stephen is a fantastic writer.

PC: And you are David Simon's new HBO series, as well.

AM: Yes, I also did an HBO series recently called SHOW ME A HERO, which I think starts airing here this coming August. Paul Haggis directed it. It's a lovely, lovely cast and I had a wonderful time on it. We shot it all in New York - in Yonkers.

PC: What do you think of the Current TV renaissance and the prominence of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime?

AM: Well, I think we are going through something of a golden age. I think that the advent of cable and the fact that outlets like Netflix and Amazon and iTunes are available - the itemization of TV and the fact that we are allowed to watch it when and how we want kind of puts the old paradigm to rest. I mean, I am amazed that TV networks still use the Nielsen ratings - especially when you consider that most people or at least as many people watch TV on places other than their actual television; I know I do. I would say that I am a pretty average TV viewer and I find myself binge-watching things and recording lots of things to watch later.

PC: Such as?

AM: Well, I was away for two months filming in the UK and I recorded a whole bunch of things and now I am enjoying watching three or four episodes at a time of a TV series in one evening - for instance, this evening I plan to get started on MOZART IN THE JUNGLE. So, I think the cable revolution has yielded fantastic dividends for the viewer - of course, the more selection that there is, the more crap that is out there, but the thing is that there is a lot of great stuff out there, too. And, the fact that we can watch shows whenever we like is marvelous, as well. It used to be, you know, "If you can't catch my show in the six weeks that it is being transmitted then you will never see it again!" Thankfully, those days are over.

PC: You can say that again.

AM: I am catching up on shows that are years old - I mean, I am watching the first season of JUSTIFIED now; and, it's fantastic! If you love TV, it's a wonderful time to be alive, I would say.

PC: TV has become a true writers' medium, as well.

AM: That's true - cable has changed what is acceptable on television. I remember when it was just the terrestrial networks and the general wisdom then was that when you make a movie you are the host and when you make TV you are a guest in someone's home. The fact that we pay for cable changes our relationship to the material.

PC: What a fascinating insight.

AM: My own personal theory is that TV has become more like going to the movies due to the fact that we pay for cable and we can choose when we view it - the same as we can choose when we go to a cinema - and also the fact that we have screens that are so much bigger. So, our relationship to the experience and the event itself is very different than it used to be.

PC: Looking back at some of your most famous roles, what do you think about BOOGIE NIGHTS now, nearly 20 years later?

AM: I think it just covered so much ground - the lives of the central characters and their rise to the top of that particular world and then their demise with, you know, Julianne Moore's character losing her kids and just general degradations and then ultimately kind of making it through. All the characters had this extraordinary journey - it was very operatic and in many ways broken up into many acts like an opera. I mean, when my character shows up...

PC: What an unforgettable performance that is!

AM: Thank you for saying so! As you know, I only show up about halfway through the movie and it's really only for one scene, but it is a kind of pivotal scene because it marks the beginning of a whole new journey for everybody.

PC: And Paul Thomas Anderson's next film, MAGNOLIA, is a musical in many ways.

AM: That's true! You're right about that.

PC: Your performances in both films are very much acting class lessons in how to make a major mark in a movie with only one or two scenes.

AM: That's also very nice of you for saying so, Pat! I'm not sure how much teaching of any worth I did in those scenes, but I think that there is something that Paul [Thomas Anderson] did that was very special at the time in having a sort of rep company. I felt so comfortable going back to work with him and some actors I had already worked with before when doing MAGNOLIA and to just inhabit that world again. I mean, when you get asked back by a director for a second time - and I can only speak for myself, honestly - it fills me with a certain amount of pride. It's like, "Oh, they want to work with me again!" which is good because it means the last experience was hopefully as good for them as it was for me.

PC: In reading the script for BOOGIE NIGHTS, did you have any qualms or concerns? Was your costume described in any detail, even in the script?

AM: As a matter of fact, it was! My costume was written right into the script - everything was; there was nothing arbitrary about it. My costume was described down to the Speedo and the SILK nightgown - it was all described in detail in the script. In fact, the only thing that we improvised in that whole sequence was having the young actor playing Cosmo, the houseboy, light the crackers.

PC: It adds such tension to the already ultra-tense scene.

