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THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- A BETTER PLACE's Judith Hawking

Welcome to THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with your favorite Broadway stars. Want to know what hooked them to a career in the theater? Their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Read on!

In this week's edition, we caught up with Judith Hawking, who stars as 'Mary' in A BETTER PLACE, currently in previews at The Duke on 42nd Street.


What is the first Broadway or off-Broadway show you ever saw?

Grapes of Wrath performed by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. I remember thinking, "Good luck with that, Steinbeck on stage, Sweet Jesus." And it was, of course, genius. Great lesson: Shut up ... and just go!

What is your most unique pre-show ritual?

A blessing. Which in itself is hardly unique, just personal.

What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?

My first Broadway show, Chekov's Ivanov, with an amazing cast including Kevin Kline, directed by Gerald Gutierrez. During previews I went up on my lines. Spectacularly. Completely. I tried to find my place back in my head, as my character, Marfushia Babakina...perhaps the most bubble headed character Checkov ever wrote. Which went something like: "Oh my God!! I suppose I should be saying something now. Why is everyone staring at me? I should be more clever, but I'm not! I'm so glad they invited me to the party. My favorite color is purple. I hope they like my dress!!" At intermission Gerry came barreling down the hall, holding his little dog, screeching with laughter. He screamed, "I have seeing train wrecks honey, but you...YOU drove the train into the river and killed all the passengers!!" Apparently, everything that I was saying in my inner monologue, I had actually said..out loud...on stage...OUT LOUD. Afterwards Marian Seldes sagely offered, "Well, I bet you'll never do that again."

What is the one role you want to play before you die?

Ibsen's Hedda and Garson Kanin's Billie Dawn. Two of the greatest comedic roles ever written.

Who is your Broadway or off-Broadway crush?

Jessica Lange. She is a fierce, soulful genius.

Where can people follow you online?

Judithhawking.com

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