“Crazy for You” Revisited with Susan Stroman

Written by Victoria Myers

Photography by Tess Mayer

February 15th, 2017


In February of 1992, the following sentence appeared in The New York Times: “When future historians try to find the exact moment at which Broadway finally rose up to grab the musical back from the British, they just may conclude that the revolution began last night.” So began Frank Rich’s review of the musical Crazy for You, and indeed, Crazy for You continues to be remembered as Broadway’s Boston Tea Party moment where the traditional Broadway musical (the one truly American art form) came back from years in exile. Much of the credit for the artistry and success of Crazy for You went to the show’s choreographer, Susan Stroman, who was making her Broadway debut with the production. Her choreography was praised not only for the way it bridged cleverness with sincerity, but also for finding a contemporary vocabulary within traditional musical theatre dance. In her hands, dance numbers felt neither antiquated nor like they were winking at the audience, while still fulfilling the requirements of the genre: seamless integration into the story and moving the plot forward. On February 19th, Manhattan Concert Productions will present a 25th Anniversary concert production of Crazy for You directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, who is now known as Broadway-Legend-Game-Changer Susan Stroman. We recently sat down with Susan to take an in-depth look at the show, including how she came up with the choreography, her collaboration with the set designer, looking back at what it did for her career, and much more.


I was watching an old Working in Theatre interview where you spoke about the dance steps being the very last part that you did. Before you even get to the choreography, when you’re working on the script and then looking at what the designers are doing, what’s your process for all that?
It’s interesting how different musicals can be. What one has to do first is to take in the decade and the geographical area. For Crazy for You, it was the early 30s. It takes place in New York City and Deadrock, Nevada. It’s doing a lot of research, and also collaborating with my designers on what things are going to look like. The original Crazy for You had Robin Wagner, the wonderful set designer, and William Ivey Long, costume designer. They’re definitely geniuses. They also inspired me on how to choreograph Crazy for You. The [ensemble] girls hit very art deco and 1930’s poses that you would have even seen on a lamp of the time where girls had their arms in the air with a ball on top of their hands. A lot of the choreography comes out of the actual architecture of New York at the time. The numbers that happened in New York City are much sharper and more sophisticated than the ones that happen in Deadrock, Nevada. The whole point of the choreography in Deadrock, Nevada is to teach the miners, who are in a mining town that no longer exists and they don’t have rhythm, to dance. So the choreography in Deadrock, Nevada looks different. The whole point of the show is how a theatre can renew a town and how, when you go to these towns across America, if the theatre has died in that town, so has the town. The idea of bringing art to a town and, in this case, bringing theatre to a town, shows how it can help a town be reborn.

In the plot of Crazy For You, Bobby Child, who is a banker, goes to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a theatre [which his family owns]. When he gets there he can’t do it, because he can only see theatre as being joyful and theatre bringing life to the town. So he comes up with this scheme of bringing some of his friends from New York to Deadrock to try and put on a show in the theatre there, much to his mother’s dismay, because his mother wants him to foreclose on the theatre. Of course, as in all good musicals, while he’s in Deadrock, he falls in love with Polly, and it’s definitely a New Yorker and a Westerner trying to come together. It’s always exciting to try to make a match from people who grew up in two very different ways.

One of the main talking points about Crazy For You is that it brought traditional theatre dance back to Broadway, and that it brought back moving the plot forward with dance. When you started working on it, after you did all the dramaturgy work, did you choreograph it in order or was there one moment that jumped at you and you worked from there?
When I think about a show, I think about it in order, because I always need to be telling a story and I always want to be pushing the plot forward. Sometimes, because of rehearsal and who’s available, you do not teach it that way, but certainly your intention is always thinking of the story and thinking of the plot.

When Crazy for You appeared, it was at that time when it was the British invasion of shows like Miss Saigon and Les Mis and shows that didn’t have a lot of dance in them. I think Crazy for You started a resurgence in dance on Broadway and I think people, when they saw it, really were attracted to the amount of dance because we had a dearth of choreography at that time. Its timing couldn’t have been better to open when it did.

As far as the plot, one thing that I think has changed is that an audience has a more cinematic eye, and so you can’t do a musical where there is a blackout anymore. You can’t do a show where there is a song called “Bill” [from Showboat] and there is no Bill in the show. It just doesn’t work anymore. You always have to be telling a story. So choreographically, I tried to do the transitions so that, even when you are changing the set you are telling a story, and you were telling it through dance. Since then I’ve tried to do that with every show, where the choreography is part of the set change and collaborating very closely with whoever my designers are.

