BWW Interviews: Women Fully Clothed's Jayne Eastwood
Women Fully Clothed: Older and Hotter is the much anticipated sequel for Canada's "comedy dream team" (Toronto Star) which takes everyday life, adds a dash of hilarity and puts it onstage.
The show features four of Canada's most celebrated and talented comediennes on stage together where they tackle all sorts of topics from mother-daughter relationships to cross border shopping and craft shows!
Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek have crafted a fantastic evening of stories and song that is guaranteed to have both men and women alike laughing with them - and maybe at them a little bit too.
BWW had the chance to speak with all four women about the unique challenges of being not only a female in the business of comedy, but also "women of a certain age." They were just as funny in their interviews as in their show, and all week we will feature a piece with each leading lady. Today we are speaking with Jayne Eastwood:
Congratulations on bringing WOMEN FULLY CLOTHED: Older & Hotter to Toronto! Why did you choose now to bring the show back to the city?
When Mirvish calls, we answer! I'm pretty sure that we are the only sketch comedy show to play the Royal Alex. Personally, I haven't played that theatre since I was in Godspell in 1970 with Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, Victor Garber and Paul Schaeffer. How's that for name dropping? *laughs* Anyways, Marty and Andrea are going to come to our opening night which makes it extra special.
As comediennes working in what is still a predominantly male dominated field, do you feel that you have to work that much harder to prove yourselves compared to your male counterparts? Or in 2011 are women finally on equal footing?
I've never done stand-up, so it's not something I think that about that much. But in the field of entertainment the ratio is about 80% male domination. I have a deep voice and I kind of look like a man in drag, so I think that might put me on closer to equal footing.
You were all involved in Second City, how did that environment help set up your careers? Was it a good training ground? Did you find a big difference between the Toronto and Chicago Second City's?
I was in Second City with that group that I mentioned before from the Godspell days. I was only in it for about 7 months when we got shut down. That was before Andrew Alexander bought the Canadian rights and re-opened it on Lombard Street. The group that I was in was started by Joe Flaherty, and he taught me everything I know about comedy. Second City is the best training group out there, because you are always in front of people - it's true trial by fire. You can bomb one night and make up for it the next - or look for a different job. I imagine it was the same in Chicago.
Obviously this show makes light of the fact that you are getting older - but do you find that as women there is increased pressure to continue to look a certain way as the years go by? Something that perhaps male performers don't need to worry about as much?
If I had the money I would get a facelift - but maybe not! If I did that I would have to start exercising my body to make it look as good as my face and I'm too lazy for that. I've decided to go older anyway. I will play 80 or 90 on film and then everyone will think I look sharp for my age!
You are basically running your own show with this tour, and therefore get to decide when and where you go. What kinds of factors come into play when determining where to take the show next? Any cities or places you are dying to perform in?
We go where they will buy tickets. Some towns have more enthusiasm for getting out to see shows, so that is where we want to be. Nice restaurants help too. We have played in New York and we have been asked back - a full run there would be great. Teresa will have to take care of me if we go to New York though - I'm so old I get lost.
The last time WOMEN FULLY CLOTHED came through Toronto it received rave reviews, yet comedy in general is still seen as the "lesser" art form when compared to drama. Why do you think that is? Especially when it is so universal?
It got rave reviews because good comediennes make it look easy. The audience doesn't see all the work that's put into the timing, presentation and choices that you make on stage. The creation of words and sentences that will actually make people laugh out loud instead of just staring at the stage with a puzzled look on their face.
Finally, what would you say to encourage a younger audience to come out and see this show?
They are already coming! The rest of them had better get on the bandwagon. I promise to try not to have a stroke on stage. Robin might though, I can't really answer for her. And Kathy's got some trouble with her hip. Just watch out!
When and Where?
Women Fully Clothed: Older and Hotter
The Royal Alexandra Theatre
June 14th-June 19th
Tuesday, June 14 - 7:30pm
Wednesday, June 15 - 2 & 8pm
Thursday, June 16 - 8pm
Friday, June 17 - 8pm
Saturday, June 18 - 2 & 8pm
Sunday, June 19 - 2pm
Tickets can be purchased in person at the box office, by phone at 416-872-1212 or online at www.mirvish.com/shows/womenfullyclothed