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November 12, 1993 - Image 79

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Entertainment

Tossing
and Turning

Her career has had its ups and downs, but
Judy Kaye refuses to be typecast.

SUZANNE CHESSLER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

udy Kaye can dance on
water.
While the star of the
Michigan Opera The-
atre (MOT) production
of The Merry Widow
will not be doing that in
the Great Lakes State, she
is still coasting from doing
some fancy stepping on the
Black Sea.

Judy Kay is in MOT's Merry Widow.

"I was out on my seventh
Theatre Guild cruise," ex-
plained the actress/singer/
dancer, who is appearing
Nov. 12-21 at the Fisher The-
atre. "We go out and perform
at sea during two-week trips.
"My husband (actor David
Green) and I did the first act
of The Apple Tree, a three-act
musical based on Mark

Twain's The Diary of Adam
and Eve. It was a beautiful
cruise and really exciting. We
had a marvelous audience,
and it's like we're their per-
sonal acting company.
"Sometimes the sea can get
a little rough, and it's always
interesting dancing — and
even hanging on for dear life
— while the stage is rolling
around under foot."
Ms. Kaye, who enjoyed the
performances of others shar-
ing the cruise spotlight (Pa-
tricia Neal, Dean Jones and
Gena Rowlands), headed di-
rectly to Detroit after leaving
the ship, eager to begin re-
hearsals with her third Mer-
ry Widow company.
"I'm glad to be back and ex-
cited about doing this role,"
said the entertainer, who has
appeared in
Michigan pro-
ductions of On
the Twentieth
Century,
Sweeney
Todd, The
Sound of
Music
and
Grease.
"I approach
every part as
if it were
brand new. I
want to re-
discover what's in the text
and music and discover new
things as well. I'm so in love
with what I'm doing at the
moment that I often sort of
wipe everything else out of
my mind.
"My character is a mar-
velous woman with a ter-
rific sense of humor and
more than a little bit of a
twinkle in her eye. She's
very much in love. At the
beginning of the show,
she's come to get her man;
and when the curtain goes
down, she has him. It's re-
ally great fun."
Ms. Kaye, who will be
wearing costumes from an-

other production, thinks the
music is just glorious and the
singing sits well in her vocal
range.
Just as comfortable doing
serious drama and concerts
as she is doing opera and mu-
sical theater, Ms. Kaye has
been in Shirley Valentine,
galas honoring Cole Porter
and Cy Coleman and a range
of shows way beyond those
that brought her to Detroit.
"I'm very eclectic," said the
Tony Award winner for her
performance in Phantom of
the Opera. "I've been very for-
tunate because I've been pi-
geon-holed the least of any of
the people I know. I con-
stantly have to fight against
being railroaded into doing
one thing."
As she was growing up in
Phoenix, Ms.
Kaye was not
pigeon-holed
into one type
of theater arts
class. She
studied voice,
instrumental
music and
dancing, and
thought her
curriculum at
the University
of California
at Los Angeles
would lead to a teaching ca-
reer.
"I couldn't believe I could
really make a living acting,
but it soon became obvious to
me that I was not as good at
guiding people as I was at
creating character," she said.
"I very quickly started going
on auditions for professional
work and luckily was hired.
"I was in the Los Angeles
cast of You're a Good Man,
Charlie Brown, playing Lucy
Van Pelt, and at that time it
was quite the biggest thing
going.
"That was a break because
there I was in a hit show in
TOSSING page 86

75

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