Friday, August 22, 2014
Spotlight On...Melinda Buckley
Hometown: North Attleboro, MA
Education: BA Dance, Theater with a minor in Music
Select Credits: Broadway: Crazy for You, A Chorus Line and the ill fated Raggedy Ann (which was directed/choreographed by the most wonderful Pat Birch). Also, National Tour of Sweet Charity directed/choreographed by Bob Fosse.
Why theater?: Theater has always been like church to me. The place I go to 'commune' with something bigger than myself. I've always found great theater to be thrilling, powerful and transformative.
Who do you play in Mother?: I play all the characters in this story: myself, my Mom and everyone she and I encountered 'along the way,' so to speak...
Tell us about Mother: Well, obviously it's about a Mother... mine; who I always thought of as my 'larger than life Hungarian Mama Rose.' She was a real character but her strength and undying support of me and my dreams, propelled me all the way to Broadway. When she became ill, the tables turned... and I stepped into a very different role. MOTHER tells that story but hopefully in a very creative way. It incorporates music, pop culture, humor and a narrative that goes back and forth through time to tell a story of love and what it truly means to be family.
What is it like being a part of Mother?: Right now, it's an unbelievably amazing and exciting experience... a true labor of love, and I'm so thrilled to be a part of FringeNYC, I can't even describe it!
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love creative, innovative staging. For example, I loved Peter and the Starcatcher. The recent Glass Menagerie, and a few years back, Stones in his Pockets. (I can't wait to see Fiasco's Into the Woods choreographed by my friend Lisa Shriver.) When I was a young dancer in Germany, I went to everything Pina Bausch did. That blend of dance, theater, set design and audio... this collage form of story telling... was a powerful influence on me. I also LOVE the art of solo performance. From the first time I saw Lily Tomlin's "Search for Signs of Intelligence" I was hooked. And then Eric Bogosian, John Lequizamo, Spaulding Gray, Mike Daisy... I just love the range and versatility of these artists and their ability to create a whole world on the spot out of their words and themselves.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Oh, dear... I can't think past MOTHER at the moment!
What’s your favorite showtune?: Ack... how can I possibly pick just one?? Anything Sondheim. Right now, I've got "Everybody Says Don't" on my brain... I think it's to inspire me to keep going.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Oh my gosh, there are so many! Des McAnuff, for one. I loved how he staged Billy Crystal's solo show, 700 Sundays.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: In my improv days, we used to joke that my movie would be: "Wigs in my knapsack... the Melinda Buckley story." And I guess since a lot of people think I resemble Catherine Keener, she'd get to play me.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I really loved Fun Home at the Public last year. And Murder for Two, which just closed.
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: I just checked my iTunes playlist. It's a track called, "Middle Age Trifecta" and it underscores a funny bit in my show. You'll have to come see MOTHER to hear it for yourself. ;)
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Sauvignon Blanc and dark chocolate. Equal guilt. Equal pleasure.
What’s up next?: MOTHER at the FringeNYC!
For more on Melinda, visit www.melindabuckley.com