Lena Hall Takes On Seven Questions About Hedwig, Groban, Tony Awards, & How to Transcend a Happy Marriage
March 30th, 2017
by Josh Ferri
Tony Award winner Lena Hall is back in NYC starring as the magnetic and mysterious Pip (a woman in a triad relationship who only eats meat she kills humanely by hand) in Sarah Ruhl's new play How to Transcend a Happy Marriage. Be warned, you'll never hear "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" the same way again after Lena's fierce AF interpretation. BroadwayBox caught up with Lena to talk about the wild new role, her full journey in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and the moment she was so nervous and starstruck she almost couldn't sing.
1. There is such a physicality to your performance as Pip. What informed that? How did you begin that process of how she’d move in the world?
She's a free spirit but she moves from a very grounded place! I tried keeping her as sensual as possible. Also, since she is very bird like, I wanted to take some characteristics of a bird so I decided to base her a little on a large bird like an Egret. Long slow movements, long showy legs!
2. What attracted you to this project initially? What spoke to you about the story and Pip in particular?
I love the themes of this show, and there are so many! The show speaks to me in terms of the consumerism that we, as Americans, are born into. The wastefulness of our American culture and how almost everything is so disposable. We've become a society that is mindlessly spending and throwing away. I, personally, am trying to be more aware of how much stuff I throw away and buy. I want to live my life with purpose and that includes what I eat, use, buy and dispose of.
I was drawn to Pip because there were so many things in the script that I have said before and I thought, "I relate." I am not one to plunge myself into polyamory, but the concept of having a community of people as family is far more interesting to me!
3. Tell me about your most memorable New Year’s Eve ever.
Y2K 2000. I spent with friends in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria! We played the game "murder in the dark" ran around, drank wine, and stayed the night. The next morning was not so fun because I was hung over and had a matinee at the Winter Garden. I was in CATS at the time.
4. When you do karaoke, what are you singing?
I always sing some AC/DC, Heart, Janis Joplin or the always crowd favorite, “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N Roses! P.S. I LOVE Karaoke!!!!
5. Where do you keep your Tony Award?
On my dresser near my guitars!!!
6. What was the most challenging and the most rewarding part of going from Yitzhak to Hedwig?
Having a deep understanding of both roles! Finally getting to try my hand at the beautiful, complex and tragic role that is Hedwig. It felt like a completely journey and like I left my soul with her!
7. What was your most cherished memory of touring with Groban?
Awe! I love my friend Josh! He is really one of the best human beings I have ever met! I would say my favorite moment was when David Foster was announced right before I was and nobody told me he was going to be there! I almost couldn't sing I was so nervous! But what an incredible moment to get to sing a duet with Josh and have David Foster playing piano for us!! I'll never forget it!
Don't miss Lena Hall as Pip in How to Transcend A Happy Marriage at LCT's Newhouse Theater through May 7.