AM: It does - it really does. Paul said that he wanted him to keep lighting the crackers - he said, "Don't worry about cues or anything; just do it." And, so, as a consequence, each take was rather dangerously different. Of course, John C. Reilly, Thomas Jane and Mark [Wahlberg] on the couch for the whole scene never knew when the explosions would be coming - when they jump like they do it is completely for real.

PC: What an effective trick.

AM: I remember Paul saying to me, "What we have to do is find a way so that you don't jump - you are so coked-up and crazed that you wouldn't jump." So, somebody came up with the idea to have me plug one of my ears up all the way and then put an ear bud in the other ear so I could hear the music that I was singing to and also hear the dialogue going on - it was very effective in blocking out the ambient sound. So, in the scene, when Cosmo is lighting the crackers all I would hear was a dull kind of sound in the background. It was such a brilliant idea of Paul's because it created such an eerie energy - the boys on the sofa are all jumping out of their skins and through it all was this guy wandering around half-naked as if nothing was happening. It created a real weird kind of atmosphere - but, what a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant stroke on his part, I thought.

PC: It's unforgettable once you see it once.

AM: I have to admit that I am always quite flattered when I see these lists on social networking - 10 favorite movies or 10 favorite scenes and so on - and whenever people put their 10 favorite scariest scenes or 10 favorite crazy movie moments, that scene from BOOGIE NIGHTS so often gets listed! That always, always pleases me when I see that. I am very proud and flattered by that - I truly am. And, both those films helped me get my kids through very expensive college educations, as well! [Laughs.]

PC: During that time, you took a bit of a break from the stage.

AM: You're right - I did. I was working a lot onscreen and I don't think I did a play for about five years. And, then, what brought me back was when I did ART around 1998 - the thing that I did before that was MOLLY SWEENEY a few years before that. I have had gaps like that quite often, actually - theatre is like a habit that you can't quite quit, though. I always say to other actors that theatre is like that ex-girlfriend that you can't quite forget and every time she calls you up it sort of churns all those memories back up and you go running back again, like a lost boy.

PC: Having done Tennessee Williams and David Mamet in the West End, have you developed a reputation for having one of the best American accents of any Brit working today, do you think?

AM: Well, I don't think it was ever a deliberate decision or an obvious one on my part, but I think that what happened was that I had a facility for the American accent - as you said, I had done it a few times in England at the Royal Court in a Caryl Churchill play, SERIOUS MONEY, and in Mamet's SPEED-THE-PLOW.

PC: What was it like working with Caryl Churchill? She is so ahead of the curve.

AM: It was fantastic! Fantastic! And, I agree completely - she is brilliant; absolutely brilliant. Obviously, she had already had success with CLOUD 9 and TOP GIRLS - she was a prominent and very highly respected playwright and very much associated with the Royal Court in those days, as well. I felt like I was right in the eye of the storm as far as what was exciting about British theatre at the time. So, we did SERIOUS MONEY at the Royal Court and then the show transferred to the Public in New York under the auspices of Joe Papp and unfortunately I couldn't come over with it - then, it transferred to Broadway, as I'm sure you know.

PC: Why didn't you transfer with it?

AM: I couldn't go with it to New York because I had already signed up to do the next play at the Royal Court - I actually did two plays at the Court back to back. So, when SERIOUS MONEY closed in the West End, I went right in to do the next play and during the run of that we got the news that SERIOUS MONEY was transferring to New York, but I couldn't go with it. John Pankow played my part in New York.

PC: Churchill's plays are so prescient and provocative.

AM: They are. She always manages to touch on these big things that also happen to be very topical. I mean, SERIOUS MONEY she wrote in direct response to the deregulation of the City Of London and what was also going on on Wall Street at the time and how suddenly Thatcher in England and Reagan in America made it possible for the financial institutions to behave like bandits and get away with it. It was a very extraordinary period in the history of both countries - and, like all wonderful playwrights, she responded with her own artistic voice, which was just fantastic.

PC: It would make a fabulous film - even now.

AM: Absolutely - absolutely. I totally agree.

PC: SPEED-THE-PLOW is coming to the screen at last - would you be open to doing it onscreen?

