DIVA TALK: Chatting With Newsies Star Kara Lindsay

By Andrew Gans
30 Sep 2011

Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Question: Tell me about working with your co-star, Jeremy Jordan.
Lindsay: He is incredible. I was writing him a card on opening night, and I just didn't even know where to start. I said, "You're unreal." He can do anything. His voice — his vocal cords are made of steel. He's just absolutely incredible. He's a wonderful actor, and makes it so easy to share the stage with. He's really inviting, and he's just fantastic and very charming. You can't help but, as an audience member, fall in love with that character of Jack that he created. It's really phenomenal. He's leading the ship every night, every show. We couldn't ask for a better captain. He's fantastic.

Question: You mentioned Harvey before. How involved were Harvey Fierstein and Alan Menken in the rehearsal process? Were there a lot of changes that were being made?
Lindsay: Yeah, they did make a few changes. There were several cuts. They tried to work with us, the actors, in the show and to really allow us to shine, and to write things that are appropriate for us. They've just been really generous and really supportive and just excited for us. They've been amazing. What a crazy honor to be working with them! The first day of rehearsal, I said something stupid to Alan Menken because I just turn into a blubbering idiot when I'm faced with celebrities. [Laughs.] I don't even remember what I said, it was just not what I wanted to say, so I sent an email to his manager to forward to Alan to say what I wanted to say, and we talked about it later, and he just laughed. He was like, "I forget that people might be scared of me." I was like, "Yup. I am." [Laughs.] They've been fantastic and just wonderful supporters. They're brilliant. They're brilliant writers, and we're very lucky to be performing their material.

Question: What's it been like working with Jeff Calhoun as a director?
Lindsay: Jeff has been wonderful. He creates this really safe environment for all of us in the rehearsal space, which is an actor's dream. You want to be able to take risks or try things without falling on your face, or the risk of your director thinking you're a complete fool. He wants you to take risks and make choices, and he invites that. He doesn't come in with these preconceived ideas of what the character should be or what the scene should be. He lays out the groundwork, and he lets us play in that. I think that's so rewarding for us to feel like we took a part in it. He's so inviting and so kind, and whenever we're all together and he talks about the show, or the pre-show speech before opening, he always gets teary-eyed, and it just warms your heart. You kind of feel the love he has for us. That's just such a positive thing to have, and I think we couldn't be luckier.

Lindsay in Little House on the Prairie.
photo by Carol Rosegg

Question: What do you think the life will be for the show after Paper Mill? Is there talk of doing it elsewhere or bringing it into New York?
Lindsay: Well, I'm not quite sure. They have been very hush-hush about it. I'm not quite sure what their plan is. We hope for Broadway. Twitter has been blowing up with bringing it to Broadway. "Bring it to Broadway. Bring it to Broadway." We have high hopes, but I think we are all just happy to have had this opportunity now and this experience. It's like none other. You get to create something yourself and collaborate. It's just been wonderful. I think they're smart, smart in not saying, "We're definitely going to Broadway. We're definitely going to Broadway." I think they're very calculated on how they're planning it, and I respect that totally. They don't want to get our hopes up and then have to say, "We're not." I think that's smart. We're happy to be where we are right now. It's an experiment to see what the show can do, and so far it's been really successful. I have a feeling it'll do something. I think it has legs of some sort. I hope they're really sexy though! [Laughs.]

Question: It would be your Broadway debut, right?
Lindsay: Yeah. [Laughs.] I would die. I did Lone Star Love in 2007 with Randy Quaid, and that was supposed to come to Broadway at the Belasco and a marquee went up and everything… and it all fell apart, and that marquee came right down, and we got severance pay. And, it was very sad. It was like it was almost going to happen and it was in my hands, and then they took it away. ... But, yeah, I would be thrilled if it were to come to Broadway. I'd be thrilled!

Question: What about Little House? Is there any talk about that coming in?
Lindsay: Well, that was another one that said it was going to go to Broadway, and it didn't. That's why I feel that way towards the producers of this show — for Newsies — in that they are not saying anything, they're not getting our hopes up and potentially letting us down. I really respect that. You really do get your hopes up. It would be a lot of our Broadway debuts — a lot of us in the show. So, I think they are being very careful, and I totally respect that because twice now I've been in a show that said it was going to go to Broadway, and they definitely made it seem certain that it was going to happen and then it didn't… But, you also have to be realistic about this business. A lot of it relies on money…

Question: I wonder, too, if they want to wait until Jeremy is available after Bonnie and Clyde to bring Newsies in.
Lindsay: I'm sure we'd all be absolutely willing to wait. I saw him do Bonnie and Clyde because my boyfriend was doing the show at the time — one of the out-of-town tryouts — and I was like, "Who is this guy?" Jeremy Jordan is a force to be reckoned with. He's unreal. That show, he just makes it — him and Laura. Laura Osnes, she shines in that. I have the utmost respect for her. So, everybody should see Bonnie and Clyde. It's really good. Really good.

Question: Thanks for taking the time to talk. I hope you get to Broadway with the show.
Lindsay: Thank you! I do, too!

[Single tickets are on sale and range in price from $25-$96. Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.]

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.