Their Favorite Things: Grey Gardens Tony Winner Mary Louise Wilson Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Their Favorite Things: Grey Gardens Tony Winner Mary Louise Wilson Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences
 
Playbill.com's feature series Their Favorite Things asks members of the theatre community to share the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience. This week we spotlight the choices of Grey Gardens Tony winner Mary Louise Wilson, whose autobiography, "My First Hundred Years in Show Business," was released this past summer by Overlook.
Mary Louise Wilson
Mary Louise Wilson

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Ruth Gordon as Dolly Levi in The Matchmaker, 1956

Every time that red mouth opened you knew a great big lie was coming out.

Ruth Gordon in <i>The Matchmaker</i>
Ruth Gordon in The Matchmaker

Fredric March as Tyrone Sr. in Long Day's Journey Into Night, original production, 1956

Unscrewing a light bulb you saw in his eye the minginess of the man.

Fredric March in <i>Long Day's Journey Into Night</i>
Fredric March in Long Day's Journey Into Night

Ethel Merman, the original Rose in Gypsy, 1959

I was in a seat on the aisle as she came down shouting, "Sing out, Louise"; as she passed, all the hairs on my arm stood up. Merman embodied Rose's obtuseness.

Ethel Merman in <i>Gypsy</i>
Ethel Merman in Gypsy Photo by Friedman-Abeles

Geraldine Page as the faded film star Alexandra Del Lago in Sweet Bird of Youth, 1959

Lying on her bed in her slinky gown, she turned her back to us as she talked on the telephone. The sight of that bare back, the vulnerability, was like an arrow to the heart.

Geraldine Page and Paul Newman in <i>Sweet Bird of Youth</i>
Geraldine Page and Paul Newman in Sweet Bird of Youth Photo by © 1962 - Warner Bros

Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst in Moon for the Misbegotten, 1973

The electricity between these two superlative performers was terrific. Their total enjoyment playing opposite each other was palpable.

Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst in <i>Moon for the Misbegotten</i>
Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst in Moon for the Misbegotten Photo by Martha Swope

Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in The Gin Game, 1977

Two incomparable pros whose subtle interactions mesmerized me. They were only playing cards, but so much more was going on here: wars, life and death.

Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in <i>The Gin Game</i>
Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in The Gin Game

Geoffrey Rush as the King in Exit the King, 2009

What an astonishing, sensational performance. I'll never forget his fantastic final descent.

Lauren Ambrose and Geoffrey Rush in <i>Exit the King</i>
Lauren Ambrose and Geoffrey Rush in Exit the King Photo by Joan Marcus

Mark Rylance as the Bete in La Bete, 2010

That first lurch onto the stage talking a mile a minute while spewing food bits everywhere was enough to put me on the floor.

Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce in <i>La Bete</i>
Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce in La Bete Photo by Manuel Harlan
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