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Transparent producer Faith Soloway teases musical: ‘I have to go for it’

Series stars Judith Light and Alexandra Billings tell EW they’re game for a stage show

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Should Transparent become a musical? According to series producer and writer Faith Soloway, the answer is yes.

After Faith Soloway & Friends: Should Transparent Become A Musical? at New York City’s Joe’s Pub on Monday, Soloway told EW she is going to pursue the project. “I think people felt it,” shared Soloway, whose sister Jill created the series and serves as showrunner. “So, yeah. I have no choice now. I’ve decided. I feel like I have to go for it.”

Her musical-comedy cabaret previewed what “you’ll hear on the big stage if/when award-winning series Transparent becomes a musical.” Following its debut on Amazon in 2014, the series garnered critical praise for its portrayal of a family whose patriarch, Mort Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), comes out as transgender and transitions into Maura. Like the series itself, Soloway’s stage production test trial is unconventional. “It’s kind of audacious of a first time out to have a gig where you’re just trying musical numbers out,” she admitted. “Usually, there’s workshops and invited audiences. But that’s the way I like to do it. I like shows. I like relating to an audience.”

Transparent‘s cast is packed with theater vets, like Tambor and Judith Light, so one can’t help but wonder if those actors would reprise their roles in the stage adaptation. “Whoever wants to sing,” said Soloway, leaving the door open to the original cast of the Amazon series. “I would love that.”

Light — who plays helicopter mom Shelly, Maura’s ex-wife — was in the audience and didn’t oppose the idea of reprising her role on stage. “I don’t know whether they would ask me, whether they would want me,” said Light, whose character ended season 3 on a high note with a riveting, emotional performance of “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette. “But as far as I’m concerned, I would follow Faith Soloway and Jill Soloway to the ends of the Earth.”

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Faith Soloway Previews Songs from ‘TRANSPARENT’ Musical at Joe’s Pu

Faith Soloway Previews Songs from 'TRANSPARENT' Musical at Joe's PubAs BWW previously reported, Faith Soloway, a writer and producer of the hit Amazon series TRANSPARENT, appeared at Joe’s Pub on June 19th to present her cabaret show, “Should ‘Transparent’ Become a Musical?” During the performance, Ms. Soloway, sister of the show’s creator Jill Soloway, previewed songs that you would hear on the big stage, if and when the award winning series becomes a musical.

According to Variety, series star and Tony Award winner Judith Light and HAMILTON producer Jeffrey Seller were among those in attendance at the 75-minute cabaret show. Among those participating were co-host Alexandra Billings, who portrays ‘Davina’ on the series, Seth Bodi, Brandon Cordeiro, Amy Graves and Megan Amram. Read more

The Departed’s James Badge Dale Proves His Theatre Credentials

BY JOE GAMBINO
MAY 15, 2017

The son of actors Anita Morris and Grover Dale reveals the Judith Light performance that made him want to act.

Iron Man 3 actor James Badge Dale might be best recognized for his role as reclusive Simon in the 1990 film adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. But Dale, who has appeared in over 30 films and television shows, actually grew up in the wings of theatres. The son of actor Anita Morris, who originated the role of Carla in Nine, and dancer-turned-director Grover Dale fondly remembers running around orchestra pits and watching his parents from behind the curtains. After a four-year hiatus from performing onstage, Dale is back, starring in Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall at New World Stages about the previously unfathomable happening in Trump’s America. Before starting previews, he spoke to Playbill to prove his theatre bonafides.

What was your first professional job?
James Badge Dale: As an adult, it was Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, but as a child it was this little movie called Lord of the Flies. It was just something I fell into and then I fell out of. My first Equity play was in 2003 at the Flea Theater.

What was the stage show that has most influenced you?
JBD: I saw Judith Light do W;t in 1999 at the Union Square Theater and that changed me. That was the moment…I sat in that theatre and I grieved my mother’s death properly for the first time. The house emptied out and I couldn’t leave the house. I was sitting there wracked with sobs and it was cathartic for me. That was the moment that I understand that when an actor is standing onstage and you’re telling the story, you’re not telling it for yourself. You are telling it for the audience. It’s an honorable job. It’s a job of service. You’re doing it for other people. If you can touch one other person, it makes it worth it. That was the moment I wanted to be an actor. Judith actually knew my mother and when I went backstage she gave me a big hug. I’m still friends with her today.

