Lincoln Center Theater
 
 
 
Backstage Blog

by Brendan Lemon, Author

Re-Living the Run

Aug 19, 2010

Live From Lincoln Center

Aug 6, 2010

Paulo on The Nose

Jan 4, 2010

Five Till Curtain

Dec 15, 2009

Catching Up With Kelli

Dec 3, 2009

Saying So Long

Jul 29, 2009

Mr. Snow

Jul 14, 2009

Reversal of Fortune

Jul 3, 2009

Catching up with Laura

Jun 26, 2009

First-Class Photographer

Jun 15, 2009

Presenting the Conductor

Jun 5, 2009

The New Guy

May 28, 2009

The Fleet Is In

May 22, 2009

A Dog's Life

May 14, 2009

South Pacific at the Mets

May 4, 2009

Up on the Roof

Apr 29, 2009

Brunch Bunch

Apr 13, 2009

Old and New

Apr 3, 2009

Professor Matt

Mar 26, 2009

At Ease with Captain Brackett

Mar 20, 2009

Kelli O'Hara's Farewell (For Now)

Mar 11, 2009

The Biggest Fan

Feb 25, 2009

Head Nurse

Feb 17, 2009

An Evening with Olivia

Feb 9, 2009

Stage and Film

Jan 30, 2009

Working the House

Jan 26, 2009

Giving Props to the Props Men

Jan 13, 2009

The New Stew

Jan 5, 2009

Cable's Exit Interview

Dec 23, 2008

Sci-Fi Gypsy

Dec 9, 2008

The New Emile

Dec 1, 2008

Over the Kitchen Sink

Nov 17, 2008

Election Night Backstage

Nov 7, 2008

A Brush with Gauguin

Nov 3, 2008

Guardian Angel

Oct 24, 2008

Homecoming

Oct 17, 2008

The Gift of Scarves

Oct 14, 2008

A Talk With Samonsky

Oct 3, 2008

Playing the Field

Sep 19, 2008

Liat in Paradise

Sep 15, 2008

Blowing His Orange Horn

Sep 5, 2008

String Fellow

Aug 25, 2008

Stage to Screen

Aug 13, 2008

Musical Dreams

Aug 4, 2008

The Captain of Costumes

Jul 28, 2008

Restoration Project

Jul 18, 2008

New Kids

Jul 14, 2008

Play-Dates

Jun 27, 2008

As Thousands Cheered

Jun 16, 2008

Generations

Jun 12, 2008

Maslon's Companion

May 30, 2008

Graduation Day

May 28, 2008

Students in the House

May 16, 2008

Tony Tony Tony

May 13, 2008

A Class Act

May 8, 2008

Overheard in the Lobby

May 2, 2008

Sailor Bonnets

Apr 25, 2008

Making the Cast Album

Apr 16, 2008

Success Goes On Line

Apr 10, 2008

A Happy Landing

Apr 4, 2008

Harping on the Harp

Mar 26, 2008

Gotta Dance!

Mar 20, 2008

Showing Up

Mar 11, 2008

Curtain Up

Mar 4, 2008

Enter the Orchestra

Feb 25, 2008

Billis is in the House

Feb 20, 2008

A Question of Sacrifice

Feb 14, 2008

Coming Home

Feb 8, 2008

Wall-to-Wall History

Jan 31, 2008

All Hands on Deck!

Jan 24, 2008

Cable's Exit Interview

Dec 23, 2008

When Matthew Morrison starting playing Lieutenant Joseph Cable last March, he was grateful to have such a plum role in a great musical receiving its first Broadway revival. Initially, however, there was a problem. "I found that most nights I would leave the theater in a bad mood," Morrison said the other evening in his dressing room, whose walls reflect his fascination with James Dean.


"Just as the defining challenge for my role in Hairspray was physical," Morrison said, "and the defining challenge for me in The Light in the Piazza was vocal, the trick to playing Cable involves the feelings you need to convey." Playing him requires that you go on this difficult emotional journey every night, continued Morrison, who will be ending his South Pacific assignment on January 4th. "He's conflicted about his love for Liat. He's being sent on a mission from which he probably won't return. Plus he has malaria. I had to learn to pace myself in order to keep going with the run. Once I did, things got a lot easier."


For Morrison, who grew up in northern California before moving south to attend the Orange County High School of the Arts, the residue of South Pacific involves more than Cable's emotional life. "I talked to a lot of World War II veterans as a result of playing this role. They helped me to understand how Cable could have fallen in love so quickly with Liat. Those soldiers hungered for the company of the opposite sex. The touch of a woman meant so much."


Some veterans, however, had other thoughts once they returned home. "They said they would look at the photos of some of these women years later," Morrison said, "and they would find they were not as beautiful as they remembered." So does Morrison think that, if Cable's fate had been different, his response would have been similar to those of the veterans?


"Probably so," the actor responded. "In the moment, Cable says he wants to stay with Liat. But if his fate had been different, he probably would have fallen back in line, and returned to Philadelphia."


Speaking of returns, Morrison's life post-Pacific will take him back to his native California. There's sadness about ending his second run at Lincoln Center Theater (Piazza was the first), but he's also a little relieved to be leaving the New York cold and excited about his next assignment: a television show called "Glee."


"Glee" is the brainchild of Ryan Murphy, who also created "Nip/Tuck." Set to premiere on Fox in late March/early April, just after "American Idol," "Glee" takes place in an Ohio high school. Morrison plays the lead character, Will Shuester, a Spanish teacher who directs the school's glee club. The singing group has fallen on hard times. "It only has five kids," Morrison said, "and they're all outcasts. The goal of my character is to restore the glee club's status. The show has surreal touches -- a heightened reality. And some people might say that it taps into the High School Musical vibe out there."


Morrison plans to spend the month between his departure from South Pacific and his resumption of shooting "Glee" (he took a break from SP during the fall to shoot the pilot episode) in Hawaii, with his girlfriend. She and he met this past July, and since it's a fairly new relationship I'm going to respect Morrison's desire to protect most of its details.


I can reveal, however, that Morrison was introduced to his girlfriend by Loretta Ables Sayre, South Pacific's Bloody Mary. In the show, of course, Bloody Mary introduces Cable to Liat. "It's a cliche, but a true one," said Morrison. "Sometimes, life imitates art."


BRENDAN LEMON is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of lemonwade.com

 

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