The current Diva Talk column interviews Leigh Ann Larkin who is giving a love it/hate it performance as Petra in A Little Night Music. I LOVED this passage in the interview where she talks about the show switching leads to Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch:
Question: How do you think the show has changed with them?
Larkin: Dare I say completely? I mean, completely is a pretty absolute word, but I would say, if it was on a scale from 1 to 10, I would say a 7 or an 8. Just because Catherine and Bernadette are so different, and Angela and Elaine are 180 opposites. When you have two people steering a show and they’re replaced with two other people, the show changes. I remember even our first preview, walking on stage and I was like, “What am I doing? Am I in this show? What am I doing?” because it was such an adjustment to where the show was before and what the tone of the show was and the mood of the show was before. And, now it’s become something that’s funnier. I mean, people are flipping out over it. They’re really enjoying it, and enjoying the humor that is brought to it and what Elaine and Bernadette bring. I think the cool part about that is, it’s really reaffirmed for me that it’s okay to be who you are and bring something different than somebody else. It’s okay that [some] people aren’t going to understand what you’re doing, and some people are going to think it’s the best thing they’ve ever experienced in their lives. It’s okay because these people are artists, and they’re true to what they want to bring and to what they do. And look at where they are — above-title, top-of-the-marquee, billboard-in-Times-Square legends. I think that’s what the coolest thing is about me getting to witness the transformation is that you just have to do what you do and what you believe in, and that’s what’s most important. There are a lot of moments in this business where you think, “Oh, gosh. Everybody hates me, I’m terrible. What am I doing? I’m never gonna work again. Where am I going?” And then you see people like that who are pretty much certified Broadway star/legends, who do what they do and do what they believe in doing, and it’s served them just brilliantly. Yeah, but it’s definitely seeing a different show.