PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: The Performers Star Jenni Barber
06 Nov 2012
Jenni Barber, who plays Sundown LeMay in the new comedy The Performers at the Longacre Theatre, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Barber has previously appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Other theatre work includes As You Like It/The Tempest (Brooklyn Academy of Music/Old Vic), From Up Here (Manhattan Theatre Company), Cactus Flower (Westside Arts Theatre), The Wii Plays (Ars Nova), Some Lovers (the Old Globe), Nobody Loves You (the Old Globe) and The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown (Orange County Performing Arts Center).
Full given name:
Jennifer Lynn Barber
Where you were born/where you were raised:
Mansfield, Ohio... same hometown as James Lapine. It's our bond.
Cancer. I nest.
Current audition song/monologue:
Rarely am I ever asked to prepare my own stuff anymore, but when I do I have a rotating list of charm songs dripping in double entendre.
Thank you very much, University of Michigan Musical Theatre Dept.
Something you're REALLY bad at:
Apparently cultivating a special skill.
First Broadway show you ever saw:
Ragtime. Audra and Marin. Power. Full.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out?
My sixth grade teacher, Cheri Gaul and my theatre professor at U of M, Mark Madama. They were my rocks during incredibly formative times in my life and they are still at the top of my list when I need advice or just a shoulder to lean/cry on. I love 'em a lot.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be?
Carousel. That overture is an American masterpiece.
Recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:
Bad Jews at Roundabout Underground, Harper Regan (directed by the extraordinary Gaye Taylor Upchurch) at the Atlantic, and PigPen Theatre Company's The Old Man and the Old Moon at The Gym at Judson.
Some favorite modern musicals:
Sunday In the Park with George and even though I am biased, I think that The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was an incredible show.
Some favorite classic musicals:
Carousel (obviously) and Guys and Dolls
Your personal performance idols, living or dead:
Judy Holliday, Carol Burnett, and all the other brave, sexy, funny, soulful actor ladies carrying their banner today
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
Cate Blanchett in Streetcar was pretty magical.
Music that makes you cry, any genre:
Patty Griffin makes me weep.
MAC or PC?
Most played song on your iPod:
"Kazoo" by my brother's band Bells out of Berkeley, CA... check them out... they are extraordinary.
Smitten Kitchen, Huffington Post and, of course, my cast mate Alicia Sliverstone's The Kind Life. She's the coolest vegan in the land.
Last book you read:
"A Visit From the Goon Squad" was the last one worth mentioning. It's terrific.
Must-see TV show(s):
"Homeland," and seriously, "Parenthood" is the best primetime guilty pleasure. My girlfriends and I watch it and just cry. Monica Potter... I can't even deal.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.