TheaterMania: Are you glad to be back in Cabaret after a break from the road company?
Joely Fisher: When I finished my eight-month run on the road, I took off the green nail polish and false eyelashes, and turned in my corset. I thought I'd never re-visit Sally Bowles again. I was happy to cut loose from the character and finally shave under my arms! I went back home to LA, but it didn't take me long to get very sad and miss her. I missed the people I was working with too. So, when the opportunity came to do the Broadway company, and it was such a short amount of time, I jumped--leapt!--at the chance.
TM: How is your Sally different from the other portrayals you've seen of the character?
Fisher: Needless to say, all the Sally's are going to be innately different because it's a different body on stage. Everyone comes at her with their own different histories. One thing I might bring to her is a lifetime filled with some similar experiences. I have observed the lifestyle and the needs of someone like Sally, who just wants love, and is finding it though her performance. She lives for that. She just wants someone to pay attention to her.
TM: What's it like singing that great Kander and Ebb music?
Fisher: The lyrics and the melodies are incredible to sing. And the book is quite perfect--it's easy to go on Sally's journey merely by playing the play. Technically, it's one of the best-written shows I've ever experienced because it's simple, truthful, and stripped of everything unnecessary.
TM: What was your last show on the road like?
Fisher: My very last show, after about 230 performances, was unforgettable. When I was singing "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret," there was such stillness for me. I was trying to be a sponge and suck up and remember every single second that I could. There's such power in the role. For all of Sally's vulnerability, destructive behavior, emptiness and loneliness, she possesses incredible power. It's the biggest rush you could ever have.
TM: You grew up traveling with your mother, Connie Stevens, during her nightclub days. What was it like to be an adult--out there on your own?
Fisher: I have to say, being on the road isn't my favorite thing. It's draining and tiring to be moving on a day when you should be resting and not talking. Each new city presented a new set of interviews and press to be done. It's a lot of work. On the other hand, the part that I loved was the sense that at any given time, there were 46 people that you could have a coffee with, hang out with, or grab a movie with. It's instant family! It's hard to explain this to the people that you're missing back home just how close you get. When I was about ten, I went on a six-week tour with my mom. When we finally got home, I was wandering though the halls of our house crying. I wanted all those people we toured with to be around all the time. It seemed so lonely without them! It's kind of a bad habit to always have to be surrounded by so many people.
TM: Is it weird being away from your husband (filmmaker Christopher Duddy) for so long?
Fisher: We celebrated our 3rd anniversary together while I was on the road. He came to visit me a lot. He's a complete support system. Plus, we talk to each other about four times a day.
TM: What kept you sane and happy being on the road for eight months?
Fisher: I loved fixing up my dressing rooms! I put up pictures of everybody from home. I always had great-smelling candles lit. I displayed beautiful cards from people I love. I also had quite a collection of art and photos of women who made up what I thought mySally Bowles was all about. They were all around my mirror. My dressing room here on Broadway is quite spectacular. There have been many Sallys in there, and there are little pieces of everyone left behind. Jennifer Jason Leigh painted it bright yellow...and I hope to leave a piece of my personality there when I leave.