SECOND FLOOR OF SARDI'S: A Drink With 2012 Tony Award Nominee Kathleen Marshall

By Robert Simonson
28 May 2012

Kathleen Marshall
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Her next assignment as director-choreographer will be a first for her: a new musical with a new score. She will stage Diner, a musical adaptation of Barry Levinson's coming-of-age film from 1982. It will feature a book by Levinson, who directed and wrote the screenplay for the original film, and music and lyrics by pop singer Sheryl Crow. (No estates to deal with this time; everyone's alive.) It will bow in San Francisco in the fall.

Marshall said she'd also like to direct a play one of these days, but hasn't been able to make it happen yet. "I'd love to do a big old Kaufman and Hart play, something with a lot of comedy and physicality to it," she said. "But those are big plays. They're expensive propositions. I'd also love to see some of Wendy Wasserstein's plays get major productions."

The last time Marshall was in Sardi's was the night Nice Work opened, when she and her husband, producer Scott Landis, met guests in the second-floor bar just prior to strolling over to the Imperial for the premiere. "Sometimes, at opening night parties you don't get to see all your guests, so we thought, let's have a pre-party. Since we were doing a sort of classic show, I thought let's go to the classic Broadway place."

The party was amply furnished with homey hors d'oeuvres like mini-quiches and pigs-in-a-blanket. However, Marshall was sorry to learn that the New York health department forced Sardi's to remove the open plates of Ritz crackers and cheese spread from the bar. "That was the best thing," she said, betraying a probable past as an always-hungry theatre performer. "You could come here and practically make a meal out of the Ritz crackers, cheese spread and peanuts. It was great."

Currently, Marshall is running the usual awards-season gauntlet of press appearances, luncheons, dinners and ceremonies. But she doesn't mind it much. "There's a real camaraderie at these events," she said. "We're all members of the Class of 2012. You're with people you've worked with, or will never work with, and you see each other at these events and say, 'Oh, hi, it's us again.' There's something nice about that. We're all going through this together. And we're all inevitably linked in this way."

The events also occasionally give her a change to meet an idol or two or her own. "I remember going up to Ralph Fiennes — we were nominated in the same year — and saying, 'Hi. I think you're great.'"