Nine Nominee Jane Krakowski "Calls" in a Showstopping Performance

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20 May 2003

Nine star Jane Krakowski returned to the Broadway stage after working in Los Angeles for five years on the television series "Ally McBeal" and was welcomed back with her second Tony Award nomination.

"I had a great time being on 'Ally McBeal,' but as it was rounding up its run, I really wanted to come back to New York. I had missed that live theatre experience," Krakowski admitted.

Upon landing the role of filmmaker Guido Contini's mistress Carla, the versatile actress knew there would be obstacles to overcome: one being the Tony-nominated performance of her predecessor in the role, Anita Morris. "When I took the show, I knew that I had big shoes to fill. She had done that role to a tee and I think it would be daunting for anyone who wanted to take it on.

"David Leveaux's ideas for the show were so completely different than the original version that when I spoke with him, it gave me a lot of leeway. I knew that all of the characters were going to be reinvented in a way. So, it took the pressure off of me."

Krakowski's big number, "A Call From the Vatican," certainly lives up to the showstopping status Morris' performance did. Trained in aerial silk technique by AntiGravity, the daring and scantily-clad Krakowski is lowered from the fly space above the stage in a custom-made silk — which suggests a bedsheet knotted at the bottom — onto a table where co-star and fellow Tony nominee Antonio Banderas is seated. At the end of the number, the actress unravels herself from the phone cord in which she is entangled, rewrapping her legs into the silk upside-down and is flown upwards out of sight.



Tony-nominated in 1990 for her role in the musical Grand Hotel, Krakowski shares the Featured Actress in a Musical category with two of her co-stars, Chita Rivera and Mary Stuart Masterson. She swears of no rivalry between them, quipping "There's a lot of women in the show, so the more that we get nominated, the better I feel."

As far as her second Tony recognition, Krakowski said "You get something and you hope for the best and it's really turned out beyond my dreams."