STAR BACK IN STATE FOR ROLE AT GOODSPEED
|Madison native stars in ‘Very Good Eddie”|
|By Joe Meyers|
Madison native and
Yale grad Christianne Tisdale always vowed that she wouldn’t visit
East Haddam’s famed Goodspeed Opera House until she had a job there.
And now that the
star of Broadway’s “Beauty and the Beast and “Triumph of Love”
has landed a plum role in the new Goodspeed production of “Very Good
Eddie,” she says the theater is living up to its national reputation
values here are unusually high,” the actress said of the set and
costume shops during a recent phone interview.
looked this good in—oh—a few years.”
Tisdale added with a laugh, of her costuming in the show.
Eddie” just began preview performances—the official press opening is
Aug. 13—and Tisdale said early audiences have been enthusiastic.
rehearsing. Our director
[BT McNicholl] has a very strong vision,” the address said of the 1915
musical with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Schuyler Greene.
that an acting company benefits from getting a show in front of an
audience while it is still rehearsing.
“You can grow
frustrated [in the rehearsal room] especially with the laugh lines. You gain more perspective when you’re doing it for a real
audience as opposed to your colleagues,” she said.
Eddie” scored a big hit for Goodspeed in an earlier production back in
1975. The show moved on to
Broadway’s Booth Theatre and was done in London the following year.
The comic musical
follows the adventures of two couples who are honeymooning along the
Hudson River in the early years of the last century.
Siretta, who did the dances for the 1975 production, has returned to
Goodspeed for his first assignment since “Oh, Kay!” in 1989.
Tisdale said while
there are no standards in this early Jerome Kern score, it is filled
with great tunes.
“This is before
his ballad days,” the actress said of pre-“Showboat” Kern.
gorgeous music…charming. There’s
a great deal of a ragtime feel in the score…very sprightly.”
Tisdale said she
thought the show was perfect for the old-fashioned and very intimate
setting of the Goodspeed Opera House.
different style of acting,” the performer said of the show’s
farcical approach. “It’s
more in keeping with how they would have done it in 1915.”
The singing actress said she knew she wanted to do musical theater from her days at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, when she starred in a school production of “The Boy Friend.”
Tisdale went on to
major in music at Yale.
She made her
Broadway debut as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” in 1985 and then
went on to “Triumph of Love” with F. Murray Abraham and Betty
The actress also
did a national tour of “Titanic” and has been involved with a number
of workshops for Broadway musicals in development, including the new
Maltby and Shire show “Take Flight.”
teamed with an old Yale classmate, Joshua Rosenblum, to produce her
first solo CD Just a Map—A
Lullaby to the World, a beautiful collection of lullabies from 13
The performer says
the disc was partially prompted by the announcement that the American
Dialect Society’s “phrase of the year” for 2002
was “weapons of mass destruction.”
“I can’t live
in that world, so I created one on a disc, where, for at least a little
while, everyone gets along,” Tisdale said, adding that she would like
to do a follow-up album with lullabies from Broadway musicals.
“It was really a
present to my nephews and niece,” she said, adding, “I wanted to get
away from the feel of the vanity albums of Broadway performers which are
usually so overproduced. I
was going for something simpler.”
Tisdale said she
loves the challenge of blending music and acting in her theater work,
but wishes casting directors of non-musical projects were more
difficult for music theater performers to get TV jobs or to be called in
for ‘legit’ plays. They
forget we have to do three things well…sing, dance AND act.”
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