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Broadway Interview

Tue 30 May 2017 return to previous page

Interview with Tony nominee Rachel Bay Jones

Rachel Bay Jones

Dear Evan Hansen
Rachel Bay Jones

Rachel Bay Jones is currently nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Heidi in the smash hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theatre.

Her previous Broadway credits include the 2013 revival of Pippin, the 2010 premiere of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the 2009 revival of Hair and she made her Broadway debut in the 1989 premiere of Meet Me in St. Louis. Other notable credits includ the National Tours of A Christmas Story The Musical, Fiddler on the Roof and Grand Hotel.

We caught up with Rachel to talk about Heidi's appeal in the groundbreaking modern musical...

Photo by Kathleen Campion
Rachel Bay Jones
Rachel Bay Jones

Thomas Hayden Millward: Itís lovely to meet you, Rachel. My first question has to be: Has anybody given you a map yet?!

Rachel Bay Jones: (Laughs) I actually did get a map! It was from my favorite gift store here in the city Ė Domus. The ladies that run that store sent me a map when I got the Tony nomination. I was so excited!

THM: I love that! And I do love that opening number of ďAnybody Have a Map?Ē And I love your character of Heidi. I feel that by adding her and Connorís parents Ė Cynthia and Larry Ė to the mix, the writers have given the show a much broader, inter-generational appeal. Would you agree?

RBJ: I totally agree! And I feel like even though sheís the ďMom,Ē itís not just the mothers that are connecting with her. What was important to us when we were developing her as a character was that she would stay really imperfect, but solidly strong in her love for her son. All of her mess-ups are something that we all relate to because nobodyís perfect! So, hereís this hot mess on stage (laughs) and she has nothing but love and thatís what we want.

Photo by Matthew Murphy
Ben Platt & Rachel Bay Jones in Dear Evan Hansen
Ben Platt & Rachel Bay Jones in Dear Evan Hansen
More Production Photos

THM: And goodness knows weíre all hot messes Ė or at least we know a few in our lives! Now, Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway in the autumn and, of course, there have been sooo many new musicals opening this spring. Iím guessing you probably havenít had the chance to see any of them though because of your schedule?

RBJ: Not a single one! Itís so frustrating! Iím hoping everybody hangs on, so I can find a night off and see something. Weíre all on the same schedule, so thereís hardly ever an opportunity.

THM: So, Dear Evan Hansen will be embarking on a National Tour next fall. Do you think thereís any chance of going international with a West End transfer?

RBJ: Weíre all hoping for that! Iím not sure if itís too American, but we are all hoping for it because itís kind of a dream of mine to go over there.

THM: Have you ever worked in London?

RBJ: Never! I want to! Weíre putting it out there.

THM: Well, this might well be the perfect opportunity, Rachel. Thank you so much. Itís been lovely to talk to you.

Photo by Kathleen Campion
Rachel Bay Jones

Photo by Kathleen Campion
Rachel Bay Jones

Dear Evan Hansen is booking through to April 29, 2018 at Broadway's Music Box Theatre. Click HERE for tickets!

- by Thomas Hayden Millward

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