Tony Winner Kathleen Marshall Gets Her Act Together for City Center

By Carey Purcell
16 Jul 2013

Kathleen Marshall
Kathleen Marshall
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tony-winning director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall talks about the upcoming production of I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road.

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Marshall is leaving the tap shoes behind — temporarily.

The Tony-winning director and choreographer, who has spent the past two seasons revisioning old-fashioned productions of Anything Goes and Nice Work If You Can Get It by adding some sex appeal to a classic style, is revisiting a rock-and-roll favorite of her past – I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road.



Featured in the new Off-Center season of the City Center Encores! program, which mounts productions of Off-Broadway musicals, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road casts Renée Elise Goldsberry as Heather, a 39-year-old pop star revising the content of her act while simultaneously re-evaluating the content of her life. Performances run July 24-27.

I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road premiered at The Public Theater in 1978, produced by Joe Pap. With music by Nancy Ford and book and lyrics by Gretchen Cryer, the show follows Heather, who, on her 39th birthday, revises her act to represent her authentic self. This revision includes singing songs about the emancipation of women. Joe, her long-time manager, is surprised by the changes in Heather's act and her attitude, and the two attempt to find common ground in their professional and personal relationships.

Marshall, who saw the original production of I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road when it was in performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre downtown, loved the music and listened to the recording so many times she memorized every lyric. She said the show contained a personal and political message that resonated strongly with the audience.

"I think it was such a specific show at a specific time that meant so much to so many people," she said. "I just loved the chance to try to bring that back."

While more than 30 years have passed since the show's premiere, Marshall thinks many of its themes regarding gender roles and popular entertainment are still relevant to today's culture.

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