PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Isabel Keating

Cue and A   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Isabel Keating
Isabel Keating — co-star of Primary Stages' Off-Broadway play A Lifetime Burning — fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.
Isabel Keating
Isabel Keating

Full given name: Isabel Keating
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Audition song: I once sang Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" that I translated into Spanish and sang in the first person (from Lola's point of view). Yes, Barry, I admit I changed some syntax. And maybe some words. No one has recorded it. Yet.
Special skills: I can tell one joke in Cantonese.
First Broadway show ever saw: The Human Comedy
Current show you have been recommending to friends: 9 to 5: the Musical (our cast is going to see it on a Wednesday matinée that we have open). grin
Favorite showtune: Everything from Into the Woods
Most played song on your iPod: Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky" (live in Japan) is tied with Mark Berman's "The Moon, the Stars"
Web obsession: How-To's. You can learn to do ANYTHING by looking at a video online. I recently became (virtually) proficient at publishing a memoir, and I also know how to (virtually) patch a roof.
Last book you read: I juggle three or more at a time (that is not bragging, it is grazing. Or ADD.): currently Brad Gooch's "Flannery: A Life;" Sax Romer's "The Quest of the Sacred Slipper" which I found by Googling "Aromas of Aleppo," which is a cookbook that I gave my mother but "borrowed" so I could cook from it and instead am enjoying the pictures; and Kurt Vonnegut's "A Man Without a Country" which I have in perpetuity on my bedside table. OH! I am interested in taking a look at Emma O'Donnell's memoir "Sun and Fire" which is getting rave reviews. I love fiction but I am crazy for memoirs.
Must-see TV show: "Nurse Jackie"
Last good movie you saw: Charles Laughton's "Night of the Hunter." Even for the umpteenth time it is scary scary and kinda funny, but creepy and weird.
Favorite board game: 2-person: Chess (it has a board). More people: Twister!
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Mark Berman
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I am obsessed with Michelle Obama's whole life but especially her wardrobe.
First stage kiss: I can't remember if we actually kissed in La Ronde or if it was just the whipped cream…?! It felt like we kissed, even in the other scene where there was no whipped cream! Schnitzler is HOT!
How you got your Equity card: I got a SAG commercial job when I first moved to New York in the late 80s. I played, get this: an actress playing Lady M. And yes, ironically, we FILMED the STAGE work (in a beautiful old theatre in New Jersey). I had to join SAG, and right away I joined Equity (back then you could join the sister union if you were a member of one of the 3 A's). Most of my work thereafter has been through Actors' Equity Association!
Worst onstage mishap: Many years ago I was doing Barefoot in the Park at summer stock and in the first scene I entered and my beaded necklace snapped. It proceeded to drop beads one at a time, VERY slowly at first, and then in a crescendo. We continued after a momentary hiatus. We proceeded without mishap, until finally in the last scene I attempted to open the door to the apartment (con brio), and the doorknob came off in my hand. I just looked at it. Then lobbed it behind me to the gremlins. Hey. We got at LEAST three sustained laughs that night.
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition? On "L&O: Criminal Intent," I played Janine, the Admissions Director of a tony Park Avenue elementary school who, after subliminally obstructing the will of the officers, ends up bound and gagged by the perpetrator and then heroically rescued by Goren and Eames. Janine's backstory is fascinating. So is the afterstory: Goren, after he puts the perp away, whisks Janine to a South Sea island. None of that was kept in the final cut.
Pets' names: We don't have pets but sometimes we call the ficus "Little Tree"
Favorite junk food: French Fries
Who would play you in the movie? Marion Cotillard
Worst job you ever had: I think of every terrible job I ever had, and oddly there is a fondness that has grown, for the material it has provided in character studies. I never had a life-threatening job. That would qualify as the worst. But passing out flyers nearly did me in.
TV or commercial gig you most enjoyed: I can count my television jobs on one hand, but I loved working with Stanley Tucci and Mark Feuerstein on "3 lbs.," a brilliantly written series that had a short life.
If you weren't an actor, what would you be in your alternate life? When I was 10 years old I wanted to be an architect and interior designer (both). I switched when I was 11 to wanting to be a bookbinder. Not a publisher or writer. A bookbinder — the one who puts it all together. So, maybe I would be a bookbinder.
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