Final Bow: Sunday in the Park's Erin Davie Prepares for Last Not-So-Ordinary Sunday
For Davie, the art of making art involves backstage floods, snack addictions, and "monkeys!"
Erin Davie — veteran of Broadway's Grey Gardens, A Little Night Music, and the 2014 revival of Side Show — can be found strolling along the Island of La Grande Jatte in Sunday in the Park With George through next Sunday, April 23, when the show takes its final bow at the Hudson Theatre.
The acclaimed revival (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford as George and Dot), features Davie in the role of Yvonne — dutiful wife to famous painter and George's artistic adversary Jules (played by Robert Sean Leonard). With only a week left in the show's run, we asked Davie a few questions about her time in the world of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's introspective musical — a land where the art of making art is constantly explored, "ordinary Sundays" are never ordinary, and Flamin' Hot Cheetos are always on tap.
1. What is your favorite line that you get to say?
It's pretty satisfying to exclaim "Monkeys!" in the middle of a song.
2. Everyone loves inside jokes. What is the best one from your show?
We laugh a lot, but I think it's hilarious how many cast members have become addicted to Flamin' Hot Cheetos over the course of this show, and we are often eating them backstage. Disclaimer: I do not condone eating Cheetos. They are not even real food. It is genetically modified corn and MSG.
3. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty experienced during your show, and how was it handled?
When the downstairs hallway that leads from our dressing rooms to the stage flooded right before the show started, we had to walk through the boys' dressing room by way of a makeshift bridge made of a wooden plank and old carpet remnants to get to the stage.
4. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?
I have received no presents at the stage door; what am I doing wrong?
5. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can't say your family!)
Helen Hunt got me a bit tongue-tied.
6. What has been your favorite memory with stage husband Robert Sean Leonard as the Jules to your Yvonne throughout this production?
Just simply chatting about life in the wings before we go on.
7. Being an artist yourself, what line in Sunday in the Park speaks to you the most, and why?
This changes daily and weekly. Today I noticed "on an ordinary Sunday" — how much vastness can be found in the simple and ordinary. The tiny or huge life-changing moments that happen on any seemingly ordinary day. Julie Foldesi sits next to me in the dressing room and doesn't want to stare at herself in the mirror, so she put up a sign that says, "Pretty isn't beautiful."
8. What is the best performance note Stephen Sondheim gave (to you or anyone else) during rehearsals?
He said Yvonne is all about her husband's career and based on an actual famous person he knew.
9. What artist do you admire most, and why?
Banksy comes to mind. I like artists who dare to show the truth even if it's dangerous to do so.
10. In a short phrase or sentence, what would you say is the "art of making art?"
You might as well ask me, "What is the meaning of life?" I don't know if there is an art to making art. It's messy. Everyone is different.