|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Cinderella, which began performances Jan. 25, does not officially open until March 3, an unusually long preview period, but one, Clark said, is necessary, due to the technical demands of the production. Audiences, she said, have been "very enthusiastic. I think preview audiences are always a little more game. Some of them happen to be in town [as tourists], and some of them really want to be there. They're very supportive. It's just everything we need from a preview audience. If people go to a preview, they have to know that something they're seeing that night might have been learned in the afternoon or two hours before. They might be seeing something for the very first time… When I go in previews or very, very early on, I'm extremely vocal and supportive because I know that that's really what actors need. They need to know if something is working or not working, and that's what these audiences are doing for us. They're letting us know where we stand and what still needs to be done."
Clark, who won her Tony for her beautifully layered performance as Margaret in The Light in the Piazza, said that her 18-year-old son Thomas Luke is currently in rehearsal for his high school production of that Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical. "He had his first music rehearsal this week and his first Italian coaching, and he calls up and says, 'Mom, this is going to be sick!,' which is the 18-year-old way of saying 'really good.' He's very new to the whole theatre thing, but their drama director is something else. He's really, really special, so I think they're going to put together a great production.… [Thomas is] playing Signor Naccarelli. I got him ready for his audition and coached a couple of his friends. We'll probably work on the singing a little bit, but he's pretty independent. He's a smart actor. We'll see how much he actually needs from me.… It's very adult, and it's very hard, but these are unusually old souls at this school, and the young lady who's playing Margaret is very special, and I got to work with her, and I'll be able to work some more with her. … If any 17- and 18-year-olds can pull it off, it's this group.
"You know, come on, I played Mame when I was 18," Clark said with a laugh. "You're always playing parts that you shouldn't be playing, but it's good experience to wrap your brain around the material, and they're really lucky."
Clark also feels lucky about her own latest role in the Broadway premiere of Cinderella. "The major ingredient in this production is joy," she said. "You can feel it everywhere. We have the best ensemble I've ever worked with. Every single one of them is a triple threat, and they're just delightful human beings and funny, the funniest people I've ever met. From the very top to the very bottom, we've got a core of special people."
Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a look at Cinderella in rehearsal:
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