AM: I think I'm probably too old for it now, sadly! We did that back in 1988 - you don't see many studio executives my age these days. I assume they will be setting the movie in the original era, too - with all the excesses of the time; all the cocaine and the strippers and the kind of money that was available and all of that. That was in the days before Hollywood was kind of taken over by the corporations and you could overspend ala Michael Cimino and actually bring a studio down - that doesn't happen now.

PC: How things have changed since then!

AM: The heart of the story hasn't changed one bit, though - the struggle; the constant battle BETWEEN the artistic expression and winning the box office, that still exists. So, a lot of those conversations that they have in the play still apply - the circumstances are different, but the heart of the play is still beating in Hollywood, I think.

PC: Speaking of the new Hollywood, your performance in LOVE IS STRANGE is breathtaking. What a phenomenal film.

AM: Oh, thank you so much for saying so, Pat. You know, every now and then a movie like that will burst through - just when you think it's time to give up the fight and give up hope, something wonderful like that comes along and you realize that there is actually an audience for these type of films and it is possible to make them, even on a budget as small as that. I mean, our budget was $1 million dollars, which, in film terms, is next to nothing - and, we had no trailers or any of the comforts that you normally associate with that type of production. To quote Kenneth Branagh, on something like that, "You get paid in gold of another kind."

PC: What a brilliant quote.

AM: It's true! When you are working on that kind of financial level, you are working with people who want to be there as badly as you do, so there is a different approach to the work and different relationship to the work and to each other as a result of that.

PC: You sing in LOVE IS STRANGE, as well. Do you actually accompany yourself on piano?

AM: Well, if I'm being honest, I mimed the piano in the film - but that is me singing, for better or worse! [Laughs.] I can assure you of that.

PC: Have you ever considered doing a cabaret show or a concert?

AM: The closest I have ever gotten to it so far is to turn up at other people's fundraisers to sing a song or to do a little comic monologue or something like that, but I've never done my own show. But, since you asked, I've got to be honest with you - I love cabaret! I remember seeing Dixie Carter at the Carlyle many years ago - I think I was doing ART at the time - and she was in residence there at the time, I think. You see, I had gotten to know her a bit because she took over in MASTER CLASS and I was rehearsing ART at the time and I went backstage because I had remembered her from DESIGNING WOMEN, which we had gotten in the UK and I loved that show - I thought she was so stylish and so elegant. When I saw her in MASTER CLASS, she didn't know me from Adam but I went backstage anyway and I told the stage door keeper who I was and that I wanted to meet her and I don't know why I said this but I said, "I'm Alfred Molina - I'm an actor from England." I have no idea why I said that, though! [Laughs.]

PC: Perhaps to have a bit of sway in making it happen?

AM: I think that's what I was trying to convey - just that I was another actor and everything. And, so, she very, very kindly let me come up to her dressing room - I have no idea why - and she couldn't have been sweeter. I remember I said to her, "I just think you're brilliant and I want to thank you." And, then, we got on really well. So, a few weeks or so later I went to see her in her cabaret show at the Carlyle and she was just brilliant - brilliant, as always. I remember she did one gag in particular that was just fantastic...

PC: Which was?

AM: Well, she came onstage and the first thing I noticed was that there was a trumpet perched bell end down on the piano and she never looked at it or referred to it or talked about it - no one else played it either or anything - until right at the very end of one of the songs near the end of the show she picked up the trumpet and hit one perfect note! [Laughs.]

PC: How fabulous. What was the reaction?

AM: It just brought the house down! It was so fabulous! Such a brilliant gag. I mean, everybody could see it and we all knew it was there, but she never looked at it or anything until that moment. I had thought somebody had left it there by mistake or something until she picked it up and did that. It was genius - just genius. I'll never forget that - never. But, anyway, to answer your original question: when I see people like that doing cabaret, I recognize it as being such a skill - such a hard-to-master skill. I have so much respect for people who do that that I don't know if I could ever do it myself. I mean, somebody like my dear friend Randy Graff, who I did FIDDLER on Broadway with for a year, is just a master of the form, too - and I just adore her, as well.

PC: This was absolutely spectacular today, Fred - I cannot thank you enough.

AM: This was an absolute pleasure to do, Pat - I loved talking to you and I wish you the best of luck going forward. Bye.


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From This Author Pat Cerasaro

Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, (read more...)