Jamie deRoy Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Producer/Talk-Show Host Jamie deRoy Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences
Which Pulitzer Prize-winning musical does deRoy deem a "game changer"?
Jamie deRoy
Jamie deRoy Terry Gruber

Producer and performer Jamie deRoy will once again host her award-winning variety show, Jamie deRoy & friends, April 17 at Birdland, an evening benefiting The Actors Fund that will feature David Friedman, Cory Kahaney, N’Kenge, Howard McGillin, Robert Creighton and Brad Oscar. Here, the three-time Tony Award and eight-time MAC Award winner shares the performances that most affected her as part of the audience.

The Pajama Game – Original Broadway Production

Buzz Miller, Carol Haney and Peter Gennaro in <i>The Pajama Game</i>
Buzz Miller, Carol Haney and Peter Gennaro in The Pajama Game Friedman-Abeles

My dad was an investor through Harold Prince. So later on in the run we went to New York, and through the kindness of Hal Prince, I got backstage and met John Raitt, Janis Paige and Eddie Foy, Jr. Years later, when I was co-producing Rick McKay’s Broadway: The Golden Age, Carol Burnett told a story of getting back to meet them when she first moved to New York. Then in 2005 at an Encompass Opera Gala when she was giving an award to Charles Strouse, she told a similar story. When she came offstage, I told her of my experience and my dad, etc. I said, “Just yesterday, I sent my parents to the revival for his 90th birthday.” She said, “I know – I spent the entire intermission talking to them!” What???

Damn Yankees

Damn Yankees
Damn Yankees

Again, my father invested with Hal Prince. This time I got to meet Gwen Verdon!! What can you say – a revelation. These two shows cemented my desire to be in the theater. I never thought of becoming a producer – I had my sights on being a Broadway performer!

Master Class

Patti LuPone in <i>Master Class</i>
Patti LuPone in Master Class Joan Marcus

No matter who I’ve seen do the lead role: Zoe Caldwell, Patti LuPone, Tyne Daly – just brilliant – the performances and the writing of the play by Terrence McNally.

Carmen Cusack in Bright Star

Carmen Cusack in Bright Star
Carmen Cusack in Bright Star Joan Marcus

An absolute find!! WOW!!

Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple

Cynthia Erivo in <i>The Color Pur</i>
Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple Matthew Murphy

A star is born!!


<i>Hair </i>Original 1968 Production
Hair Original 1968 Production Friedman-Abeles

I worked in the press office of Michael F. Goldstein when it first moved to Broadway, and to see it come to life again 40 years later was almost surreal.

A Chorus Line

Robert Lupone and Donna McKechnie
Robert Lupone and Donna McKechnie in A Chorus Line Martha Swope

A game changer! Donna McKechnie was my neighbor at the time. It was so inspiring, beautiful, groundbreaking: the Hamilton of its day!

Alec Guinness playing Dylan Thomas in Dylan on Broadway

Alec Guiness and Peter Glenville
Alec Guiness and Peter Glenville Friedman-Abeles

I went back countless times. It was a master class in acting.

Benjamin Walker in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and, now, American Psycho

Benjamin Walker and the cast
Benjamin Walker and the cast Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Gorgeous, charming and so talented!!

Danny Burstein

Danny Burstein in <i>Fiddler on the Roof</i>
Danny Burstein in Fiddler on the Roof Joan Marcus

I saw him do a reading of my friend Barry Kleinbort and Joseph Thalken’s musical WAS as Frank L. Baum. Thought he was terrific then. Watched him in The Drowsy Chaperone, South Pacific, Follies and Cabaret, among many other shows, and now he has come into his own as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I am so proud of him.

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