Let’s walk through the show and talk about some of the numbers. Let’s start at the beginning with “I Can’t Be Bothered Now.” How did you come up with the idea of having them dance on top of the car?
“I Can’t Be Bothered Now” is a dream that Bobby has when he’s in between his mother and his so-called fiancé, and they’re fighting, and he just wants to get away from them because he doesn’t really want to be a banker, he wants to dance. While they start to argue, he steps away from them and says, “Bad news go away, call around some day in March or May, I can’t be bothered now.” He starts to dance and the lights change [to show that] we’re seeing what’s he’s seeing in his head, and he imagines dancing on Broadway and dancing in front of a line of girls. What’s on stage is a big, black limousine and so, naturally, all the girls pop out of the car. It’s magic because they pop out of the car seemingly from nowhere, using that trick of a clown car where they keep pouring out and then, at the end, they all go back in and disappear again and you’re right back into the argument with his mother and his fiancé. It really is a little slice of a dream of Bobby’s, so you see that he is a wonderful dancer, that he does have talent, and you hear through the Gershwin lyrics how he doesn’t want to be bothered with something like this, he only wants to do something beautiful and do something artful.

Did any part of the decision to make that first number something that’s in his subconscious and not necessarily of him bursting into song to the person he’s talking to, have to do with the show opening at a time when there weren’t a lot of traditional musicals on Broadway?
I think it was better to put it in his subconscious because it was more believable. Because he wasn’t there yet. He had to go through trial and error and pain in order to ultimately achieve what his dream was. So it was better just to show it in his subconscious at the beginning, so at the very end of the show when you see him achieve his dream, it looks very different.

Did you know there was going to be the car on stage or did you say, “I would like a car”?
Robin Wagner, our wonderful set designer, wanted Bobby to arrive in a car, and so it really came from the set. Then, what I did was collaborate with him on what I needed the car to do: I needed to hide a girl in the hood of the car, I needed Bobby to rise up out of the top of the car on an elevator, and then I needed the car to be able to hold ten girls to come out. So it was a strong collaboration with Robin Wagner. It seemed magical that they would come out of the car because I wanted it to be a magic moment. It seemed more magical than them just coming in from the wings stage left and stage right. The car seemed like a magical place.



The next number I want to talk about is “Shall We Dance. That number contains a major plot point. How did you work on that?
It was wonderful to work on that, because what it had to accomplish is that at the end Polly falls in love with Bobby, they fall in love with each other, so that Ken Ludwig [the book writer] didn’t have to write, “and then they fell in love.” You can see through the dance that they’re falling in love with each other. She’s never seen anything like him, he’s kind of an alien in Nevada, and so she’s a little leery of him. But when they dance, it’s that wonderful moment when you dance in someone’s arms how you fall in love with them. What’s great about “Shall We Dance” is the time signature changes a lot; if I want them to be coy and shy with each other I play it like a soft shoe, and if I want them to chase each other I play it in a fast two, and if I want them to fall in love I play it in a grand waltz. So manipulating the time signature of that song helps the emotion and helps the audience understand what emotion they’re playing in, and it ultimately drives to the point where they fall in love.

Do you have a say in the orchestrations?
Yes. I’m very, very close, on any show I do, with the orchestrator because it’s important for me that the arrangements and the orchestration support the dance. If the dancers leap up in the air, the orchestra leaps up in the air. That’s really evident in Crazy for You if you watch the choreography and hear the music, they’re very much one, they’re very much matched. There was a wonderful dance arranger on that named Peter Howard—the dance arrangers today kind of stand on his shoulders. I would say, “play that melody in three-quarter time and what does that sound like?” or, “Play that melody as a fast two, what does that sound like?” And he was a genius at the piano and would watch me choreograph and match the music up to it, and then the orchestrator would take that music and then also match up. If I was spinning, he would do woodwind section. If I was kicking, he’d have percussion. It’s teamwork when you are doing choreography and creating new numbers.

When we talked before, you talked a lot about how you are driven much more by the music than some of the visual things.
Sure, the music has to be right in order to move. So for a number like “Shall We Dance,” before I danced it out, we talked it through emotionally. How they would be shy with each other, they would chase each other, they would fall in love with each other—how did it go emotionally. Then we made the arrangement head that way for what I wanted the story to be, and when I started to choreograph it, it would match up even more.

