Summertime in Baltimore brings “Broadway Favorites: A Summer Cabaret” featuring Judy McLane and Philip Hernandez to Everyman Theatre. The production will feature the two performers singing Broadway favorites from shows they have each appeared in, as well as some of the Great White Way’s greatest hits. I chatted with Ms. McLane about the cabaret, as well as performing in Baltimore and her connection to “Mamma Mia!”, in which she’s performed over 4000 times.
Ms. McLane’s first appearance at Everyman was last summer in “Los Otros” with Mr. Hernandez. She originally auditioned for the role in New York City for Noah Himmelstein and Michael John LaChiusa. They then brought the show to Baltimore for a highly acclaimed run. “Los Otros,” a musical about “discovering links in unexpected ways,” marked Everyman’s first foray into this type of production. Up until that point, the theatre had solely produced plays. The run of “Los Otros” went so well, that the creatives at Everyman reached out to Ms. McLane and Mr. Hernandez again to create a Broadway-centric cabaret, proving their dedication to bringing more music to their catalog of programming.
Ms. McLane was happy to return to Baltimore and Everyman because of her experiences last summer. She shared that the people at Everyman were wonderfully warm and welcoming to her and Mr. Hernandez, and she was happy to come back to work in that same creative environment.
Ms. McLane was happy to return to Baltimore and Everyman because of her experiences last summer. She shared that the people at Everyman were wonderfully warm and welcoming to her and Mr. Hernandez, and she was happy to come back to work in that same creative environment. She’s also performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and at the Kennedy Center, so she feels very much at home in Maryland. She’s looking forward to once again exploring Baltimore and all the city has to offer, from walks along the waterfront to taking in the city’s diverse dining scene. It seems that the weather here is also a big draw for singers. While many of us non-performers have been lamenting the intense humidity Maryland has seen this summer, singers like Ms. McLane appear to love it. Like athletes, performers must warm up to prepare and the moisture in the air is good for the vocal chords and the muscles.
Because Ms. McLane seems to feel so comfortable in her temporary home, I wondered if it is difficult to perform in this type of traveling show. Or is it easier to have a “9 to 5” existence that allows her to head back to her own home each evening? Ms. McLane shared that she loves the travel her job awards her. She thoroughly enjoys exploring new places. The chance to truly live in a city for an extended period of time, instead of just a day or two, excites her. Though, after multiple trips, she felt lucky to work in New York and stay in one place for a bit.
Before Ms. McLane could leave for another interview, I couldn’t let her get away with asking her about her work in “Mamma Mia!”. As a huge fan of her work in the show, as well as the movie based on the production, I just had to hear her thoughts on the sequel. Happily, she shared that she’d been granted a sneak peek at “Mamma Mia 2.” While not giving away too much, she noted that fans of the original and the musical will fall head over heels for the new movie. It includes pretty much everything fans loved from the original while expanding on the backstory of Donna. After playing Donna for so long on Broadway, Ms. McLane explained that this part of the story affected her emotionally. As an actress, she had already created a backstory for her Donna, and that backstory came together in a really beautiful way on the big screen.
With that, Ms. McLane was off to do a few more interviews about this new and exciting cabaret before her jam-packed day was complete. As Ms. McLane said, she’s appeared in Baltimore many times over the years and has enjoyed the chance to get accustomed to Baltimore and the wonderful people she’s worked with here. After hearing about her dedication to the craft, and her excitement about appearing in our city, I think it’s fair to call her an honorary Baltimorean. And because of that, I’m sure Baltimore audiences will be welcoming her and her talent home at Everyman to rousing applause throughout the cabaret’s run!
“Broadway Favorites: A Summer Cabaret” runs for 6 performances only, July 13 – 15 and July 20 – 22 at Everyman Theatre – 315 West Fayette Street, Baltimore MD 21201. For tickets, call (410)752-2208 or purchase online. Save $5 per ticket with code BWAY18, while supplies last. (Limit 4 tickets per order. Not combinable with other offers. Offer expires 07/22/2018.)