Five Burning Questions with Pippin Star Rachel Bay Jones
March 20th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Rachel Bay Jones makes a major impression in the Tony-winning revival of Pippin as your everyday, customary kind of woman Catherine. She infuses the character with warmth, comedy and sincerity—turning the widow Catherine into the highlight of act two. Jones (whose other Broadway credits include Hair, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Meet Me in St. Louis) also released an album titled ShowFolk, in which she puts a folk/bluegrass spin on 11 well-known showtunes. It’s really worth checking out! BroadwayBox caught up with the busy singer, actress and mother for this week’s five burning questions.
1. There are so many extraordinary moments in this production, which one stops the show for you? What still leaves you mesmerized?
One?! Every single trick is mesmerizing for me! It still makes my heart soar every time I see somebody jump through an impossibly high hoop. I know it's not a big circus trick, but I tirelessly love watching Terrence Mann and Matthew James Thomas play with each other onstage. They are both just so funny and alive that I'm guaranteed a good belly laugh or an electric thrill whenever I watch them together. And, Charlotte d'Amboise killing the final button of her dance number…Annie Potts singing in the air…Patina's steely, wicked grin! I still spend most of act one in the wings.
2. What’s been your most memorable experience at the stage door of Pippin?
I love hearing audience members’ stories about their production of Pippin. Everyone from rural-middle-school Leading Players to Catherines from the first Israeli production. This show has such a profound effect on people, deep memories staying with some throughout their lives; it's remarkable to really feel the scope of that.
3. If you could only bring one album on a desert island with you, what makes the trip?
Joni Mitchell’s Hejira—endlessly gorgeous musical and lyrical landscapes. I’d lay on my banana leaf hammock, sipping my coconut water, lean over and drop the needle on the portable, surprisingly solar-powered record player I rescued from the shipwreck, and dream of the open road. “I see something of myself in everyone / just at this moment of the world...”
4. As the daughter of two Shakespearean actors, what role of the Bard is on your bucket list?
Oooh. Lady M one day. She's complicated.
5. Do you have a signature dish? What would you say, ‘This is the Rachel Bay Jones.’
I rock the takeout! I love the eating part more than the cooking part, and time is often too short to get in and enjoy cooking these days. But I gotta admit, I make pretty good crepes for my daughter, who loves them more than anything. I usually make her drink kale shakes to offset the Nutella damage. I also bake my grandfather Harry Bay Jones's bread, but it's his name that's gonna stay attached to that recipe.
Don't miss Rachel Bay Jones in Pippin at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.