CONNECTICUT PRESS

B’WAY 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 for excellence.

“The production values here are unusually high,” the actress said of the set and costume shops during a recent phone interview.

“I haven’t looked this good in—oh—a few years.”  Tisdale added with a laugh, of her costuming in the show.

“Very Good Eddie” just began preview performances—the official press opening is Aug. 13—and Tisdale said early audiences have been enthusiastic.

“We’re still 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.

Tisdale believes 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.

“Very Good 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.

Choreographer Dan 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.

“But it’s 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. 

“It’s a 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 Buckley.

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.”

Tisdale recently 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 different countries.

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 receptive.

“It’s 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.”

  

  
HOME  |  WHO I AM  |  WHO "THEY" THINK I AM WHAT'S UP?  |  LISTEN & LEARN FIND ME  |  CONNECTIONS

COPYRIGHT 2002 CHRISTIANNE TISDALE - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WEB DESIGN BY RYMAR REASON