Jefferson Mays, Hat in Hand and Wife By His Side, Gets Other Wife Ready to Tackle the World

Tony Awards   Jefferson Mays, Hat in Hand and Wife By His Side, Gets Other Wife Ready to Tackle the World Tony nominee Jefferson Mays is the only cast member in Doug Wright's Tony Award-nominated play I Am My Own Wife, in which the actor plays infamous German transvestite Charlotte van Mahlsdorf, who successfully fended off Nazis and Communists during her long and singular life. However, Mays doesn't get lonely backstage.

Jefferson Mays
Jefferson Mays Photo by Aubrey Reuben

"My wife comes with me every night and reads in the dressing room," smiled Mays, who is a first-time nominee, "so I'm never lonely."

He also had a closetful of haberdashery to keep him company. In Wife, Mays' Charlotte never doffs her babushka, but outside the Lyceum Theatre Mays can be seen sporting a far more varied and flamboyant array of headgear.

"I have a closet full of hats," said Mays, who donned a straw boater at the Tony Awards press conference. "I have a fetish. I have fezes. I've got an English bowler too. Fedoras I can't get away with. I look like some mug, like I'm going to push you in a corner and work you over with brass knuckles."

The bowler will come in handy in London, one of the future homes of the Moises Kaufman-directed piece. The first stop after Broadway for the production will be Chicago. After that, said Mays, there will be stays in San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, then Krakow, Poland, and maybe Melborne and Sydney.

"I'll spend the next two years in a little black dress."