All auditions forFunny GirlComing to Broadway this month,” went over Zoom. Playing Fanny Brice was a very special process for me. [the plucky real-life early 20th-century actress at the center of Jule Styne, Bob Merrill and Isobel Lennart’s 1964 musical] It was always my dream and I thought that if I told people that I auditioned, my longing for the role would increase even more. I couldn’t give my mother so much hope. That’s why I didn’t tell anyone, she. The only person who knew this was Liz Caplan, who had been my voice teacher for almost a decade. Starting in September, we started working together on this show twice a week, mostly over FaceTime. My voice was really tired from filming”Blame: American Crime Story“I played Monica Lewinsky here, so most of what Liz and I had to do was rebuild it.
Sometimes the lesson will be a full 45 minutes of voiceover: just scales and a warm-up. Initially, I didn’t include much of my real personality in the numbers; Most of these came during the rehearsal process. You want to leave the interpretation open because you don’t want to lock onto a particular phrase of a song and then walk into the room and not align with what the team wanted. My whole life favorite trick from the show has always been “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” but I think “People” is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
I like to express myself through songs, but I don’t find it easy to sing. It doesn’t flow through me. I had a lot of voice problems as a kid – I had nodules on my vocal cords when I was 9 – so I have a lot of fear of singing. But the moment someone tells you you can’t do something, your whole life falls into place.
to have these creative geniuses like Styne or Stephen Sondheimwho so talentedly brings the story through the song… the genius is right there and I just have to present it.
I don’t know if I consider myself an artist. Creativity flows from my mother and brother [the actor Jonah Hill] easily. My father is very practical, and I feel like I’m dividing these two ways of being. But I think an artist is a storyteller who hopes to change ideologies. The impeachment was a spectacle with a purpose: to show the humanity of someone who had been stripped of their humanity. It’s not just telling a story, it’s doing it to change the social tectonic plates of how we think and assimilate. Whether it’s for a little laugh or a dance trick, that’s what I’m trying to do.
I wouldn’t have a career without Fanny Brice. She was a pioneer who broke open glass ceilings with applause and laughter. It’s been 100 years since her story, but it’s wonderful, even in today’s context, when a Jewish woman who doesn’t look like the others said, “You’re going to listen to me right now.” . this is what i watched Bette Midler every night, when we do”Hello dolly!” On Broadway together in 2017. He was 71 years old and never sat down; He would be studying how he put his bag on the floor or how he took off his coat on stage. The reason we all see him as divine is because he has definitely worked hard and is the most prepared person. I will think about it every day during “Funny Girl”.
This interview has been edited and shortened.
Photo assistant: Danny Lim