I’ve admired Mary Louise Parker as an actress for some time. I loved her in Fried Green Tomatoes (one of my absolute favorite films), have seen a few episodes of Weeds which I’ve enjoyed, and was floored by her work in Angels in America.
She’s currently starring on Broadway in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, a play that gets revived on Broadway every two weeks. This time around, they’ve modernized it, and the critics weren’t too pleased. MLP has a few things to say about that in this recent Broadway.com interview:
How are the audiences responding?
With the exception of some of the matinees, the audience is really into it. Our audiences seem to be, for the most part, people who don’t really know the play. They want to know what’s going to happen next, and the first act ends well, so people stick around to find out. With a subscription audience, there’s generally a high percentage of walk-outs at intermission. Apparently, for this play, there’s a lower percentage of walk-outs than there’s ever been. I certainly don’t think the show is perfect, or that I am, but there must be something to it or there wouldn’t be anyone there. And we wouldn’t be selling tickets after The New York Times shat on it. It’s really sort of remarkable that there’s anyone in the house at all! The show is selling fine—maybe not as well as when I usually do a play? But it’s hard to sell tickets when someone shits on the show.
And she has this to say about Michael Riedel’s NY Post gossip column, which recently stated that MLP was causing backstage drama in Gabler:
Riedel did the same thing when I was working on Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and it was a complete fabrication. The rumor was that I wouldn’t go onstage for the first preview because I didn’t like the end of the play. That’s, like, crazy! The first preview was cancelled because I was vomiting, and was sent home after I showed up anyway. I was puking, going, “No, no, I can do this!” And they were all yelling at me to get the fuck home. But it’s more fun to write about me [being a bitch]. They want to create these iconic, infamous, ruined women wreaking havoc. It’s so mean.
I agree, MLP — it’s mean. (And I really want to know what she *actually stated* in place of [being a bitch].) However, Riedel is the ONLY columnist I know of solely devoted to the coverage of theatre gossip, and I love it and appreciate it. If it gets people talking about theatre, I’m all for it. I also appreciate MLP’s candor and verve.