Broadway Sandwich: “My Fair Lady”
Follow Broadway's biggest stars during their breaks between matinee and evening performances. Go backstage and see the amazing hats from “My Fair Lady” with Rebecca Eichenberger.
Rebecca Eichenberger, fellow Broadway star,
and our guest on the next episode
of "Broadway Sandwich." -What? What?
-Boom. -I was stalking you.
You know, I figured out where you were going to be.
What do I do between shows?
I have fateful encounters with other Broadway stars.
Get food poisoning from halal trucks.
-Oh, is that what you get? -Let's get some.
Scribner: The lives of Broadway performers are busy.
They only have a few short hours
between their matinee and evening performances,
and they're giving us an inside look,
from grabbing a bite to unwinding,
plus a backstage tour.
Have you ever wanted to see what we do in the time
sandwiched between performances?
Follow along and find out.
This is "Broadway Sandwich."
Today we're at the Vivian Beaumont Theater,
part of Lincoln Center Theater,
where the award-winning revival of "My Fair Lady"
has been playing for over a year now.
[ "I Could Have Danced All Night" plays ]
It's the only Broadway-classified theater
that's technically not in the Theater District.
It's about 15 blocks north at Lincoln Center,
which is also the home to the Metropolitan Opera House,
New York City Ballet, the School of American Ballet,
and the Julliard School.
The original Broadway production of "My Fair Lady"
opened in 1956,
starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews.
Since then, there have been countless global productions
and four Broadway revivals.
Of course, the best known version of the show
is probably the Audrey Hepburn film.
Today, we're hanging out with Broadway vet,
and my friend, Rebecca Eichenberger.
Rebecca made her debut on Broadway
in 1990 in "Phantom of the Opera,"
which is also where she's met her husband.
Since then, she's appeared in eight Broadway shows,
including three stints back at "Phantom of the Opera."
I first met Rebecca doing "An American in Paris"
with her on Broadway a few years back.
She is a pro.
Ah, there you are!
-Rebecca. -Hi, Garen. How are you?
-How's your show? -Great.
-So matinee is over. -Matinee is over.
How much time do we have before the evening show?
Well, we have a long show, so it's probably about 2 1/2 hours.
Okay. What's the plan today?
-Let's go eat at Indie. -Perfect. Right here.
It's a great restaurant right here, yeah.
-Love that place. -Then maybe we'll do
a little shopping. -Sounds good. Let's go.
-Why not? Let's do it. -All right.
-Yeah. -Why don't we sit here?
We need to talk about wisdom that you have learned
over these years of being in all these shows
and surviving this business.
-Wisdom, really? -Yeah.
-That's so funny. -I know you have it.
You got to show up, you got to do your job,
but you have to understand that careers
do not necessarily...
-Yeah. -...go like that.
You know, they do this.
-Not linear. -You have to be able to float.
Not linear. You have to be able to float.
How did you make it this far in the business
and this long in the business without losing your mind?
Like, you seem so balanced.
You seem like you've maintained a normal life outside of this.
Yes. Well, I have.
-How'd you do that? -Well, I...
There's balance, and my family balances out my career.
Because if you make your career the whole thing,
you're bound to be disappointed because --
Yeah, you're setting yourself up for a pretty rocky road.
"The show doesn't love you back,"
as my friend Charlotte says, you know?
Your amazing husband is also in the business,
who I also know. Such a cutie.
You met him at "Phantom of the Opera."
Yes. I met him at "Phantom of the Opera,"
but he's not an actor. He was the original boat driver.
Did you think twice about becoming a performer
because that's hard to do? No.
I didn't think about becoming a performer.
That's just what I knew.
That's just what I did, and that's...
I never thought about it.
I just -- That's what I did.
I always knew I wanted to have children,
and I always knew that that was a priority.
Do you feel like your career could have been different
if you didn't have kids?
Maybe. I mean, you never know.
Probably, I would have been freer to make different choices.
It doesn't even make sense to think about it
because I would never trade my children.
