The Black Book: Meet Off-Broadway's Some Girl(s)

News   The Black Book: Meet Off-Broadway's Some Girl(s)
 
Playbill.com takes an exclusive look at the upcoming MCC Theatre Off-Broadway staging of Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s), focusing on all four actors who portray ex-girlfriends to Eric McCormack's soon-to-be-wed Man.
LaBute's Girl(s) Fran Drescher, Judy Reyes, Brooke Smith and Maura Tierney.
LaBute's Girl(s) Fran Drescher, Judy Reyes, Brooke Smith and Maura Tierney. Photo by Joan Marcus

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Fran Drescher

Character: Lindsay
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Description of Character: "A kind of sophisticated, intelligent university professor of gender studies that works out of Boston. Her husband is the dean and she had an affair with Eric McCormack's character about 10 years ago and it was quite intense and clandestine. Older woman, younger man. He was a fellow professor, his first job as such, and she had been there probably 10 years already. We're playing like 10 years apart [she laughs]. We're not really 10 years apart, but whatever [laughs]. I said 'When did I become the older woman?,' but here I am. It's an interesting relationship that's being explored more and more. I think it's good because it breaks the taboo."
Television vs. Theatre: "I don't feel like I'm approaching it differently. It's a layering process, I always try to understand what the emotional values of a character are and why she says everything she says. I like having behavior and connecting it with words. On a series, every week you get new words and here at least you get to say the same words over and over again. And we each have these great, well-written basically two-character scenes, so I'm off, I'm on, I'm off. It's good, it takes a bit of the pressure off."
Favorite LaBute works: "Your Friends and Neighbors," "In the Company of Men," bash
"I think in this particular play, I think for the first time, he explores the other side of the coin with his obsession with the misogynist male and the women he hurts. All these women have had an opportunity to digest what went down, to re-evaluate the man they gave their hearts to and to confront him more from a position of strength."
Why she wanted to be part of this work: "I longed to be a part of the New York theatre community and as soon as my series ['The Nanny'] wrapped, I said to my agent, I own an apartment in New York now, please get me something in New York. It certainly is a mountain I haven't climbed, although a few years ago I did The Exonerated which was a challenging, satisfying experience, but oh so brief. Then I got involved with 'Living With Fran' on the now-defunct WB network, so I had to put the desire to do theatre on the backburner. Now that I'm free again, I'm just so elated to be here."
Ever revisited by an ex-boyfriend: "I have seen all my past lives on occasions, most of them. Some I've really tried to nurture a friendship with and some I just had no interest in seeing ever again. I've probably explored both those, but I don't think I've ever been involved with someone who is as completely lacking of character as this guy is." [Laughs.]


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Judy Reyes

Character: Tyler
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Description of Character: "One of the many women Eric's character has had a relationship with and who he's going across the country to meet just before he gets married. Through her, you discover he's on a journey to right all the wrongs he did to the women in his life. She's loose, easy, a free spirit. She's relaxed in herself, in her identity; she's a complete party girl and really okay with it. You learn who Eric was when he was with her."
Television vs. Theatre: "It's a completely different animal and I've been in TV so long, I was really nervous about coming here to star. I was so nervous that I showed up yesterday almost completely off-book because I had to go to finish shooting `Scrubs.' I remembered when I lived in New York, nothing would help me memorize a script or a scene better than riding on the subway, so I just got on the subway. I don't want to take the TV thing for granted, in terms of that brings the audience in, so I had to go back to [my] training."
Favorite LaBute works: "In the Company of Men" ("which is still to this day painful for me to watch"), "Your Friends and Neighbors"
"I'm just starting to explore his other work. He's a really interesting guy and, as a person, the opposite of these men that he tends to write about."
Why she wanted to be part of this work: "I got the script and I had my eye on maybe doing film for the hiatus. Then I read the script and I enjoyed the evolution of this man through all these women and I thought it was a great opportunity. The next thing I knew, I got the offer for Tyler and I was like 'Okay!'"
Ever revisited by an ex-boyfriend: "I've run into ex-boyfriends, I've never had them visit me."


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Brooke Smith

Character: Sam
Location: Seattle, Washington
Description of Character: "Eric's character is, for whatever reasons, visiting four women from his past before he gets married and I'm the first girlfriend. But we remember things differently."
Television vs. Theatre: "There's the obvious thing that you have to keep going. There really is a beginning, middle and an end. You're on the ride and that's it. It sounds really romanticized, but I love it when you're on stage and everyone's waiting: the audience is waiting and even you're waiting. I love that."
Favorite LaBute works: bash. "He pushes my buttons, which is probably part of the idea."
Why she wanted to be part of this work: "I was in L.A. and doing some television and feeling like I'd forgotten what acting was. We don't work that much, actors. I literally was saying 'I really need to do a play' and I swear the next day I got this email. Neil [LaBute] and I have wanted to work together for a long time and Jo [Bonney] and I have worked together on Stop Kiss. So I said yes pretty much without reading it."
Ever revisited by an ex-boyfriend: "Yes. Was it his idea or mine? I'm not sure, I can't remember, interesting. I have people that I never necessarily ended with and yet I'm married with a child, so life is complicated."


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Maura Tierney

Character: Bobbi
Location: Los Angeles, California
Description of Character: "An ex-girlfriend of Eric McCormack's [character]. We had dated in college and he's asked me to come and meet him 15 years later, we haven't seen each other in 15 years."
Television vs. Theatre: "Even though I'm afraid we're not going to have enough time here, there's just a lot more time to think about it and work on it. On ["ER"], you get your script, at most, probably four days before you start shooting it. So, this is four weeks before we start doing it. It's a whole different way to pace yourself. A lot more lines to remember [laughs] but at least I understand all the words I'm saying in this, no one has to explain them to me."
Favorite LaBute works: The Shape of Things ("I think that's my favorite.")
"And I love 'Possession,' which was really different because it wasn't original material of his, but I love that movie."
Why she wanted to be part of this work: "I really wanted to do a play because I haven't done one [in a while]—15 years ago and it was in L.A. So I've never really done professional theatre here [in New York]. And I really love LaBute's stuff, so it was perfect."
Ever revisited by an ex-boyfriend: "No. No. But why not? I don't want to see any of them anyway."


The <i>Some Girl(s) cast.</i>
The Some Girl(s) cast. Photo by Aubrey Reuben
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