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Judith Light, 68, Shows Off Flawless Abs in Crop Top at GLAAD Media Awards

Judith Light looks good and she knows it!

The 68-year-old actress proved age is just a number as she walked the red carpet in an ab-baring crop top at the GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday.

Light wowed in a gorgeous long-sleeved white gown that showed off her fit physique — and especially toned tummy.

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First Look at Al Pacino and Judith Light in Play About Tennessee Williams

BY HANNAH VINE FEB 08, 2017

Dotson Rader’s play God Looked Away is being groomed for a future Broadway life.

God_Looke_Away_Production_Photo_Pasadena_Playhouse_Al_Pacino_Judith_Light_HR_02_HR.jpg
Judith Light, Al Pacino, and Garrett Clayton Jim Cox Photography

The Pasadena Playhouse is hosting the developmental, world-premiere engagement of Dotson Rader’s play God Looked Away, which stars Al Pacino as the late Cat on a Hot Tin Roof playwright Tennessee Williams. The play is being developed for Broadway, adapted from Rader’s 1985 Williams biography.

Robert Allan Ackerman directs the six-week engagement that begins February 8 for a run through March 19. God Looked Away is the first play in the Playhouse’s new works program, Playworks.

FIRST LOOK AT AL PACINO AND JUDITH LIGHT IN PLAY ABOUT TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

Judith Light Receives Elizabeth Taylor Award at ACRIA’s Holiday Dinner

Light revealed the impact the late Taylor had on her passion for activism, as well as her thoughts on the current political climate.

By Alexa Tietjen on December 8, 2016

A “jewel box” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the 69th Regiment Armory. But on Wednesday night, the phrase was an accurate description of the space, where ACRIA held its annual holiday dinner.

“We don’t do the hotel ballroom thing,” said Benjamin Bashein, executive director of the foundation. ACRIA used to hold the dinner in a different artist’s loft every year. As it grew, the event moved to Donna Karan’s studio, where it stayed for 10 years until 2014. Now, ACRIA looks for spaces in which to re-create the lived-in feeling of an artist’s loft while comfortably holding 450 guests.

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Judith Light-Led ALL THE WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU Will Be Filmed This Week

October 18

👤by BWW News Desk
Judith Light-Led ALL THE WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU Will Be Filmed This Week

MCC Theater has announced that All the Ways to Say I Love You will be filmed for the New York Public Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) to be preserved for the archives at Lincoln Center. The filming will occur at the Thursday, October 20th performance. The twice-extended All The Ways ends its celebrated run this Sunday, October 23, 2016.

All The Ways To Say I Love You is a new play by Neil LaBute, directed byLeigh Silverman and starring Tony and Emmy Award winner Judith Light in a one-woman tour de force. This production, the first of MCC’s 30thAnniversary Season, began previews on September 6, 2016 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) and celebrated its Opening Night on September 28. It was originally scheduled through October 9.

Mrs. Johnson is a high school English teacher and guidance counselor in a long-time, loving marriage. As she recounts her experiences with a favored student from her past, Mrs. Johnsonslowly reveals the truth that is hidden just beneath the surface details of her life. All the Ways to Say I Love You is a solo play about love, hard choices, and the cost of fulfilling an all-consuming desire.

The creative team for All the Ways to Say I Love You includes scenic design by Rachel Hauck, costumes by Emily Rebholz, lighting by Matt Frey, and sound by Bart Fasbender. Casting byTelsey + Company.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

Judith Light Extends in All the Ways to Say I Love You

The solo play is Neil LaBute’s 10th collaboration with MCC.

