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Rosie O’Donnell talks a little about her new talk show and a lot about Broadway in a terrific new interview

Rosie O Donnell Jennifer Hudson, Pictures: Rosie O'Donnell wrote on her blog: "The family tragedy of Jennifer Hudson -- no words will do -- a grief 2 hard 2 comprehend."There is a new interview with Rosie O’Donnell on that I just LOVED. It is such a fun read that I had to share it with you all. Here are just a handful of the questions so be sure to go to the site now or later if you want to read the entire thing.

Q: What are your fondest Broadway memories? You’ve spoken about PIPPIN, DREAMGIRLS and LES MIZ as being some of your favorites.

RO: LES MIZ was, I think, life-altering for me.

Q: Of course. What about as a teenager?

RO: THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG with Lucie Arnaz. I went to see that when I was like fifteen years old and I wrote her a fan letter. And she wrote me back!

Q: No way!

RO: Way! She wrote me back from the Imperial Theater on yellow stationary paper with the THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG logo. And I’ve kept every single letter, when she – or anyone – would write me back. I remember telling her, “I want to do what you do. I want to play this if there’s ever a revival when I’m old enough. I love this show!” And, you know, that show really changed me in the fact that she was so unbearably kind and reached back.

Q: Your TV show inspired an entire generation of interviewers.

RO: My TV show was created with Broadway as, definitely, one of the centerpieces. The new one on Oprah Winfrey’s Network that starts in September will be more of the same.

Q: Tell me what the theme and style of your new show on Oprah’s channel will be.

RO: It will be similar to her show, where it’s a single topic for one hour. But, some of those one-hour, single-topics will be revolving around Broadway and Broadway shows.

Q: Fantastic! For example?

RO: So, if a new show is opening, or there’s an amazing performance or if it’s “Chorus Boys You Need To Know”….(Laughs.)

Q: A little of everything!

RO: Broadway will play a featured, prominent role in the television show because it is the reason I became an entertainer. It is, to me, natural Prozac. If I could go see a Broadway show every week I would never need another anti-depressant.

Q: What a great memory! What else did you dig on Broadway as a kid?

RO: A CHORUS LINE. THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS. I was one of those kids who would take the train in and get a ten-dollar standing room ticket. Then, I’d wait by the stage door just to see the sweaty actors come out. For me, Hollywood was vague and mysterious and far away, but Broadway was a tangible place where I could go and see living, breathing people doing what I wanted to do.
Q: You have done so much for the Broadway community. More than any other person on the planet, really. You are Broadway’s best patron.

RO: Thank you very much. That’s very nice of you. Broadway has done so much for me in my life. It has made me feel a part of something and not alone. The words of musicals were the moral codes that I lived by. I found meaning and messages in musicals that I didn’t find in churches or school books and it really made me come alive in a way.

Q: What’s your favorite Broadway theater to see a show in?

RO: Every time I walk into the O’Neill it’s like, “Oh my God. Remember?” That was the first Broadway stage I got to stand on to do an audition [for GREASE]. There’s something about being a part of Broadway and going backstage. You know, like when I go to see a show now and going backstage and saying “Hi” to the cast. It’s so thrilling. It’s so beyond my wildest dreams from when I was a kid.

Q: A dream come true. Made real.

RO: It’s probably my favorite part of my whole showbiz experience, is Broadway. The community of Broadway. That feeling that happens every night. Being able to give that to my children – they have become, somewhat, theater experts – and they have their real strong opinions on what shows they like and don’t and why.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Stage, Talk Shows


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