On Saturday, December 10, the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center hosted benefit performances of Freckleface Strawberry the Musical and Peter PANtomime in order to raise awareness and money for Save the Children.
On hand for the event were Oscar nominee and Broadway veteran Julianne Moore, the author of the popular Freckleface Strawberry book series, which is based on her own life, along with her 9-year old-daughter Liv; Tony Award winner Billy Crudup with his 8-year-old son Atticus; and Emmy Award winner Tina Fey, who brought her 6-year-old daughter Alice.
At the event, Moore and Fey briefly chatted with TheaterMania about their love for children’s theater and the possibility of their own talents gracing the New York stage in the near future.
THEATERMANIA: Tina, you’re seeing Peter PANtomime today? What is your favorite memory of Peter Pan?
TINA FEY: All of my favorite Peter Pan memories are actually memories of sharing it with Alice as she was growing up. She went through a serious, probably two and-a-half-year intensive Peter Pan phase, where it was all we read and all we talked about every single day. I was Wendy once for Halloween with Alice, and she was Peter Pan and her daddy [writer and musician Jeff Richmond] was Captain Hook.
TM: When are we going to see you on the Broadway stage?
TF: Oh my goodness, I would love to do that someday! My husband is a composer and he’s had shows up in Chicago and here at Ars Nova when we first moved here. I still have aspirations to do a Mean Girls musical, but we can’t do anything until my TV series, 30 Rock ends.
TM: What would be your dream stage role?
TF: Marlene in Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls. Definitely.
THEATERMANIA: Julianne, how do you think Freckleface Strawberry the Musical has been helping the arts within the school system?
JULIANNE MOORE: I go into schools and I read to kids, and we just talk about differences and fears and stuff. I find the book has been incredibly helpful, and I’ve had a lot of educators come up and tell me they’ve been great for the kids to talk about the issues that have been concerning them. In terms of theater, the play very much has a message of tolerance and acceptance, and I think the more that we can talk about that with little kids, the better off we are.
TM: Do you think Freckleface Strawberry is more pertinent today than it may have been in the past?
JM: We live in a global world where lots of people have lots and lots of differences, and the more we talk about them and the more we try to eradicate them, the better off we’ll be. It’s really about education and exposure.
TM: If you could go back in time to when you were Freckleface’s age and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
JM: I might tell her she’ll be surprised when she grows up. Things worked out okay!
TM: Are you planning to come back to Broadway one of these days?
JM: Maybe! I have a 9 ½ year old daughter, and a 14 year old son, and the last time I did a play it was pretty challenging because the kids were much littler. I was just not available to them. I think I have to wait until they really don’t care whether or not I’m around!