Thursday, May 27, 2010

London/Broadway, 'Red'/Pink

NYC – Two shows that seemingly had little in common joined forces at one of the Broadway League’s Creative Conversations during a recent conference.

Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne from “Red” (the story of artist Mark Rothko) sat with Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge from “La Cage aux Folles” (a revival of the musical that resulted in the movie, “The Birdcage”).

One common element – and the one that prompted the joint setting – is that they both started as smaller London productions before moving to Broadway. Grammer joined the cast in NYC, co-starring with Hodge, who had been in the London production.

“Red” began at the Donmar Warehouse and “La Cage” at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Here’s what the stars said about their shows, and about differences between London and NYC.

La Cage

"Certain lines in London that got enormous laughs there that get nothing here. Certain lines here that get enormous laughs got nothing here." – Douglas

"I knew George Hearn years ago. We used to get drunk together after the show, but I never saw it." – Kelsey

“People seem surprised that I’m English. I must have slowly shifted into ‘American.’ ” – Douglas

"There was a traffic pattern that had been laid out [in London]. There was a luxury to having it blocked already … freedom to find the heart, to find the laughs. The piece resonates so much on an emotional level." – Kelsey

"I secretly play the first scene a little bit slower to give people a chance to dip in …" – Douglas

"There's no greater place in the world than Broadway. It is the pinnacle in my own life. It's a great place to do the work." – Kelsey

"The musical is sort of the hallmark of what you think of as Broadway … I've never been in any situation in the theater where there's so much light and joy and love … I'm not sure I'm ever leaving. It is an amazing experience for me. I couldn't be happier." – Kelsey


"It's the most exciting and rewarding and fulfilling experience I've ever had working as a stage actor – working on Broadway." – Alfred

“It was one step removed in London because of all the cultural, geographical references. … it is a quintessentially New York play.” – Alfred

"He [Alfred] was talking about the Broadway community – not so much a club … a grouping of people. The way he was describing it sounded almost too good to be true … just a sense of being a part of a very specific and welcoming and supportive tribe. … It means a great deal." – Eddie

“Everyone you meet seems to know what you're in and what you're up to. … they feel a common ownership, very positive sense of pride." – Alfred

"When it's good, it's great. When it's not so great, it can be awful. Some of those who didn't like me before now are so far up my bum they could have a weekend place …” –- Alfred

"In England, if you're enjoying the work it's almost unseemly to celebrate that." – Eddie

Answering “What is that red paint made of”:
"Blood, mad desire and passion …” – Eddie
“Broken marriages, phone calls you never get replies to." – Alfred

“Red” is at the Golden Theatre on 45th Street. “La Cage” is at the Longacre Theatre on 48th Street. – MKilgore

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