It’s a couple different bits of a process to ultimately make it happen. Something like “Slap That Bass” comes out of the idea that, one of the trio of miners, Bobby teaches him to play the bass to try to get rhythm going in the town. It seemed like the perfect song and it was the perfect song, because doing “Slap That Bass” helps justify doing “I Got Rhythm” at the end of Act 1. During “Slap That Bass,” you actually teach them how to have rhythm, and then when Bobby’s down and out at the end of Act 1, they show him what he’s given the town.

That was actually the next song I was going to ask you about. How did you come up with the moment where the ensemble actually turns into basses?
What was great about that was we were backstage and I was trying to think, “What is backstage?” There’s hammers, there’s boards, there’s props, but there’s also a lot of rope hanging around backstage. So I thought it would be fun if we had a spool of rope that we could then chop up into the eight pieces and then have the girls become basses to dance with. I have a moment there with Bobby, and the girls are in a huddle and get the idea, and then Bobby has an axe and starts chopping rope. Everything was done to help the men of the town dance; to maybe explain it to them through being a bass fiddle seemed like a good idea. And then of course, Gershwin wrote that wonderful song “Slap That Bass.”

When you are dealing with that many people on stage, I would think that would be very different than dealing with a number with two people, in terms of how you put it together.
Yes it is. The bigger the number of people, the more complicated it is. I do a lot of pre-production, so I work it out with my assistants and then I do a lot on my feet too. I work out a plan, I go in with a big plan, and then I teach it. I’m also very inspired by the actors that are in front of me and I’m very inspired by the dancers themselves. It’s great to go with a plan, but not be so rigid with that plan. Because ultimately, if I do something to the left and a dancer says to me, “It’d be much better if I could do that combination to the right,” and I say, “Yes absolutely,” then there’s a domino effect. But I ultimately want to make it look like it’s all spontaneous and that the dancers have made it all up themselves.

How hard is making it look spontaneous?
It’s making it look good on them. It has to look natural on them. It’s making sure that it’s done through acting. They all have to have a character, and within that character, that character has to dance, and within that it has to be, how would that character dance? The girls that come from New York City dance in a more sophisticated way than the guys in Deadrock. The guys in Deadrock are looser and a little more awkward. So it’s always remaining in character. Then for the guys in Deadrock, the joy that they have when they’ve actually achieved something. The joy that they have when they’ve actually put a number together.

How much say did you have on the physical vocabulary of the actors when they’re not dancing?
Mike Ockrent was the director and he did all the scenes in the original Crazy For You and Ken Ludwig did the book. What was wonderful was we all talked it through. You have to really talk it through with a director so you don’t repeat something with each other. I might put someone on top of the trunk and the director might say to me, “Oh no, I was going to do a scene on top of the trunk.” So you have to make sure you have talked through every page to make sure you are not repeating anything, and again, it always goes down to the storytelling, making sure the story drives through to the end and the plot drives through to the end. You never want to be treading water in the same place, so the communication and the collaboration has to be very strong.

I wanted to touch on “Embraceable You” too, even though that’s not as big a number as some of the others, but what I thought was interesting was how it kind of mirrored “Shall We Dance,” but this time much more led by Polly.
In “Embraceable You,” you see Polly put Bobby into dance position the way Bobby put Polly into the dance position in “Shall We Dance.” It’s like she learned that from Bobby, so she does the same thing to him in “Embraceable You,” but she doesn’t know it’s Bobby because he’s dressed as Zangler. What’s interesting about “Embraceable You” too is normally you would do that song very seriously, as a ballad almost, but because of the plot and the mistaken identity, it really turns into a comedy moment. Polly is in love with him, but the comedy of him not being discovered in this getup is the real star of that song.

