PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: My Name Is Asher Lev's Jenny Bacon

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09 Jul 2013

Jenny Bacon
Jenny Bacon

Jenny Bacon, who plays the role of Rivkeh in Off-Broadway's My Name Is Asher Lev, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Bacon's Off-Broadway credits include Heartless (Signature), In the Wake (The Public), Omnium Gatherum (Variety Arts), The Orphan of Zhao (Lincoln Center), More Stately Mansions (Herald Angel Award), A Streetcar Named Desire, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (NYTW), Race (CSC), Arabian Nights (MTC), Carson McCullers (Historically Inaccurate) and Get What You Need (Atlantic).


Full given name: Jenny Kosher Bacon
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born and grew up on the south side of Chicago. Don't ask me about baseball.
Zodiac Sign:Copernican
What your parents did/do for a living:I was raised by a single mother psychologist, so essentially, I'm Jewish.
Siblings:One brother--if you're ever in Portland Oregon, go to his restaurant, The C Bar.
Special skills:Avoiding fun.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Chinese
First Broadway show you ever saw: A Chorus Line. My granny took me. It had been on forever, but I loved to dance--I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? One Man, Two Guvnors
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor? Frank Galati--I had dropped out of college and was doing shows in Chicago, and everyone kept saying: Northwestern! I resisted, until I read a transcript of a speech that Frank had delivered to the League of Chicago Theaters.

His careful eloquence, his absolute love and faith in the power and place of live performance jumped out from these little pieces of paper in my hands, an appeal to action!

And I said, "I have to find this man. I have to see him. Can I go hear him speak?" And my friend said, "Well, he teaches at the Performance Studies Department at Northwestern…" so I went. His generosity of spirit still maintains me through the rough patches.

Current or recent shows you recommended to friends: Natasha and Pierre
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: Ummm... they all make me cry. Especially the happy numbers.
Favorite musicals: Chess, Urinetown
Some favorite modern plays: Rx, Stage Kiss, The Evildoers, Jerusalem, U.S. Drag
Some favorite modern playwrights: Kate Fodor, Sarah Ruhl, David Adjmi, Rajiv Joseph, Greg Kotis, Gina Gionfriddo
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Douglas Fairbanks, Fred Astaire, Mae West
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: A rehearsal of The Grapes Of Wrath in Chicago. They did it without anything (no props, no set, no costumes, no nothing), but they knew it so deeply and the connections were so raw and real and deeply inhabited that you saw and believed absolutely everything--the rain, the car, everything.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: "Puff the Magic Dragon"
You personal acting idols: Stephen Barker Turner
MAC or PC? Linux
Most-visited websites: Man Repeller, The Hindu Opinion Page
Most played song on your iPod: I actually do not own an iPod.
Last book you read: "Tenth of December" by George Saunders
Must-see TV show(s): Nothing has quite compared to "The Wire." "Girls" is great.
Last good movie you saw: "Filling the Void"
Some films you consider classics: "Jackie Brown," "Love and Death," "Wall-E"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Lois Smith
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Collapse" by Jared Diamond
Three favorite cities: Florence, Italy; Galway, Ireland, Chicago, IL
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," a hand me down from my aunt who had become a Sikh. It changed my life.
First stage kiss: The Diary of Anne Frank at the 8th grade Thanksgiving Assembly.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: The Diary of Anne Frank at the 8th grade Thanksgiving Assembly.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: 5 Napkin Burger
Favorite liquid refreshment: Water, preferably filtered, room temperature, or only slightly chilled.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: A cup of something warm, vocalizing with William S. Burroughs' "Advice to Young People" and gossiping. I hate having a dressing room all by myself. I like a couple of really good belly laughs or some righteous indignation before a performance.
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