PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Don't Dress for Dinner Tony Nominee Spencer Kayden

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22 May 2012

Spencer Kayden
Spencer Kayden

Spencer Kayden, a 2012 Tony Award nominee for her performance in Roundabout's Don't Dress for Dinner, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Kayden originated the role of Little Sally in Broadway's Urinetown, earning Tony, Drama Desk and Lortel Award nominations.

Regional work includes Don't Dress for Dinner (Jeff Award) and Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.

She has appeared on television's "MADtv" and provided the voice of Mrs. Pepper on "Blue's Clues."


Full given name: Spencer Lemon Kayden

Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Kansas City, MO. Grew up in Costa Mesa, CA.
Zodiac Sign:Gemini
What your parents did/do for a living:My dad’s company wrote, illustrated, and did the paper-engineering for children’s pop-up books. My mom is a psychotherapist.
Siblings:Three older brothers
Special skills: Dirty, dirty cross-stitch
Something you're REALLY bad at: Buying things that aren’t on sale
First Broadway show you ever saw: I’m pretty sure it was Cats
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Ethel Merman in Gypsy
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor? In high school my drama teacher was pals with many of the actors and directors at South Coast Repertory. I remember seeing loads of new plays there and being blown away by the diversity of material and the range of the acting company.

That was probably when it occurred to me that being an actor was a viable profession.

Current show you have been recommending to friends: Once and One Man, Two Guvnors
Some favorite musicals: I grew up listening to the soundtrack of A Chorus Line and memorized all the lyrics well before I knew what they meant. I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but it always has a special place in my heart.
Stage or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Peter Sellers, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Jefferson Mays in I Am My Own Wife
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Anything from The Light in the Piazza. The music is exquisite — so full of longing.

There’s also the fact that my husband (Mark Harelik) was in it and our son Haskell was born during the run in New York. I am a puddle whenever I hear it.

You personal acting idols: Irene Dunne, Peter Sellers, Frances McDormand, I’m sure there are many more.
MAC or PC? Always MAC
Most played song on your iPod: "On the Radio" by Regina Spektor
Most-visited websites: Hmmm... eBay?
Last book you read: "The End of the Affair" by Graham Greene
Must-see TV show(s): "Girls" on HBO
Last good movie you saw: "Pina" (in 3D)
Some films you consider classics: "Safety Last"
"Room With a View"
"Roman Holiday"
"The Jerk"
"Philadelphia Story"
"Being There"
"Blazing Saddles"
"Some Like it Hot"
"Cinema Paradiso"
"Life of Brian"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Eddie Izzard
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Haskell and I have Justin Bieber dance parties in the living room
Favorite cities: New York, Chicago, Barcelona
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Foreigner's “Double Vision”
First stage kiss I was 34 and I giggled the whole time. The scene was eventually cut from the play, probably because of me.
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