THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Tony Winner Barbara Cook Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
10 Oct 2012

 

Maureen Stapleton. 

 



"... in everything. I suppose I have to choose one performance – so let it be The Rose Tattoo. The role that made her a star. Finally, finally a magnificent star. Let me digress for just a moment. I was in rehearsal for Flahooley, my first appearance on Broadway. I had never studied acting, had no experience acting and here I was with this big role. Our director used to take Jerome Courtland and me aside to work with us, to try to help us understand what he was trying to get us to do. And then one day he said, 'If you want to see a great example of what I'm talking about, go see Maureen Stapleton in The Rose Tattoo.' One of the best suggestions anybody every gave me. Omigod! The power of Maureen. The onslaught of Maureen. Easily one of the greatest performances I've ever seen. And then so many other performances from her. Not all of them on stage. One of the most crushingly funny people I’ve ever known. Most of the quotes from her are not printable in this 'family' publication. Now that I come to think of it. Perhaps Maureen's greatest performance – even with all her problems – was her magnificent life!"