“I Got Rhythm” is kind of a beast of a song. Where did you start with that?
What’s great in the plot is that Bobby’s about to give up and saying, “I put the show together, but I didn’t sell any tickets, and that means it’s a flop, because that’s a good indication when you don’t sell tickets,” but Polly starts to sing to him about what he has given the town. They were just a bunch of drifters and doing nothing and now he’s introduced them to music and to art and to dance. That number, again, was a great collaboration with the set designer because in the town of Deadrock there’s a feed store on stage and a hardware store, so [I could use] all the things you can pull out of a hardware store. There are pickaxes and mining pans, and it starts to show Bobby how the town has acquired rhythm by the guys picking up all the various tools and props that would be in a hardware store and banging on them showing him the different kinds of rhythm that they could do. And ultimately it escalates into almost a party. It was seeing what kind of props would be appropriate and always remembering it’s a mining town and doing the research for choosing the props. I even went to Nevada and went to an abandoned mining town and took pictures and thought through what could be there, and collaborated with Robin Wagner about what could be there.

One thing I found interesting about that number is you used the tin roofing to change the sounds of the taps, and the dancing actually sounds different than in the New York City scenes.
The corrugated tin was very much a part [of those towns]. In the 1930s people built a lot of houses using corrugated tin, and siding on barns was corrugated tin. So there was corrugated tin on the roof of the hardware store on stage so the sound of the taps sliding across the corrugated tin gave it a whole new sound and just added to how different it was from when they were in New York.

I’m assuming that plays into what you were saying before about wanting to give it a different feel when they are in Nevada.
Absolutely. All the dance that happens in “I Got Rhythm” is very different from the dance that happens in New York, which is much more sophisticated. The two numbers in New York are “I Can’t Be Bothered Now” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and they have a sort of all-knowing sexuality and a smoothness about them. Then in Nevada, it’s a different sound, it’s a different rhythm, and “I Got Rhythm” turns into more of a celebration of two different types of people coming together.

Is there anything special that you keep in mind when you have a song that is going into intermission?
It’s always good to have a cliffhanger in any show going into intermission and this has the ultimate cliffhanger because just when Bobby, dressed as Zangler and Polly are together, the real Zangler comes into town right at the end of the number. So it has the ultimate cliffhanger because who knows what’s going to happen now that the real Zangler has shown up? It was great writing by Ken Ludwig.



I wanted to talk about a comedy scene next, which was “What Causes That?
In the 1930s, Harpo Marx did a whole mirror routine with the Marx Brothers and it was very funny, and Mike Ockrent and Ken Ludwig knew it very well and they thought it would be perfect with the time period that we were in and also for the comedy, and we had two guys that were dressed exactly alike. That scene was written, and when we got the two comics there, Harry Groener and Bruce Adler, they also contributed because they’re both wonderful comics. The song “What Causes That” was actually found in a trunk. It was a song that no one knew. The Gershwin estate allowed us to look further and deeper and they found this song that they thought might be appropriate, and boy was it. It was perfect for us to use and it was perfect for those two comics. I made sure that I knew what that scene was, and I saw the guys do the scene and made sure that it spilled right into the choreography. Because that’s the thing when you have a director and a choreographer, you never want to see where the director’s work ends and the choreographer’s begins, it needs to look and feel seamless. And that’s a good example, where I watched the scene and was able to take the scene and the same idea throughout the number.

Right after that is the number “Naughty Baby,” which places the character of Irene on the bar table and, overall, has a much more limited range of motion.
Those two principles at the time, Michele Pawk and John Hillner, were not dancers. They weren’t going to go into a big dance number, so it was doing something more about the lyric of the song and about the idea that he’s frustrated with Polly and she’s frustrated with Bobby, but lo and behold, they see something in each other. So now Irene starts to vamp Lank. I wanted to make it look different from the other numbers too, so the idea of placing it on the café table seemed like a good idea. We hadn’t done that before.

“Stiff Upper Lip” is another big ensemble number with a lot of chairs.
What’s interesting about Crazy For You is we had a whole different second act, and when we ran it, Mike and Ken realized that it wasn’t good enough. We all got on the Amtrak to go down to Washington DC where we opened out of town, and while we were on that train ride, we re-wrote that second act. There was a whole other number in there called “By Strauss, and there was a whole set of costumes there that was thrown out. What seemed perfect about “Stiff Upper Lip” is the Fodors, who we introduced at the end of Act 1, could have a number to say they needed to carry on and chin up. It ended up being the perfect number. “Stiff Upper Lip” was written by the Gershwins in response to Jerome Kern writing “Pick Yourself Up,” and it seemed perfect for us because, lo and behold, we had two English people in the show. So when I got down there, we put “Stiff Upper Lip” together. The idea of having it in the ballroom of the theatre [seemed right], because then I would have ballroom chairs, and then it was about a rally—people rallying together to get the strength up again to carry on with the show. In effect, re-writing that second act on that Amtrak train saved the show.

