“Sunday Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca is making his Off-Broadway acting debut, in the new play, “Fairycakes,” at the Greenwich House Theater in New York City.
Playwright and director Douglas Carter Beane (whose credits include “The Little Dog Laughed,” “Xanadu,” “Sister Act,” “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “The Nance”) describes the show as a “wonderful world of hope,” which conflates the stories and messages of fairytales (such as Cinderella and Pinocchio) with Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” – “stories from the past that give us cheerful guidance.”
“Fairycakes,” Beane said, “is a comic delight, but it’s also telling everyone to relax and embrace change.”
“This show is poignant, it’s meaningful, it’s bananas!” Rocca said.
“I think it’s just the fact that it’s such a free, crazy, anything-can-happen, characters who are mentioned in stage directions of plays come in and demand to be dealt with – it’s just nuts. And the actors we all have are just out of their gourds. I couldn’t be happier.”
Beane said he believed the time was right for a comic romp: “Because I just can’t with the serious drama, I just can’t! I’m sorry, I know we should all be going, ‘”Death of a Salesman,’ time is right!’ But I can’t. It’s been a year-and-a-half without theater. It’s been a year-and-a-half without sitting in an audience laughing.”
“I wanna see something that delights me and tickles me and people say, ‘Oh, I won’t remember that, you know, in a year,’ but then it turns out they remember it for 40 years, and it’s a wonderful part of their life.”
Rocca plays Geppetto. “This is not your grandparents’ Geppetto,” he said. “I’m a more vulnerable, smoldering, sexy Geppetto. … To get serious for moment: Why did you cast me?”
“Well, I was looking for celebrities with gray hair,” Beane said. “No! That’s not true at all. I thought of you and I knew you as an actor. You’re actually a really funny actor, and a hell of a dancer, remarkably so.”
“Will people think of me as a correspondent who dances? Or really, a dancer who corresponds?”
“I believe the actual theater term would be, ‘You’re a dancer that corresponds well.’ You can say, ‘singer who dances well,’ or ‘dancer who sings well.’ You’d be a dancer who corresponds well.”
“Fairycakes” will run at the Greenwich House Theater through January 2.
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Story produced by Roman Feeser.