THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Two-Time Tony Winner Katie Finneran Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

Playbill.com's 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 two-time Tony Award winner Katie Finneran, who will make her nightclub debut at 54 Below May 28-31 in It Might Be You — A Funny Lady's Search for Home.

Katie Finneran
Katie Finneran

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

Patti LuPone in Gypsy 

"She performed 'Rose’s Turn' like she was having a nervous breakdown. Everything about it was dead-on. So intense and incredibly cathartic. I felt everything she was feeling. Also, I have never seen a sexier Mama Rose. She and Boyd Gaines had terrific chemistry."

 

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Judith Ivey in The Lady With All the Answers

 

"I was sitting very close and I never saw her performing or indicating what she was feeling. She just lived that character. Even the way she answered the telephone was fascinating. I never forget a Judith Ivey performance."

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Elaine Stritch in A Delicate Balance

 

"I remember her doing a speech while she was lying on the floor. She had command of the entire audience with her back flat on the floor. That woman has such power, and becomes vulnerable at the drop of dime. In a moment, she transforms."

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Judith Light in Lombardi

 

"She brought the title character of Lombardi to life because through her, we saw his private side. She was funny and wry, but also in such pain. She somehow was able to convey all of this to an entire audience in the round.”

 

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  Jeremy Shamos in Clybourne Park

 

"He played two separate characters in the first and second acts. He was funny, recognizable and disturbing. He gave two very complex performances in one evening. I thought about these characters long after I saw the show. I still do."

 

 

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Maggie Smith in Lettice and Lovage

"I was waitressing at the time, and I saved up some money and bought a ticket in the back row. She was howlingly funny. I had tears in my eyes. She did a bit where she couldn't get her arm out of a kimono robe. It must have gone on for five minutes. I almost fell out of my seat. Best waitressing money I ever spent.”

 

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Yul Vasquez in The Motherf**ker With the Hat

 

“I can't even describe it. It was such a nuanced characterization. I just couldn't take my eyes off him – I can't even articulate it. I was floored by him. I had to meet him backstage after the show. I felt like a teenage girl after a rock concert. I can't wait to see what he does next.”

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Bobby Cannavale in The Motherf**ker With the Hat

 

"He came on stage and just took it down. He took me for the most glorious ride. I loved every minute of his angst. Every minute. Bobby was on fire. Great writing. I loved that show."

 

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Jessica Hecht in Harvey

 

"Watching her go deliciously bonkers in this show was so satisfying. She describes being mistakenly taken into the insane asylum and having her clothes taken off with such sensual reverie, such complicated glee... and her voice is incredible. She always thrills me on stage. Such an eclectic performer."

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 Michael Feinstein in Michael Feinstein on Broadway

 

"My first Broadway show — I had been listening to his albums for years. I waited for him at the stage door and hoped he would fall in love with me."

 

Nathan Lane in The Nance 

"He has a moment when his character finally has to reluctantly dress up in drag to keep his job. He is standing below a lamp post, and with pain and humiliation he desperately tries to perform in a dress. It killed me. He is one of the greats."