Special Episode #11: Five years later!! Here I am again with a new podcast episode and an extra special guest star, THE bright star of Bright Star, Carmen Cusack! Carmen exploded last season with her highly acclaimed Broadway debut as “Alice Murphy” in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical, garnering every lead-actress-in-a-musical nomination that exists.
While Bright Star did mark Carmen’s Broadway debut, it certainly wasn’t her first theatrical outing. Her career began in the UK, including such star turns as Christine in Phantom, Fantine in Les Mis, and then back in the US on the national tours of Wicked as Elphaba and South Pacific as Nellie. Add in regional gigs playing Annie in First Wives Club, Mother in Ragtime and Dot in Sunday in the Park… and you’ve got a seriously impressive resume!
Since Bright Star closed, Carmen has kept busy with numerous concert gigs and a one-woman play, Do This, at the Gulfshore Playhouse. Coming up are appearances at the Kennedy Center for a Pete Seeger tribute on April 15th, a solo show at 54 Below on April 16th, and a concert with me (!) at the Axelrod Arts Center in Deal, NJ on May 20th!
Today’s selection is a “trunk song” from yet another one of my abandoned musicals, Hashi, on which I collaborated with Beth Blatt. Hashi was loosely inspired by Pollyanna, i.e. a hardened, spinster aunt gets custody of the newly orphaned child of her estranged sister. In our version which takes place today, the aunt, Barb, is a 40something, single NY businesswoman with no time for parenthood, and instead of a niece, Hashi is her nephew, born and raised in Africa and Asia by Barb’s free-spirited, hippie sister. Barb has just learned she will have to take custody of the boy, who arrives the next day. With no information about him and his life, she speculates on how “Nothing’s Gonna Change.”
This episode was recorded on March 20, 2017.