PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Motherhood Out Loud Star Randy Graff

Cue and A   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Motherhood Out Loud Star Randy Graff
Tony Award winner Randy Graff, currently appearing in the Off-Broadway production of Motherhood Out Loud at Primary Stages, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Randy Graff
Randy Graff

Graff has appeared on Broadway as Rosalia in Sarava, Fantine in the original Broadway company of Les Miserables, Trina in Falsettos, Carol in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Rosalind in Moon Over Buffalo, Liz Imbrie in High Society, Sophie in A Class Act, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and Oolie/Donna in City of Angels. She earned a Tony Award for the latter performance.

Screen work includes "Law & Order," "Mad About You" and the "Rent" film.

Full given name: Randy Lynn Graff
Where you were born/where you were raised: I was born in Brooklyn and lived there until I was 15. Then we moved to Staten Island.
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
What your parents did/do for a living: My father Norman was a salesman (a brilliant one) and my mother Gladys was a mom and part-time dental assistant.
Current audition song/monologue: I don't get asked to sing my own song very much, usually you have to sing from the show. But when I do get the chance I sing "Come Summer" by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh.


I now have several monologues from Motherhood Out Loud.

Special skills: "Swiffing"
Something you're REALLY bad at: I can't draw to save my life.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Fiddler on the Roof. We arrived late and came in during "Matchmaker." I turned to my father and asked if we could see it again and just leave at the part we came in on. I thought it was like a movie!
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: War Horse
Favorite showtune(s) of all time:

"Never Never Land"
"I Have Dreamed"
"Anyone Can Whistle"
"Some People" Ohhh, the list goes on....

Favorite "golden age" Broadway composers: The Gershwins, Leonard Bernstein, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Jule Styne
Favorite contemporary Broadway composers: Adam Guettel, Jonathan Larson, Sondheim, Cy Coleman. Although the last two are Golden as well... are they ever!
Some favorite musicals:

City of Angels... and not for obvious reasons. That book and and score are so great! Sweeney Todd
Fiddler on the Roof
The Light In The Piazza

Stars of the past or present you would most love to perform with: Frank Sinatra, Anne Bancroft
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Sinatra, Ella, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Annie Lennox, Marilyn Maye, Stevie Wonder
One performance - attended - that you will never forget: Most recently, the revival of The Normal Heart. And an early preview of the original Sweeney Todd.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: The soundtrack to "Cinema Paradiso"
Most played song on your iPod: "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire. I'm old school.
Most-visited websites: YouTube!
Last book you read: "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein (highly recommend)
Must-see TV shows: "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Last good movie you saw: "Barney's Version" on Netflix
Some films you consider classics: "The Godfather"
"Gone with the Wind"
"Annie Hall"
Performers you would drop everything to go see: Alfred Molina, Mark Rylance, Patricia Clarkson
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Food Network. I want to move in with the Barefoot Contessa.
Favorite cities: Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
Favorite sport/team/player: Brooklyn Dodgers/ Jackie Robinson
First CD/Tape/LP you owned:

"Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor. I met him on the street once here in NYC and gushed all over him. "OH, MR. TAYLOR... YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!" Scared him, I think.

First stage kiss:

I was 13 playing Laurey in Oklahoma! in summer camp and my boyfriend was playing Curly. We had a fight and didn't look at each other the whole time. I think he just kissed my cheek. Ahhhh, youth.

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: I played Ed Sullivan in a Mother's Day play. I was 13. Hey, that was a good year for me.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:

My father took me to a matinee of Gypsy with Angela Lansbury and we had box seats. I could see the actress playing Louise make all of her strip changes in the wings. How fast this little, stocky man zipped her in and out of her gowns, and how he just plopped her hat on her head and she just held it there. All the time, the performance going on on the stage as well. That was it! I wanted in on that world!!

How you got your Equity card:

The Village Dinner Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had played Louise for them in Gypsy when they were non-Equity. When they went Equity I played Fran in Promises, Promises and joined the union.

Favorite pre-/post- show meal:

Before a show I like something light, maybe some chicken noodle soup from the local deli near the theatre. After, anything chocolate I can get my hands on!

Favorite liquid refreshment: Iced decaf latte from Starbuck's, with cinnamon.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I do a 5-minute vocal warm up, some light stretches and jumping jacks. I've always found putting on stage makeup to be a ritual, so I like to do it slowly... like a mini meditation.
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Trina in Falsettos
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

Oh, this is Les Miz folklore. I was doing my death scene as Fantine, and Colm Wilkinson missed his cue to come out and carry me onto the bed. Sooo.... I sang my part, let the music go by for his part and dragged my dying body into bed. When he finally made it to the stage he kept apologizing in my ear in between his vocal phrases. Hilarious!!

Worst costume ever:

My finale costume in Sarava. I actually have an old cassette tape of a preview, where you can hear my dear friend Danny Fortus laughing and saying "Look at Randy! What is she wearing?" I looked like a giant lamp shade with a baby bonnet.

Worst job you ever had: Handing out free samples of cigarettes in Times Square. You don't want to be handing out anything for free in this area.
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? What editions? I did "Law & Order," the mothership, 3 times. I played a kidney specialist, Peter Friedman's loyal secretary and a crazy book editor who gets shot.
Favorite TV/film gig: I played Paul Reiser's sister in "Mad About You" and had a ball.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Recently, Margie in Good People and Margaret in The Light in the Piazza.
Leading man role you wish you could play: SWEEEEEEENNNNNNNEEEEEEEEY! And Harold Hill.
Something about you that surprises people: I'm shy.
Something you are incredibly proud of: My 10 year-old-niece Liana. She has more poise, grace and patience than most of the adults I know, myself included.
Career you would want if not a performer: Well, I've been teaching at Primary Stages and I find it so rewarding. What a great theatre school!
Three things you can't live without: My family, my best friends and hair gel.
"I'll never understand why…" ... people talk so LOUDLY on their cell phones in public places. Don't they care about their privacy?? I guess not.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Study, go to the theatre, stay connected to your family and friends (they are your only constant). Be yourself, not who you think "they" want you to be. And play nice.
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