Kate Baldwin dishes on Broadway's 'Big Fish'
Broadway veteran Kate Baldwin is no stranger to theatrical adaptations of films, having gotten her start on the Great White Way with “The Full Monty.”
After a slew of other roles (“Finian’s Rainbow,” “Throughly Modern Millie”), nominations for a variety of awards (a Tony, a Drama Desk and a Helen Hayes) and TV gigs (“Law & Order: SVU”), Baldwin is back on Broadway in another cinematic adaptation.
She plays Sandra Bloom, wife of Edward (Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz), in “Big Fish,” a new musical based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 Tim Burton film. The musical, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, begins previews on Sept. 5 and opens Oct. 6 at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre.
During a lunch break, Baldwin clued us in to her life in the theater.
Are you ready for the show to open?
We performed this in Chicago and are finalizing rewrites.
Do actors really get a say in rewriting the scripts?
Not as much as Hollywood would like you to believe. With this ... we have been very collaborative, and the writer has been welcome to opinions. It’s his first time as a musical [writer], so he’s been very open.
What’s your background?
I studied musical theater at Northwestern University. I’m originally from Evanston, Ill. When the show went to Chicago, I got to go and see the places where I used to go and talk to the musical theater students.
Do you prefer TV, film or theater?
I have more experience with theater and it feels more comfy. In the theater, we are in everyone’s face all the time; it’s a kinetic experience.
What role did you always want to play?
“Sunday in the Park with George.” I always wanted to play Dot, who was made famous by Bernadette Peters in the ’80s.
“Glee” popularized musical theater. What do you think of it?
Acting, singing, and acting out a scene with a song is another way to tell the story. The most difficult part is to try to remain believable speaking a scene, and appear effortless and truthful. [With] “Glee,” audience members are now used to people breaking into song.