Judith Light stars in Neil LaBute's All the Ways to Say I Love You at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
Judith Light stars in Neil LaBute’s All the Ways to Say I Love You at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
(© Seth Walters)

Neil LaBute’s new one-woman play All the Ways to Say I Love You, starring two-time Tony winner Judith Light, has extended its run at MCC’s Lucille Lortel Theatre. Performances will now run through October 16, adding a week of performances beyond the previously announced closing date of October 9. The show began its run September 6 in advance of a September 28 opening.

Directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman, the play follows Faye Johnson, a high school English teacher and guidance counselor in a loving marriage. As she recounts her experiences with a favored student from her past, Faye slowly reveals the truth that is hidden just beneath the surface details of her life.

All the Ways to Say I Love You is LaBute’s 10th work for MCC. The playwright’s 15-year collaboration with the company has yielded some of the his best-known works, including the Tony-nominated play Reasons to Be Pretty and Fat Pig.

The creative team for All the Ways to Say I Love You includes scenic design by Rachel Hauck, costumes by Emily Rebholz, lighting by Matt Frey, and sound by Bart Fasbender. Read more

Judith Light to Talk Life and Career at NYPL for the Performing Arts

by BWW News Desk
Judith Light to Talk Life and Career at NYPL for the Performing ArtsThe League of Professional Theatre Women will welcome Judith Light for its next Oral History interview. Light will sit down to discuss her extensive body of work on and off-stage.

The event will take place on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on 65th Street & Amsterdam Avenue. Admission is free, but seats will be on a first-come-first-seated basis.

BettyCorwin, who produces the Oral History series with Pat Addiss and Ludovica Villar-Hauser, remarks, “How lucky we are that the talented, award-winning and busy actress, Judith Light, has agreed to be interviewed for our next Oral History program on October 17th. She will just have completed her run in Neil LaBute’s off-Broadway show, ALL THE WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU at the Lortel Theatre and will come to Lincoln Center to share stories about her life and career with our eager audience.”

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Between ‘Transparent’ Seasons, Judith Light Isn’t Playing Nice

The actress Judith Light, who stars in “Transparent” on Amazon and will soon appear in a Neil LaBute play. CreditRyan Pfluger for The New York Times

Judith Light is enjoying the kind of career she deserves. In other words, at 67, she gets to work as much as she likes, she gets an early crack at quality roles, she is nominated for awards (and wins some) in each medium she tackles, and she is “beloved wherever she goes.” (That last remark comes from Jill Soloway, the creator of the breakthrough Amazon series “Transparent,” for which Ms. Light is up for an Emmy.)

So why would she decide to collaborate with Neil LaBute, that gnarly playwright of unlovable characters? Was life just too easy for her?

For the last couple of years, Ms. Light has been parsing a complicated role as Shelly Pfefferman, the self-absorbed mother of three remarkably unfinished adult children, whose ex-husband, played by Jeffrey Tambor, is a transgender woman. “Transparent” may be considered a comedy during awards season, but it is also a profoundly honest and often heartbreaking story of an upper-middle-class Jewish family in Los Angeles. Season 3 begins on Sept. 23.

In the meantime, Ms. Light finds herself in a cluttered rehearsal space above Eighth Avenue, preparing for the MCC Theater production of Mr. LaBute’s new play, “All the Ways to Say I Love You,” which is in previews and opens Sept. 28. It is a solo piece in which her character, a former schoolteacher blandly known as Mrs. Johnson, tries to justify her behavior to herself — and to us. (The run has already been extended to Oct. 16; then Shelly Pfefferman has to move back to Marina del Rey to shoot Season 4, bubbeleh.)

Ms. Light has a longstanding relationship with MCC, which partly explains why she’s returning to Off Broadway after four Broadway commitments, two of which — “Other Desert Cities” and “The Assembled Parties” — won her back-to-back Tonys in 2012 and 2013.

But as has become her way, it’s the chance to take on a challenging, many-layered role that has her enticed. “Each character I play,” she explained, “I have to wake up inside me.”

She is tinier in person than onscreen, her giant brown eyes seemingly bigger than her waist, her straight blond hair showing just a whisper of beach curl. Even on a warm day, her black turtleneck looks uncommonly chic.

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