Saturday, February 7, 2015
Exclusive Q&A with Broadway Icon, Lee Roy Reams part 2
Lee Roy Reams: Yes, that's correct.
BB: Oh my God, you were so young!
LRR" Yes. Well, you see, at the time there were not that many people who could sing, dance and act! That was the key, really.
I was cast in a small role as "Young Spanish Man," opposite Chita Rivera, and I had a few lines but it was a lovely experience. I got to meet and work with Juliet Prowse. And then I got to go out to L.A. and work on a tv variety show, but that's not what I wanted to do. So, I headed back to New York, to Broadway, and was cast by Richard Rogers in a musical revival of Oklahoma with Margaret Hamilton ("The Wicked Witch of the West" from The Wizard of Oz), and it was a very exciting time in my life, 1969. So, I've had the great fortune to have worked with these people. And going on to be in Applause with Lauren Bacall and on and on!
Then, I met Carol Channing shortly after that and worked with her in Lorelei, then Hello, Dolly. And that was the beginning of my relationship with Carol and Jerry Herman, actually.
BB: You've worked with the very best but... without mentioning names... is there anyone you'd refuse to work with again?
LRR: Hmmmm.... No, not really. I've been very lucky that way in the theater J guess. I've directed so many great talents who were always professional and with whom I loved to work, too. Jo Ann Worley, Leslie Uggams.... All wonderful! So, no, there really is no one I'd refuse to work with in the future that I can think of.
BB: What do you thnk of the state of Broadway theater in 2015?
LRR: There are still so many wonderful shows out there. But the big difference today is that there are no individual producers any more. You know? It used to be everyone could look forward to, say, a David Merrick production every year. Now, everything is put together by conglomerates; whomever can get together and put the money up. So, that is a big change in the manner in which shows are produced.
BB: You won't remember this, but I met you at BB King's a couple of years back, and we were introduced by Sherry Eaker....
LRR: Yes! Yes, I do remember you. Small world! It was at the Melissa Manchester show.
BB: Right. By the way, she's coming to 54 Below in March.
LRR: Wonderful! I'll have to go. Are you going?
BB: I hope to.
LRR: Great, I hope to see you, again, there!
BB: Last question. What do you like to do when you're not working? To relax?
LRR: I love living in New York City. I love going out! Broadway, off-Broadway, cabaret, shows! I love nothing more than to go out and partake in what's going on out there. I can't imagine living anywhere else or any other way!