STAGE VIEWS: Happy Hunting, Nutty Professor and Cabaret Star Klea Blackhurst

News   STAGE VIEWS: Happy Hunting, Nutty Professor and Cabaret Star Klea Blackhurst's series features actors commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they're looking forward to and more. Here, via email, we hear from singing actress Klea Blackhurst, who will be seen in the York Theatre Company's upcoming Musicals in Mufti presentation of the Ethel Merman vehicle Happy Hunting.

Klea Blackhurst
Klea Blackhurst

What show recently impressed you?
I was absolutely amazed by Cinderella!! I'm still talking about the costume changes. Especially the second-act transformation from rags into the Gold Ball Gown! It happened right before my very eyes. How do people STOP talking about such things? I think they should feature the costume changes in Cinderella on "60 Minutes" for the next eight weeks. I'm not kidding. There is magic going on over there. The performances were amazing as well. But I just can't stop thinking about that Gold Ball Gown.

And then there's Talley's Folly. Danny Burstein and Sarah Paulson tell a beautiful, exasperating love story and they never even change clothes. Not once! Come to think of it, Mr. Burstein never left the stage, and that evening was almost as magical as Cinderella.

What production are you most excited to see?
I am very much looking forward to Kinky Boots. How could any lover of musical theatre exactly my age resist that creative team? It has definitely piqued my interest.

What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
I would love to see The Matchmaker revived, and since you asked, I'd like to play Mrs. Dolly Levi. I read the play again recently, and Thornton Wilder's words inspired one of the great heroines in musical theatre history for a reason. Dolly's original voice sings, too, without a note of music. But since you asked, I wouldn't mind a Hello, Dolly! revival either. I'm totally available.

What are your current/upcoming projects?
I am currently working on Happy Hunting for The York's Musicals in Mufti series. Which is a kick. Not very many people over the years have been able to say they are working on Happy Hunting!! We have an amazing creative team at the York and a stunningly talented cast bringing this to life. It's going to be a memorable couple of nights out in old Manhattan for me. As for the future, I have my fingers crossed for The Nutty Professor. I was part of the world premiere last summer in Nashville. Can you imagine Jerry Lewis as your boss? Go ahead. Try and imagine that. He's our director! Rupert Holmes and Marvin Hamlisch created a show with great heart. And the story really sings!! I think people will love hearing what Marvin was up to most recently. He and Rupert had a magical collaboration going. People need to hear Marvin's final score. I especially love his overture. I play Miss Lemon, and I love her. She is a classic Old-School-Second-Banana. It's exactly the kind of show I'd like to see on Broadway and exactly THE role I'd love to debut on Broadway. Maybe I could talk them into letting me quick change into a Gold Ball Gown right before your very eyes?! Then my life really would be perfect!

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