Was that a case of you basically putting together the number in the afternoon and it went in the show that night?
Yes, absolutely. There were studios down there in DC, it was at the National Theatre, and we worked on it and did it fast and everybody was game. It was really wonderful company and everybody was game and really loved to dance. It came together rather quickly, but I think that’s because it was right; right for the plot and right for the story.

Did you walk into the rehearsal room with it fully in your mind or was it actually a little bit in the moment?
It was a little bit in the moment, sure, and my dance arranger, Peter Howard, he just watched what I would create and he would write music as I was doing it. When the Fodors and the father get up on the table, he played it like a little Irish jig, and when Tess and Patsy get up there, he plays it like a swing number, so it has a lot of elements in it. It has a lot of wonderful musical variations in it.

There’s also a moment when you have Polly and Bobby on the table and all of the ensemble around them on the ground, which is an interesting visual because you don’t see dancers that low to create different levels that often. What did that come out of?
Bobby and Polly were going to do a little tap-off, but they didn’t have tap shoes on. So I thought, “What if the ensemble tapped out exactly what they were doing?” So the ensemble is eye-level with their feet on the table and they all have rings on their fingers and they tap out the exact choreography that Bobby and Polly are doing. She ultimately wins and knocks him off the table.

So you had to call the costume designer and be like–
I need rings.

Shortly after that is “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” back in New York.
Bobby goes back to New York when he thinks Polly doesn’t love him. She’s so mad at him because he tricked her by dressing up like Zangler. So he goes back to New York and he doesn’t know what to do, he’s resigned to be a banker. Then he realizes his mother has actually bought him the Zangler Theatre and he says to her, “How did this happen? What happened to Zangler?” She said he gave it all up for some woman in Nevada and he realizes that in order to get something, you have to give something, and gave it up. So, in thinking this through in his mind, the girls who appeared to him the first time appear again to sing “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” but you can only get it if you try. By the end of that number, he realizes he has to give everything up for Polly and go back to Nevada. The choreography [for that number] is more sophisticated and the girls move in a slower way and they’re really telling him, “Fall in love, you won’t regret it.” It’s them trying to give him the right information to make the decision to go back.

So for the finale, when you have to tie everything up and have a big ending, how did you do that?
You realize that Polly was going to give up Nevada and go to New York to see Bobby, and then she realizes that he’s here and they fall in love. And the best last line in the show is: “Bobby, do you want to dance?” And he says, “Who could ask for anything more?” And they start to dance, and what happens is the dance turns into what one thinks is the Gaiety Theatre in Nevada, so that they really did save that theatre and bring life to the town. Bobby and Polly get together and the town is renewed and starts to thrive again because they’ve made the theatre work.

Did you know how the sets was going to work for that last part when they rise up and it becomes like a Follies set?
This is what happened: there was saucer on the table, and I said to Robin, “What would be great is if we matched up that lyric that said, ‘I’m up among the clouds’ and something lifted on the set.” He picked up the saucer and he said, “you mean like this?” He picked the saucer up and it rose off of the coffee table like that and he said, “We can do that.” And that’s exactly what happened. They start to dance, and the center of the stage starts to lift you, and what transforms is what he has brought to the theatre: all the girls are there, everybody’s dancing, it has a beautiful finale ending, a beautiful follies ending. And they are dancing together in each other’s arms.

Wasn’t Crazy for You one of the first shows to have a choreographed curtain call?
I don’t know if that’s true, but I am accused of that. People say that, but I don’t know if that’s true. Because since then there’s been a lot of choreographed curtain calls. Crazy For You is so joyous, to just come out and bow in a straight line didn’t seem right. So I started to work on the music with the dance arranger of everybody’s bow. Then I realized that I needed time for the girls to get changed out of those follies costumes, so, in fact, they come out much later. They come out after the principles, which is kind of unheard of, but it made it so that the entire company is dancing. The principles are dancing and they all sing the last line, “Who could ask for anything more?” It’s just about the kind of joy that the show brings to people. I would sit at the back of the house and watch people put their arms around each other because it made them so happy.



