BWW Interview: Renée Taylor in MY LIFE ON A DIET at George Street Playhouse
George Street Playhouse continues their 2019/2020 season with My Life on a Diet, a one-woman show co-written Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna, starring Renée Taylor and directed by Joseph Bologna. The show will be presented in the Arthur Laurents' theatre of New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) through December 15.
This hilarious comedy stars the Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award winning writer and actress Renée Taylor, known for her recurring role on television's The Nanny. In this highly acclaimed show, she looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway, and just as many fad diets, all while dishing juicy anecdotes about legends like Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, and Barbra Streisand.
Broadwayworld.com thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Renée Taylor about the show at GSP, and more.
My Life on a Diet is one of 22 plays, 4 films, and 9 TV movies and series that Renée and her husband, Joseph Bologna created together. Renée and Joe appeared together on Broadway in their plays Lovers and Other Strangers, It Had to Be You, and If you ever leave me ... I'm going with you! and Off-Broadway in Bermuda Avenue Triangle. For film, they received an Academy Award nomination for the 1970 film adaptation of Lovers and Other Strangers. The following year, they co-wrote and co-starred in Made for Each Other. Renée and Joe co-directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the 1989 film adaptation of It Had to Be You, and the 1996 film Love Is All There Is. For television, the couple won Emmy Awards in 1973 for writing "Acts of Love and Other Comedies," and were nominated once again the following year for writing the TV movie "Paradise." They co-directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the 1984 HBO movie "Bedrooms" that received a Writers Guild Award. Renée made her professional stage debut at 15 in a Purim Pageant at Madison Square Garden, and earned her Actors Equity card at age 19 for appearing in The Rehearsal at The President Theatre. Her other stage credits include: Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Agatha Sue, I Love You; Luv; Elaine May's 1964 improvisational revue The Third Ear; and William Gibson's Dinny and the Witches at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Her many film credits also include: Jerry Lewis' The Errand Boy, Mel Brooks' The Producers, Elaine May's A New Leaf, Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Lovesick, White Palace, Life During Wartime, Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, and more recently, The Do-Over and How To Be a Latin Lover.Known for her Emmy nominated role of Sylvia Fine in "The Nanny," Renée's other notable TV acting credits include "Daddy Dearest" and the HBO sitcom "Dream On." She has had recurring roles in "How I Met Your Mother," "Bob's Burgers," and "Happily Divorced," and can currently be seen on Amazon's "Gown and Out in Beverly Hills." In addition winning the United Solo Special Award for Outstanding solo show, Renée was recently inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 due to the success of My Life on a Diet. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Hofstra University.
How do you balance your opportunities of such busy career?
I take a lot of naps.
What do you like to do in your down time?
I love to go to the theatre and the Metropolitan Opera. I find it very inspiring.
Can you give us any words of wisdom for people aspiring for a career in the performing arts?
Just do it wrong until you do it right. Hold your nose and jump in. Don't wait until you know what you're doing.
What was yours and Joseph's inspiration for My Life on a Diet?
I had written a book, "My Life on a Diet." I always remember what diet I was one through the years. Starting when I was a little girl, I was considered "pleasingly plump."
How do you like working at GSP?
I'm looking forward to it. It's a real honor that we were chosen to open Arthur Laurents Theatre. I'm a big admirer of his.
What are some of the challenges of a one-woman show?
The challenges and the rewards are the same. It's very healing for me and the audience.
What would you like audiences to know about the show?
Doing it has really grown me. I really learned a lot. One of the many things I learned is "Don't do that anymore."
Can you share any of your plans for the future?
I'm going to do a show about my husband called, "Joe" and our 54 years together. I am also working on a show about Mae West titled, "A True Hollywood Story, Maybe."
Anything else, absolutely anything you want BWW NJ readers to know!
This is a very happy time in my life. Also, I love when people talk to me about their own diets.
You can follow Renée Taylor on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/renee.taylor.94043.
On Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/official_renee_taylor/.
On Twitter @ https://twitter.com/reneetaylor1613?lang=en.
My Life on a Diet is being produced in association with Julian Schlossberg. The show will be presented through George Street Playhouse through December 15. The theatre is located at NBPAC, 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Tickets can be obtained by visiting https://georgestreetplayhouse.org/ or by calling 732-246-7717.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel