THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Chicago Star Roz Ryan Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
September 25, 2013

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 acclaimed musical theatre actress Roz Ryan, who is currently starring as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Tony-winning revival of Chicago, which recently played its 7,000th performance on Broadway. On Oct. 21 Ryan will become the longest-running Mama Morton in Broadway history when she begins her 224th week in that role.



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

 

Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu!
 

"This was the first real theatre performance I ever saw as a young nightclub singer in Detroit. As soon as Ms. Kitt made her entrance, I wanted to be her. Being carried onstage by those big strong handsome men! She was a Queen to this li'l nightclub singer."

 

 

Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music

 

"Lord have mercy! To witness Ms. Lena Horne at age 60 strutting across that stage in beautiful gowns singing her face off – I knew I was in the right place…New York."

 

Gregory Hines in Sophisticated Ladies

 

"What can one say about the magnificent Gregory Hines except he possessed the true 'it' factor. Every step, tap, word, lyric, and that infectious smile made any stage light up. So glad I got to call him friend."

 

Ben Harney in Dreamgirls

 

"Before I ever did this show, watching Ben Harney was like watching a magician do the unbelievable and making you believe it. Ben made me both fall in love with Curtis Taylor Jr. and want to punch him out at the same time."

 

 

Harvey Fierstein in the revival of La Cage aux Folles

 

"Coming from Detroit I had never seen the likes of a Harvey Fierstein. The passion, the brilliance! And then to find out he also wrote the piece was fascinating to me." 

 

 

Joey in War Horse

 

"Ahhhhh Joey… I cried and marveled and cried and marveled and reminded myself, 'Roz, it's a puppet'… and I cried some more. Then, I later saw the movie and I sobbed and sobbed and said to myself, 'Roz, this is not just a movie,' and I cried some more – all at the theatrical magnificence of Joey."

 

Rob McClure in Chaplin

 

"He made me feel I was actually privy to the inside world of Chaplin. I believed him."

 

Jeff Goldblum in Seminar 

 

"I've always been a Goldblum fan and was in awe of the amount of dialog he mastered with the coolness of Miles Davis blowing his horn."

Crystal A. Dickinson in Clybourne Park

 

"That entire cast had me spellbound – but Crystal was a delight to my soul. She was new to me…I like new."

 

 

Carolee Carmello in Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson
 

 

"Again, before I ever did this show I was in awe of this force of nature. I say she is from a planet called MahVeLous. I am thrilled to call her friend."