Caridad Ferrer is a music person. She wrote Adios to my Old Life about a catholic schoolgirl plunging into the world of Latin American music -- and she loves Idina Menzel as everyone rightly should :).
Her new book, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT (buy from Books Inc.) is about "boring old Caroline" following in the footsteps of her caliente Cuban grandmother and reinventing herself as "Carolina" when she starts college. To her amazement, the Cuban act works like a charm on the opposite sex -- but will she be exposed as a fraud? And what will she learn about her true Cuban heritage?
(Like Sadye Dramarama, Caroline comes from a small Ohio town and changes her name when she gets to school!)
I can't wait to read it --- and isn't the cover hot?
Anyway, Caridad is the perfect person for the Dramarama Musical Theater Interview. She was Rizzo! AND Miss Hannigan. AND she met the cowardly lion. How cool is that?
1. You were in a play in high school, weren't you? Tell me all about it.
Oh yeah, I was. I was Rizzo in “Grease” and had the BEST time. Whenever I was in plays, I was always a second lead, but often ended up with the parts that tended to have the scene-stealing moments. When I was in “Annie” I desperately wanted to be Annie, of course, but wound up Miss Hannigan— wound up LOVING that part beyond all reason, really. Same with Rizzo— best songs in the whole play are hers-- “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” and “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.” I can still belt out the latter, given the right provocation and a couple of mojitos.
2. Give me song lyric that makes you laugh. Preferably from a show, but I'll cut you some slack if whatever you quote is funny.
I have sort of a demented sense of humor, but I can’t help but laugh every time I hear “Mack the Knife.” Perhaps because musically, it’s so cheerful and upbeat which is in such direct contrast to the lyrics.
Oh the shark babe has such pretty teeth, dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack knife has ol’ MacHeath, babe
And he keeps it out of sight
You know when that shark bites with his teeth, dear
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves though wears ol’ MacHeath, babe
So there's never, never a trace of red
From “Threepenny Opera”
3. If you've seen a show on Broadway, what was your first one? Whom did you go with, who was the star, what did you think of it?
I saw the Wiz with the spectacular Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion. I can’t remember who else was in the cast that night (I was only about eight years old) but I remember Ted Ross because when we went for dinner after the show, he was there and when I asked, he roared for me. He was a very kind, sweet man to a completely starstruck little girl.
4. What's your showbiz fantasy?
Oh man... it’s a toss up between a starring role in something like “Sunset Boulevard” or in a Broadway review, where I get to sing several songs or to just go into an empty studio with someone like Peter Cincotti or Josh Groban or Raul Malo and simply sit around a piano and jam and sing and have a good time.
5. Which Broadway diva are you, deep inside? And why? Ethel Merman, Carol Burnett, Nell Carter, Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Bebe Neuwirth, Audra McDonald, Carol Channing, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand? Or someone else?
Idina Menzel. She’s got the Broadway chops but can also go pop/jazz.
6. Write me a nice little song lyric for the book you're promoting right now. Please.
Hmm... I really suck at poetry/lyric type writing. Promise not to laugh?
Going off, on my own
Had to find the girl she was
The girl I am
And who we’d both become