Talking With: Florence Lacey of "Dolly!"
Florence Lacey, who starred with Carol Channing in Broadway's revival of "Hello, Dolly!" answered your questions on Playbill On-Line's Bulletin Board.
Lacey won the Theatre World Award for her role as Irene Molloy in "Hello, Dolly!" and has starred as Evita on Broadway and in touring companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Off Broadway and in regional theatres, she has made her mark in such productions as MTC's "Styne After Styne," "Sweetfeet," "Penelope, "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Gypsy" and "Carousel" to name a few. Lacey is also the recipient of the Hollywood Drama-Logue Award for her Performance as Evita and the Pittsburgh Drama League Award for her work at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
QUESTION: Flo, I was wondering if you went to college for theater and if so, where? I am currently looking at colleges, and I want to be a drama major (or maybe musical theater) Any suggestions would be helpful. I also wanted to know your opinion on BFA vs. BA degrees, and what employers (not in theater) think of a BFA degree. If you could answer any of these questions that would be great! Congratulations on all your success in the theater! I hope one day I will be as successful as you are!FROM FLO LACEY: College is a very personal choice for an artist. I earned a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA and for me it was a very nurturing experience. Find a college where you can get lots of on stage time, but also one where you can learn the technical side of theatre. It's always wise to know what's going on around you. And good luck!
QUESTION: Wow, Florence Lacy. Saw you in Evita many times and loved ya. I just saw "Hello Dolly" a second time in New York and Pasadena CA and thought no one can sing Irene's songs like you. You make the music and me soar. Congratulations! I have a wonderful poster of you as Evita and would love an autograph. If I send it to you at the Lunt-Fontanne would you sign and return it? I waited for you outside the Lunt-Fontanne but missed you. I would send a return carton and all. .You look great and are performing great as well. Will you be going with the tour? Best wishes for continued success in the theatre. --Ernie Fimbres
FROM FLO LACEY: Dear Ernie,
Thank you for following my career. I'd love to sign your "Evita" poster. Please send it to me c/o:
The Hernderson-Hogan Agency
850 7th Ave., # 10003
New York, NY 10019
QUESTION: Flo...I saw you most recently in "Hello Dolly" and was in awe the whole performance! You are incredible! I am pursuing a career in musical theater, and watching performers like yourself is absolutely inspiring! Have any advice for someone just starting out?
FROM FLO LACEY: Thank you for enjoying "Hello Dolly!" so much. Starting out in the Theatre is always a challenge. My advice is -- see as much live theatre as you can; work on the stage whenever you can; and study singing, dancing and acting on the highest level you can find. But the best way to grow as a performing artist is to perform. Good luck to you.
QUESTION: Wow! You are the greatest Mrs. Molloy I have ever seen! In the beginning of the performance, my eyes were on Ms. Channing, when you came out, your performance shined above hers. I know I can't compare you two but you were wonderful! I love your voice and was wondering if you were coming out with any personal albums. I want to catch "Hello, Dolly!" again when it goes back on tour so stay in the show and the night at the theatre will be well worth it!
FROM FLO LACEY: I'm so pleased that you enjoyed "Hello Dolly!" My first solo album will be out this summer on Varese Sarabande label. So watch out for it.
QUESTION: I just saw Dolly on the 27 of Dec. and thought you were fab. I got your autograph after the show but you wouldn't remember. I cried all through "Hello Dolly!"-- you are the greatest! How long were you in New York before you got your big break?
FROM FLO LACEY: Thank you for enjoying "Hello Dolly!" My big break came out of Hollywood. I did a show with Rock Hudson and he introduced me to Jerry Herman, the composer of "Hello Dolly!" who brought me to Broadway in 1978. I was in the right place at the right time.
QUESTION: I am currently attending Millikin University out in Decatur IL. They have a wonderful Musical Theatre program but I am interested in teaching as well as performing. MU's tech program isn't as strong. My home is actually in upstate New York so I'm looking to transfer closer east. Do you have any suggestions? I know contacts are important so I'd like a school which is pretty well known but most importantly, I want to learn.
FROM FLO LACEY: Dear Klasysassy (love your name), your University could advise you much better than I about theatre programs around the country. I earned a B.A. from Point Park College in Pittsburgh. It was a fine Drama department. But look into Boston, Ithaca NY and, of course, New York City. Good Luck!
QUESTION: Hello my darling Mrs. Molloy...I was lucky enough to receive this computer from my brother for Christmas I am sending all my love to the "Greatest Star of all" You should be here singing Norma, I will visit New York this Monday for a "Time and Again" audition. Hey Flo fans you should have seen her the night she made history going on for Carol as Dolly , she stole the Parade! I was there to see it. Love you my friend.
FROM FLO LACEY: Hi Peter! Hope you're having fun with Norma. I'm working on a recording and it looks like "Les Mis" might be next for me -- say a prayer. Love you. --Flo
QUESTION: Dear Mrs. Lacey My name is Frank and I recently saw Hello Dolly! with carol Channing 1-14-96 I tell you, you were magnificent and so was Mrs. Channing and so was Steve Pudenz (Mr. Vandergelders Understudy) and everybody else in the cast was great if you wouldn't mind could you write back thank you. I am 12 years old and I'm in love with the theater I tap and jazz dance I take voice lessons at school and I'm in the choir at school. Every year we do a stage production last year we did "Fiddler on the Roof" and I was Mendel the rabbis son. This year we are doing the "Wizard of Oz" and tryouts are next week and I'm trying out for the Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion, and Wizard and just for the heck of it the witch because my music teacher wants me to thank you for your time. --Frank
FROM FLO LACEY: Dear Frank, good luck with "The Wizard of Oz." I hope you get whatever part you love the most. And thank you for enjoying "Hello Dolly!" Keep up that love of the theatre. We need young men like you.
QUESTION: Hi Flo! What's up? Frank and I are on "Ain't Misbehavin'" now and It's turning out to be a great tour. Just wanted to say hi and let you know that we are still alive. Tell everyone that we said hello. Gotta go. --Bye Tim
FROM FLO LACEY: Hi Tim & Frank. Miss you guys. Cheers!
QUESTION: My mom and I saw you on Broadway and absolutely loved it! Thank you for a wonderful show. I am a playwright and I have written a new musical called "Star Queen." I would be honored for you to listen to the tunes and look over the script. Is this a possibility? If so, how can I send you a copy? Who knows? Maybe we'll get to work together on Broadway someday when my shows make it! Thanks for your time! --Sincerely, John Thomas Oaks
FROM FLO LACEY: Dear John, I'd be very pleased to read "Star Queen." Please send it to me:
c/o Henderson-Hogan Agency
850 7th Ave. #1003
New York, NY 10019
QUESTION: Saw you here on tour in St. Louis...You are wonderful in "Dolly." Also saw you in "Evita"...the best Evita I ever saw.
FROM FLO LACEY: Thank you for remembering me between "Evita" and "Hello Dolly!" And thanks also for your faithfulness to live theatre. By the way, St. Louis is one of my favorite towns.
-- Edited by Katia Lundy