Okay, so what year were we in Paris?
I bought these sunglasses in Paris,
and I think it's high time for some new ones.
Yeah, well, if they had been mine,
they would have lasted about 2 weeks.
I know. I'm surprised I still have them.
You've very much earned a new pair.
-It's time for new glasses. -So should we go get a pair?
-Yeah. Let's go. -Let's do it.
All right. So we're right outside your theater.
Yes, we are. Lincoln Center.
We had a good meal, and now we're going to go shopping for sunnies.
Well, because why not? It's so sunny!
And I figure this i the perfect time
to talk about your career highlights.
-My career highlights. -You've done a lot of shows.
I have done a lot of shows.
-Let's hear about some of those. -Oh, my goodness.
Well, I started as a kid, doing dinner theater
when I was about 10 or 12.
And then I got my Equity card and did summer stock.
Then I moved to New York with a Broadway show,
with "Phantom of the Opera."
How old were you?
I was pretty -- 28. So I was -- It was late.
You know, some people say, after you do a lead in a show,
it's like you have to make a choice, you know,
you're going to only go in for leads,
or are you going to go back to the ensemble?
How people see you is important.
So how have you been able to manage that?
Well, I want to still work on Broadway,
so I'm realistic, you know?
I want to work. I want to do what I do.
It's keeping me young.
It's keep me fit, working, and happy.
Are there any shows, any types of shows,
that you haven't done yet
that you really feel like you want to do?
-Well, in terms of theater... -Yeah.
...I would just like to do a show
that I could wear my jeans in.
-Like something contemporary? -Just something contemporary
because I do nothing but period pieces,
and I'm always in corsets and turbans.
More turbans than you can shake a stick at.
We like it up here. It's called Broadway [Speaks French].
Broadway [Speaks French]?
It's, like, you know, the restaurants are way better.
You don't have quite the street traffic.
Yeah, well, because this is literally, like,
20 blocks north of most of the Broadway theaters.
Yeah. Lincoln Center is where it's at.
I love it. Do you like an oversized?
I don't know, because I have a small face.
I do, too. I have a narrow face.
Yes, a narrow face. You have to be careful.
Like, they can't be too big and crazy.
So something in between.
Okay. So I love these.
-I like these. -I'm going to think on these.
All right. I'm going to think on these, too.
You actually have a second show...
Yeah, that I can't wear sunglasses in.
...so we have to get you back to the theater. So we got to go!
Do you want to think about these a little before you come back?
Well, luckily, you're right nearby,
and you can choose and come.
They look like the ones I already have.
Isn't it amazing how we just end up
picking the same things over and over again?
And making the same mistakes. But that's about me.
All right, Rebecca Eichenberger.
It's my favorite part of the show.
It's our SSS, "Sixty-Second Sandwich."
Okay! You got 60 seconds on the clock.
Oh, God. I'm nervous.
Answer as many questions as you can in the time allotted.
-Are you ready? -I'm ready.
Okay, time...now! One minute.
Facebook user Sandra Berry Irwin asks,
"What iconic Broadway performance has inspired you?"
Tyne Daly in "Gypsy" when she slapped the floor!
Dennis Schroder asks, "Have you ever gotten advice
that seemed strange or antithetical
to what you know but actually worked?"
Number three -- best advice you'd give to young people
trying to make it in the biz?
It's called technique! Get some!
Have you ever had a normie job, a normal person job?
Yes, I was a singing waitress.
At Miceli's in Studio City, California, West Hollywood.
Liz RC on Insta asks,
"Do you actually need an agent for Broadway?"
-Uh, yeah! -24 seconds.
Go-to karaoke song?
♪ And I...
Got it! Joseph Maletti on YouTube asks,
"Fave thing to do when not performing?"
Favorite thing to do when not performing?
-Traveling! -Top tips for vocal health?
Don't take anything that dries you out, sleep, water.
Dream role you haven't played yet?
Anyone in the biz
you haven't worked with that you're dying to?