I wanted to talk a little bit more about the props throughout, which you touched on a number of times, but it seems like that’s one of things that people associate with Stroman choreography: using props. Is that something you associate yourself with?
It’s really something that came with what’s appropriate for the show. I do shows that don’t have any props, but Crazy for You, because of what it needed with rhythm, the props exemplified the characters and it exemplified the plot and helped push the plot forward, and that really came out of the story. There are a lot of shows that I do that don’t have many props, but if it’s right to heighten a moment, I would like to use a prop. Some dancers can’t deal with props. Some dancers, the minute you toss them a cane, they’re a mess. But if they can, I like to try to do it. Also, it sort of grounds it in reality. If you can sort of stick a musical in reality at all and have something that is tangible, that is real—for them to dance on the sofa that they were just having a conversation on—it gets it closer to reality or you believing it. It makes it more believable when people launch into song and dance.

I read an old interview from when Crazy For You first opened where you were talking about how it was a little challenging to find dancers who could do the style you wanted because it had been so not in fashion.
That’s true, people hadn’t danced together for a very long time, since the twist. The twist took everybody away from each other and people didn’t dance together anymore. When I started doing Crazy for You and actually trying to get people to partner with one another, it was difficult for a lot of them because they didn’t have to do that, no one had been dancing like Fred and Ginger for a long time.

Did you have any tricks for teaching people partnering?
Yes, absolutely. I worked with my associate—at that time it was Chris Peterson—and partnering for us came naturally, and we would teach them how to do it. As I would say what the woman would do, Chris would show what the man would do. We’d have to break it down. Same thing happened when I did Contact that had a lot of partnering, it was the same thing of teaching classes in partnering, because people weren’t asked to do that any longer.

At the time, was it a little scary to say, “We are doing this big musical that’s going to be different than what’s in style at the moment”?
Sure. Every musical is scary, every time you go into it. Crazy for You was so filled with joy because it was so funny and the team was funny and the actors were funny. There was great deal of joy all around with it. So even though it could be daunting at times because of its size, it was just swimming with joy at all times.

What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about that kind of style of musical theatre?
I think Crazy for You is very special because it has wonderful Gershwin music, and it has a terrific story that follows through and the music naturally goes in and out of the scenes. A lot of the musicals of that time or that genre are a little more clunky and not as smooth. I feel like Crazy for You has a smooth journey all the way through, so I think it separates it from the other musicals of that genre.

What do you feel the legacy of the show is?
I think it’s a real musical comedy. A lot of those old shows are called musical comedies but they’re not really that funny. But I think it’s really a musical comedy, in the purest form. I know too that the show affected people. People tell me today that that was the first show they saw or the show that made them want to go into the theatre or they’ll never forget seeing that show. I know that the show affected a lot of people of that generation that are here today. Even the younger people, because Crazy for You is done a lot, everywhere, and it somehow taps into some emotion for a lot of people. I think it’s because it’s about falling in love too, and falling in love when you’re in somebody’s arms dancing, and who could ask for anything more?

For you, on a personal level, what do you feel like the show did for your career?
It was my first Tony Award. It was an incredible time for me, and all of us involved. I was very lucky that when they were looking for a choreographer I had done The World Goes Round Off-Broadway and then Liza’s Stepping Out at Radio City, and I think it was the combination of the comedy of The World Goes Round and the extravaganza of Liza at Radio City that made them think I would be the right gal for Crazy for You. So I felt very fortunate that the timing of that all happened when they were looking for someone. The opportunity at that time for a choreographer to really dance was few and far between, because the shows were going more towards the Miss Saigon way, so it was a great opportunity for me to show partnering, show tap dancing, show comedy, show love, and so it gave me the opportunity to really strut my stuff as a choreographer. Winning the Tony Award, of course, was a dream come true. I remember as a little girl watching the Tony Awards and thinking it was way beyond my reach, so the idea of actually standing on that stage and accepting an award for something I loved so much, it was something I’ll never forget. Ultimately, I ended up marrying Mike Ockrent. We fell in love after the show opened and it was a wonderful relationship, and in every way it was like Bobby and Polly, and something that changed my life forever, moreso than the show itself.

When all that was happening, did it feel like all the sudden pressure to be winning a Tony and what do I do next?
No, because I love what I do so much that I’m constantly thinking of stories and I’m constantly singing and dancing and I’m constantly at it. It moreso made me want to do it again and again and again. It just made me stronger, but it made me also know that this is where I wanted to be and this is what I wanted to do.