Amy Bodnar as Marguerite
SP4: National Tour

The Scarlet Pimpernel : Broadway's Most Intriguing Musical.

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Interview with Amy Bodnar

NR: Can you tell me about the Canadian tour you did?

AB: Yes. I did Sunset Boulevard.

NR: How did you like life on the road?

AB: I have to say that this is going to be my first true taste of life on the road. What I just did - Martin Guerre - was probably more of a tour than anything that I've done. Sunset was planted in Toronto for a year and then it took three months off because that set was so massive that it took three months to move the set from Toronto to Vancouver. We had three months off, we were in Vancouver for five months, and then it closed. I call it a "Canadian tour," because (laughing) it went to two Canadian cities, but really we were sitting down. That production was too big to move. In fact, I think part of the problem with the national tour that went out in the US was that it cost them so much to move the set from place to place.

I loved Canada, and I loved that show. I made a lot of friendships that I think will last for a lifetime, and that's the most important thing I think about being on the road.

NR: How do you think you're going to do on this tour? Did you bring something from home to make yourself feel more comfortable?

AB: Well, already I feel good. Everybody in this cast is so tremendous. I went over to the laundromat today and it just so happened that four other people were at the laundromat. We were just talking about what the dynamic of the group is, and how incredible it is. It's a very great group of people, very generous, very mature. It's not a cast that's going to go out and be crazy, but we do like to have fun. We're all sort of at similar places in our lives and this means a lot to us for a lot of different reasons.

NR: How about when you go to a different house, as you did with Martin Guerre? Is it hard to adjust? Are the sets pretty much the same even though they're on a different stage?

AB: I guess we'll see with this. I don't want to say we're concerned, but one thing we're all thinking about right now is that this house is wonderful. It's big enough but it's also intimate. The shows plays so beautifully here and the response we've gotten has been wonderful. I just came from the Kennedy Center doing Martin Guerre. It's fantastic, the energy is great like this...the people who have been on that stage and what you feel, the same way that you do here...except it's HUGE. It's gigantic, so I think there's probably a bit of a thought about how those big houses are going to receive this show.

NR: Not only that, but I know Douglas (Sills) has very tightly timed entrances.

AB: Absolutely. I'm sure that will all change.

NR: If he, or whoever is playing Percy at the time, has a much larger distance to travel there will be a problem.

AB: Right. That will all have to adapt to each space.

NR: But you don't get a lot of time in the house before you start, do you?

AB: No. Even the Ordway, our next theater...I've seen a show there and that's a larger theater than this so I'm sure it will change at the Ordway.

NR: How about the audiences? Do different cities react differently?

AB: Oh, absolutely. That's something that I've noticed with all the different shows that I've been with. They're just so generous here in New Haven. It's been incredible. I think some of the cities where we'll find a different kind of response are probably cities like DC and L.A. and cities that are maybe a little bit larger. Also, when the venue is larger it seems like there's less of a response because they're more separated from us. The distance is a little greater. But, I have to say that of any show that I've done, I think this show will play so incredibly well regionally. I really, really do. I wouldn't say that if I didn't feel it was true.

NR: I agree, but then I'm very prejudiced. (laughs)

AB: I know for a fact in Minneapolis/St. Paul, those audiences are incredibly generous. They loved Martin Guerre. They were on their feet every night. I fully expect them to be on their feet every night for Pimpernel. Something else it seems that The Pimpernel inspires and other shows that I've been with have not, is just an incredible fan base. They're so loyal.

NR: I was going to ask you if you knew anything about that before you came here. First of all, how much did you know about the show before you came?

AB: Well, I've seen all three versions and yes, I know that there are very, very generous fans. It seems that it's the (Frank) Wildhorn shows that just inspire such a following. They really find an audience.

NR: That's true, but what's interesting is that each show brings in very different groups of fans. The shows are very different and they each seem to attract their own group of fans. So, you had heard about them in advance?

AB: Oh, yes, and I think it's inspiring. It's wonderful to have people that really love to see the show and cheer for us. They're like family.

NR: What has your reaction been to them so far? What have your experiences been like?

AB: I haven't had any yet! I don't think they know who I am. I think I look quite different without the "gear."

NR: Have you gone out the back door?

AB: I have.

NR: You're right then. They don't know who you are. A few people told me that they didn't see you so they assumed you went out the front door. Stop for a few minutes tonight.

AB: (laughing) Oh, no, it's OK. It's all right.

NR: Seriously, people were hoping to meet you, if that's OK with you.

AB: Of course it's OK with me. That's so sweet.

NR: I'll stop you tonight and point you out. I'm surprised Douglas hasn't done that yet. He loves doing that.

AB: No he hasn't. I think I snuck by him too. So, you're a big fan of the show?

NR: Yes, I love this show.

AB: What do you think of our new ending?

NR: I haven't seen it yet! I live pretty far from here and I haven't been able to see it yet. I'm going to see it tonight for the first time. You and William (Paul Michals) are the first two people I've ever interviewed without seeing you perform first.

AB: Well, good. (big smile) So I'll know that somebody's out there. Excellent.

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Interview conducted and photographs by Nancy Rosati.

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