PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Yosemite Star Kathryn Erbe

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Yosemite Star Kathryn Erbe
Tony Award nominee Kathryn Erbe, curently back onstage in Daniel Talbott's Yosemite at the Rattlestick Theater, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Kathryn Erbe
Kathryn Erbe

Erbe has appeared on Broadway in The Grapes of Wrath, A Month in the Country and The Speed of Darkness, earning a 1991 Tony nomination for the latter performance.

She may be best known as Det. Alexandra Eames on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Other screen work includes "Rich in Love," "Kiss of Death," "Chicken Soup," "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Oz."

Full given name: Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Boston, MA. Grew up in Newton, MA.
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
What your parents did/do for a living: Dad: Research Geneticist
Mom: Actuary and Landscape Preservationist
Special skills: Making the best of "challenging situations"
Something you're REALLY bad at: Promoting myself!
First Broadway show you ever saw: The Rink with Chita Rivera. Growing up in the Boston area we saw many tours of shows: Annie, A Chorus Line.


But the first true Broadway show I remember seeing was The Rink on a high school trip to see theatre in New York.

If you could go back in time and catch any performance, what would it be? A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy and Kim Hunter
Current show—other than your own—that you have been recommending to friends: War Horse
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "And I Am Telling You” from Dreamgirls
Some favorite modern musicals: The Book of Mormon, A Chorus Line
Some favorite contemporary playwrights: Sam Shepard, Daniel Talbott, Moira Buffini, Theresa Rebeck
Stage or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:

There are so many, but the one who just came to mind is Lynn Redgrave. I would love to have a chance to work with her again on stage or on any screen. She was one of my heroes, as an artist but especially as a person and a MOM.

The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Balm in Gilead, Steppenwolf at Circle Repertory (1984)
Music that makes you cry, any genre: At the moment, Patti Griffin's "Flaming Red" and "Living With Ghosts." I am using both albums to prepare for Yosemite before every performance.
Your personal acting idols: Jessica Lange, Laurie Metcalf, Sissy Spacek
MAC or PC? MAC!!!!
Most played song on your iPod: At the moment, "N**gas In Paris" by Jay-Z and Kanye West. It makes me feel ballsy and like I could run another 5 miles...
Most-visited websites: (I am a late night shopping addict) (my son plays the games)
Last book you read: “The Corrections” (after reading "Freedom" and loving it)
Must-see TV show(s): "American Horror Story"
"The Wire"
"Friday Night Lights"
"Modern Family"
"Arrested Development"
Last good movie you saw: "Tree of Life"
Some films you consider classics: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
"On the Waterfront"
"Tree of Life"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Jessica Lange
Pop culture guilty pleasure: The Sunday Styles section of The New York Times
Favorite cities: NYC, Paris, London
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Honestly, probably a Sesame Street album or Mister Rogers, but I wore out my copy of the Annie soundtrack.
First stage kiss: Playing Stella and kissing Stanley at Steppenwolf
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: In kindergarten, playing the Little Red Hen
How you got your Equity card: The first play I was ever paid to do was The Grapes Of Wrath, with Steppenwolf, on Broadway.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) French Fries at Cafe Un Deux Trois
Favorite liquid refreshment: Water
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Yoga, reading the script, listening to music
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

In The Grapes of Wrath I played "the woman who gets shot in Hooverville," and one night the gun didn't go off. Thankfully, I chose to stay "in the moment" and not pretend I got shot anyway. I actually considered pretending the gun went off! SO embarrassing !!!!!

Worst costume ever: Curlers in Breathing Lessons
What drew you back to the stage and this role?

Yosemite blew me away after reading it for the first time. I knew in my gut I wanted to be a part of it. I fell in love with the characters and their story. I was terrified of the emotional journey but knew I needed to do it anyway, or actually because it was so scary. I crave acting onstage and have missed it terribly.

A few of your favorite screen roles: Maggie in "Stirs Of Echoes," Lucille in "Rich In Love," Liz in "Dream with the Fishes"
Something about you that surprises people: That I was a high school drop-out at 16 who ended up going to an alternative HS, graduating and going on to NYU.
Career you would want if not a performer: Teacher
Three things you can't live without: My kids (that's two) and books
"I'll never understand why…" ... life isn't FAIR!
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Do everything you can to feel good about yourself and don't let rejection discourage you!
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