Speaking of kids, we had Sondheim’s recent child star, Lilla Crawford, come see Disaster! on Friday night. While she was doing Annie, she read one of my Playbill articles where I mentioned a benefit I did and how I chatted with Rob Marshall. Lilla was having a hard time getting an audition for the role of Little Red Riding Hood in the Into the Woods film, so she asked me to put in a good word. I texted Rob about how funny she was as an actress, but never heard back. Then, I heard that another girl was cast in the part. Sad face. Then, I heard Lilla was flying to London to replace her! I still got it! My texting has delayed reactions, but it works! (Maybe he was on London time?)
Lilla had a great time doing the film, but did not love being tutored on set—because she had to literally be on set, which was not where she was living. So, if she had days off from filming, she still had to take a long trip from London to the set to be tutored. When I was a kid, I always thought if I got a big film I could finally escape horrible school, but turns out it ruins everything. Not surprised. I got some scoop from Lilla, who told me that halfway through filming, she lost a tooth! No, not because she was in England and trying to fit in with the signature “British teeth” look that the Simpsons did an amazing homage to…rather, because she’s 12 and still losing her baby teeth! The problem was she had already filmed scenes with her baby tooth intact, so the continuity was compromised. They had to make her a fake baby tooth that she wore for the rest of filming. Not since Ryan Lochte’s grill. Then, there was a scene where she had to stuff her face with muffins because Little Red Riding Hood is a bit of a food addict. Suddenly, she said what only a film director can say. Yes, Lilla yelled, “Cut!” That’s right, an actor yelled cut while filming. I’ve heard an actor never does that on a film set. Ever. Unless they’re Meryl Streep (who happened to be on the set, PS). So, why did Lilla call cut? Because her fake tooth fell out. And, she didn’t realize until she was actually eating it! They made her spit out the muffin she was chewing, and then a production assistant had to look for the tooth…by sifting through the chewed muffin. Seriously. Moral: a job that begins with “I’m in show business!” sometimes ends by sifting through masticated food.
Last week, I had Christine Andreas and Leslie Uggams on Seth Speaks, my weekly SiriusXM talk show. I asked Christine about doing Oklahoma!, which I got to see on a seventh grade class trip back in the day. No one in the cast had body mics, and they all had to sing over the full orchestra. Old school! Turns out, one of my favorite moments was also the favorite of the director, William Hammerstein; it happens during “Out of my Dreams,” and it’s when Christine sings, “..then out of my dreams I’ll go-o-o-o-o, into a dream…”. She decrescendos on “go-o-o-o,” and then instead of breathing before “into a dream,” she connects it. He called it the “elision” and would watch it from the wings. It’s so beautiful! Watch and listen at 3:00.
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