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INTERVIEW: Jane Krakowski Takes Town Hall

The Tony Award-winning star discusses her new concert, returning to Broadway, and the final season of 30 Rock.

By New York City
Jane Krakowski
Jane Krakowski
Jane Krakowski has been thrilling audiences for more than two decades, in such shows as Starlight Express, Grand Hotel, Damn Yankees, and Nine, for which she won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards, and on such television shows as Ally McBeal and NBC's 30 Rock, on which she plays self-absorbed actress Jenna Maroney.

On Friday, June 8, Krakowski will show off her consummate skill as a concert performer in Jane Krakowski Live at Manhattan's The Town Hall. TheaterMania recently spoke to the award-winning star about the show, returning to Broadway, and her thoughts on the final season of 30 Rock.

THEATERMANIA: What does it mean to you to play Town Hall?
JANE KRAKOWSKI: Having grown up in New Jersey, I am so lucky to be able to finally play Town Hall. I always remember walking by and seeing everyone's posters outside. I am really thrilled.

TM: How is your Town Hall show going to be different from some of your past concert and cabaret performances?
JK: It will have pieces from some of my other shows -- and it will have the same fun and sexy vibe -- but I'm really getting to open things up. Not only does the songlist include some of my favorite songs from the theater shows I've done, but it's also a tribute to so many of the women I've admired over the years, like Mitzi Gaynor, Eartha Kitt, and Ann-Margaret. And those girls always had boys, so this time, we are getting boys. I've always wanted to have boys.

TM: Some of the songs in your act you've been performing for many years. Do you ever get tired of that material?
JK: I tend not to pick a song unless I really love it and I think it's going to bring fun to the audience. So I'm not tired of doing them.

TM: Your son, Bennett, is a little over a year old. Has he affected your choice of material?
JK: It's funny, the songs that are going around my head the most these days are from this group called "Music for Aardvarks," which are these city-specific children's songs that bring my son much joy. They really get him smiling and dancing. I really should include a medley of them in my show.

TM: Does Bennett have a favorite song of yours?
JK: Of course, Bennett doesn't understand what I do for a living, but he likes it when I sing around the house. His favorite song is "A Bushel and a Peck," which I sang in Michael Grandage's London production of Guys and Dolls. But it's a very different version than the one we're used to -- let's just say we brought it to a whole new level.

TM: NBC just announced that next year will be the final season of 30 Rock -- only 13 episodes. When the show is over, do you plan to come back to Broadway?
JK: I would love to come back to theater; it's my favorite thing to do. After Ally McBeal ended, I had one of my favorite all-time experiences doing Nine, so if the right show comes along, we'll see what happens.

TM: Do you think a Broadway run would be different now that you're a working mother?
JK: I am not sure what eight shows a week would be like. I should call some of my friends, like Sherie Rene Scott and Kelli O'Hara, and ask their advice for how they do it.

TM: Do you have any idea what to expect on the final season of 30 Rock?
JK: It's all a total surprise to me; it's probably all being created right now in the genius mind of Tina Fey. I'm just really glad that NBC gave us the opportunity to give the show a proper ending.

TM: At the end of last season, your character, Jenna, got engaged to her pansexual, cross-dressing boyfriend, Paul. Do you think the marriage will actually take place?
JK: I hope so. I adore working with Will Forte and some of my favorite moments on the show have come from their unconventional relationship. But whenever I try to guess what's going to happen on 30 Rock, it ends up wackier and more extraordinary than I ever imagined!


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