Yes, Patti LuPone!
Patti LuPone! You did it! You nailed it!
That was 10. All right.
That's pretty good.
Now we have to get you back to the theater.
-Yes, I have to go. -Let's go. Let's go!
Oh! We're going this way.
A little bit more space than the Broadway theaters.
So I have a picture of my son coming down
this hallway when I did "Carousel,"
and he was just a baby, just a year old.
-Little baby Isaac. -Little baby Isaac.
And then I got him again coming down this hallway
when he was 26.
That's so special.
I know. It really is.
I felt like it was full circle kind of.
This is like coming home.
-Yeah. Yeah. -Yeah. Love that.
Your kids wrote to me when I asked them
about memories from you.
"She's the greatest role model I could ever ask for,
and the older I grow, the more I realize
what a badass woman she is,
how she manages to juggle raising a family,
continuing a successful career
and maintaining close friendships.
She is a superwoman."
That was Olivia.
-That is so amazing. -How does that feel?
In the theater where you used to bring them when they were kids?
I know! It really is.
It's a full circle moment, you know?
I got pregnant with Olivia when I was doing "Carousel,"
and, you know, all the guilt that goes into parenthood
and being away so much, it's good to know
that I did not scar them for life.
No, you made their life richer.
Now we're starting to get into all of...
...the gorgeousness that is "My Fair Lady."
Boots. Show shoes.
This is my hat that I wear as Lady Boxington.
Look at that.
This way is my dressing room, which is...
-And these are my costumes. -Hello, costumes.
Aren't they beautiful?
Now, what's your history with "My Fair Lady"?
I've never done "My Fair Lady" before.
This is your first time doing it?
First time doing "My Fair Lady."
Had you always wanted to?
Um...yeah. [ Laughs ]
[ Laughs ] Yeah.
I've never really thought about it, you know?
It just -- It was the show that came up.
It's a beautiful show,
and I particularly love our production of it.
This is a beautiful dressing room.
Isn't it lovely?
You've got good space in here, man.
-I know. I know. -A place to snooze.
A place to snooze. Nap time is primo.
This is my beautiful
ascot costume that goes with that beautiful hat.
-Oh, yeah. -This is Lady Boxington.
And there's so much detail in these costumes.
It's really quite extraordinary.
It's so fun. You get to turn into somebody else every day.
Oh, yeah. Can't be that.
Michael Grandage gave us this wonderful kind of quote
from when we were opening "Evita," and he said,
"I want to tell you, there were two people
in the audience right next to each other,
and one is having their life changed by your performance,
and the other is losing his will to live,
and he will be the louder."
So there's always going to be critics.
There's always going to be people who hate what you do,
but that one person is being transformed
by what you're doing, and that's very gratifying.
You said earlier that
the shows don't necessarily love you back.
What did you mean?
Well, not like your family does.
But, you know, they do become your family, as well.
But the actual business of being in a show, it's a business.
-All right. -Okay.
-We'll see. -Okay.
This is just going to be a quick tuck.
Give us the tutorial.
All right. Well, you know --
What are the secrets?
You've been doing this a long time.
Well, you have to have your hair done before you start.
Right. So you do pin curls...
Like, at the beginning of the show, for your wig prep,
you do pin curls? -Yes.
And then they stick the mic on top.
Correct. The mic lives in there,
but then you have time to take the mic out before...
Because this a long show,
and we have a lot of time before we do that.
Now, mind you, I have on this. It's like dress up.
-Yeah. -It truly is.
You get to dress up eight times a week.
It truly is.
Put on the coat. You're ready to go.
The full look.
-The full look. -It's very Capulet.
So here I am, yet again in another turban.
-I love it. -It seems to be my lot in life.
-I could stay here all night. -Nope, sorry, you got to go.
-Are you sure? -Yep. Time for the show.
-I really like it here. -No!
-Okay! -I love you.
See you. I love you.
Have a great show. I'll see you next time.
Thank you. You will!
Ah. You look divine!
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