DIVA TALK: Catching Up With Now. Here. This. and [title of show] Star Susan Blackwell

By Andrew Gans
09 Mar 2012

Laura Jordan as "Susan" in [title of show] at California's TheatreWorks.
Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Question: Have you ever seen someone play you that you thought did a line better than you and laugh at that?
Blackwell: There is an actress named Laura Jordan, who actually came in to audition to standby for, I think, the commercial production of [title of show], and she subsequently did the production out west. She played Susan in a production of [title of show] out west. And, I have to tell you, after her audition, I said to my castmates, "I think that Laura Jordan can play Susan better than I can!" [Laughs.] She was just so great!

Question: You were great, too!
Blackwell: Well, you're nice Andrew.

Question: That must be strange to see other people doing something that is so personal to all of you.
Blackwell: Yeah, there's a weirdness to it, and there's also, to be frank, it's oddly flattering for some reason. Like I said, it's gratifying to see it succeed without us being there. That's really, I think, a testament to Hunter and Jeff's writing, and for all the people that thought that [title of show] could only be performed by us, it's proof that they were incorrect.

Question: Do you all ever talk about doing [title of show] again somewhere, sometime, someday?
Blackwell: We have talked about doing it. There's a producer in London who wanted to bring it to the West End, and I'm always open to adventures. I'm getting to the point where I'm like, "I think I'm too old to play the role of Susan! They need a young whippersnapper in there." [Laughs.]

Question: Looking back at your other theatrical credits — not [title of show] or Now. Here. This. — do you have a favorite theatre experience?
Blackwell: Oh, my God! I feel like I should have brought my bio....The thing that jumps to mind that is one of the things that was closest to my heart. When I first moved to New York — I was much younger — I was involved in a reverse-gender production of The Heidi Chronicles, and I played Peter Patrone in that production. And, next to playing myself in [title of show], or I should say a version of myself in [title of show] and a version of myself in Now. Here. This., that character is/was the closest to me that I have ever played, and I only know second hand, [but] I don't think that Wendy Wasserstein was pleased that that production existed, but I have to say, I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to play that part because it meant so much to me, and that character felt so aligned with me… That was really a favorite. Basically, I'm a gay dude walking around in a lady suit. [Laughs.]

Question: Maybe you guys should do [title of show] again and reverse genders. You and Heidi play the guys…
Blackwell: Andrew, I think that is a capital idea!

[For more information go to www.vineyardtheatre.org or call the box office at (212) 353-0303. Now. Here. This. is scheduled to run to April 15 on the following schedule: Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 3 PM and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.]

Did you know Tony winner Phyllis Newman was the standby for both Barbara Harris and Judy Holliday? Read all about it in Playbill.com's popular Their Favorite Things feature.

You can listen to more than a dozen versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," including renditions by Patti LuPone, Elaine Paige, Lea Salonga, Karen Carpenter, Olivia Newton-John and more, by clicking here.

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.