THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Cabaret Star Andrea Marcovicci Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
September 26, 2012

Playbill.com's new feature series, Their Favorite Things, asks members of the theatre community to share the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience.

This week we spotlight the choices of cabaret favorite and stage and screen star Andrea Marcovicci, who will make her Café Carlyle debut Oct. 2-27 with longtime musical director Shelly Markham in a program entitled Smile.



(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)

 

Mary Martin in The Sound of Music.

 

"When I was a little girl, I went to see the show. Since my father was her doctor, I went backstage after the performance and we were introduced. He told Ms. Martin, 'My daughter sings,' and she grabbed me by both shoulders and exclaimed, 'You're a singer? We NEED girls in show business like you! You must audition for the show.' I begged my father to let me do just that all the way home, and beyond."

 

 

Julie Andrews in Camelot.

 

"I'd already seen Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady, and I'd loved her startling, clear voice. So when Camelot came along, I couldn't wait to get there. And, I saw the show twice. I was so struck by the beauty of the music, and the way she floated out those notes. I immediately learned 'I Loved You Once in Silence.' When I got older, I used it as my audition song, and it helped me book my first Broadway show. Years later, I was thrilled to actually meet her when we were on the bill for a benefit."

 

 

Richard Burton in Hamlet.

 

"Burton's modern-day Hamlet was brilliant. It was a hot summer night at the Lunt-Fontanne, and he was plagued by a rather large, pesky fly. When he got to the famous 'alas poor Yoric' speech, without even glancing at the fly, he said, 'I KNEW HIM, Horatio,' and caught that fly with his fist. The audience erupted in wild applause. And, the moment is indelible. It startled me so. That he could catch a fly in the middle of a Shakespearean monologue, and not only maintain his concentration, but use the gesture to his advantage. He taught me, there and then, to always stay in the moment."

Glenda Jackson in The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade a.k.a. Marat Sade.

 

"Her portrayal of madness was vivid and haunting. I considered myself, at 17, a budding actress, and I wondered how could she shake off such a performance when the curtain came down. I thought of her when I tried to reestablish my own equilibrium after playing the mad Ophelia to Sam Waterston's Hamlet at the Delacorte. I was so green that I struggled with my method acting style. I didn't figure out how to make those adjustments until a few years later along in my career."

 

 

Larry Kert in Company.

 

"This was my introduction to Sondheim. I remember it was a cold New Year's. At 22 it felt like a magical adventure to go to a Broadway show by myself. Larry Kert was incredibly powerful. Not surprising, how alone Bobby was really resonated with me that night. At the end of the performance, once the house had almost cleared, I walked from my seat and peered down into the orchestra pit. I made myself a promise. I would be on Broadway one day. Within a year I was, in Ambassador with Howard Keel. At the Lunt-Fontanne, no less, where I had first met Mary Martin."

 

 

Len Cariou in Sweeney Todd.

 

"From the opening whistle this groundbreaking musical swept me away. I ended up seeing it four times! I thought it was revolutionary. The grizzly nature of the material was so unusual in its day. I was impressed that Cariou could craft such a villain as an anguished figure. I can still feel the chill from when he raised his hand, holding that long razor, and in that booming voice intoned, 'At last my arm is complete again.' What a performance!"

 

 

Mandy Patinkin in Sunday in the Park with George.

 

"Mandy's rendition of 'Finishing the Hat' was achingly soulful. I saw the last preview before it opened and numerous times thereafter. It's a metaphor for the compromises that one makes for a life in the arts. It reverberates in me every time I pack up to go on tour. I've sung it myself many times. But that first time, the way Mandy approached the material, still haunts me."

 

Kelli O'Hara in South Pacific.

 

"The revival at Lincoln Center was an overwhelming experience. I sat with my brother in the first row as this huge orchestra began playing that amazing Richard Rodgers score. And then there's Kelli O'Hara, with that pure, powerful voice and this gutsy and courageous portrayal. She really reinvented that role. Not just on an emotional level but every acting choice was masterful. When she sang, there was such honesty in the way she approached those brilliantly crafted lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein. I just floated out of that theatre with a renewed belief in the art form of the musical."

 

Hugh Jackman in A Steady Rain.

 

"I was in the second row. I found the simplicity of the staging so unique that I'll never forget it. The lighting was incredibly inventive - just focused in on these guys as they carry the entire performance with just two chairs. It's what the craft of theatre is really all about. I found the chemistry of Jackman and Daniel Craig riveting. Not to mention my huge crush on Hugh Jackman. I mean, c'mon!"

 

 

Sutton Foster in Anything Goes. 

 

"It's so rare and so special when you get to see one of 'those' performances. The kind where, for years after, people remember it fondly and proudly proclaim, 'I was there when...' I felt that about Sutton Foster in Anything Goes. She sort of channeled all the great ladies of the theatre during Broadway's Golden Age. She was simply dazzling. She has an unabashed star quality. And a connection with her audience that allowed her to break the fourth wall without becoming cutesy. She just makes you feel like it's all magic. That all the hard work just fades away the moment she takes stage."