Reviews like hers last week usually only come once in a lifetime and there is no question whatsoever that the brightest new star on Broadway is none other than SISTER ACT's own Patina Miller. She is a superstar of the highest order singing one of the strongest scores on Broadway in years - from the gifted, gilded pen of six-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken. In this extensive, exclusive conversation we discuss her long history with the role, her recent performance in the Encores! staging of Weill's LOST IN THE STARS, as well as her work with Henry Krieger on both his recent musical ROMANTIC POETRY and being a runner-up on the DREAMGIRLS movie when the role of Effie White went to Jennifer Hudson. Additionally, we discuss HAIR, working with Sondheim on BEING ALIVE, her own favorite recent shows, her close friendship with fellow West End/Broadway criss-crosser Jonathan Groff, her soap stint on ALL MY CHILDREN, what her solo album would sound like, and much, much more!
How She Got The Calling
PC: I interviewed Alan Menken for this column late last year and we discussed his deep affection for the SISTER ACT score. I think it's one of the strongest original scores on Broadway this century.
PM: Oh, wow. Thank you so much for saying that. Alan did a really, really amazing, amazing job.
PC: It is probably the best R&B theatre score since DREAMGIRLS and your performance is up there with Jennifer Holliday as far as what you are doing onstage, as well. You are a force of nature.
PM: That's so incredibly nice of you to say.
PC: How did you first experience SISTER ACT yourself?
PM: Well, I graduated from Carnegie-Mellon in 2006. My audition for SISTER ACT was my first real audition out of school.
PC: How did it go?
PM: Well, I went in and I auditioned for the understudy of the lead role. And, I got it the next day and I went out to Pasadena where we first tried out the show for about four months and that's where I first heard the score. That's when I heard everything.
PC: What was your immediate reaction?
PM: Oh, I immediately fell in love with it. I eventually got to do it in Atlanta at the Alliance Theater when they co-produced with the Pasadena Playhouse. (Pause.) So, that was my experience with it in 2006 and, let me tell you, I've loved singing those songs ever since!
PC: What do you think of the way the score has progressed? I think you've had seven different songs that were put in and cut since that first version.
PM: Yeah, there have been songs taken out and songs put back in, but I just think what it really comes down to is really getting the story together and really getting the flow together. All of the songs that Alan and Glen have written have been amazing but some of them early on didn't fit.
PC: What ones?
PM: Well, there were a couple of songs in the show in 2006 that didn't tell the story the way we wanted to tell it at the time. Then, there were songs we put in in Atlanta that worked then but did not work when we took it to London. So, it's all been a progression of everything. And, we have a bigger orchestra now so there are more sounds that Doug Besterman and Alan Menken and Michael Kosarin and everyone has been able to play with a lot more on Broadway.
PC: Is that exciting to hear?
PM: Oh, yeah. It's amazing to really hear them getting the Philly funk sound of the 70s down. It's all just been amazing, especially to see the development of the music - and the show itself - since 2006.
PC: It seems like yesterday, I‘m sure! Time flies and all that.
PM: Yeah, it's kind of crazy! But, I'll tell you what: it has gotten better and better and better. It's so specific. All of the different little songs within songs and the songs themselves are so, so smart.
PC: What is it like working on a show in development where you might do a completely new song or two at the drop of a hat?
PM: Oh, yeah! I think the last time - well, actually, in London it still happened a little bit because we were still working on the show in previews.
PC: What changed?
PM: We would get an entirely new script for the opening and perform it that night - and that happened maybe four or five times!
PC: How do you prepare for that kind of seat-of-your-pants style performing?
PM: You just have to keep yourself grounded and keep yourself focused and not let your nerves get to you. So, like, the entire time I'm like, "OK. I can do it. I want to make it better so I just have to focus." And, I'll tell you what - it happens every time!
PC: At least for you it does!
PM: (Laughs.) Once you start to get stressed - it all goes downhill.
PC: Like a crack in a dam.
PM: Oh, yeah. It can all come crashing down. I mean, I love it so much and when you love something that much you want it to be the best it can be all the time. That's been my experience with this show.
PC: Alan Menken was such an integral part of childhood for our generation thanks to his Disney films - THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN, BEAUTY & THE BEAST...
PM: Uh, hello?
PC: So, then, you would agree, I take it?
PM: Uh, yeah! I mean, I grew up on all those Disney songs. So, when they told me that I might be getting the opportunity to be working with Alan Menken, I just flipped, you know?
PC: You were over the moon.
PM: Yeah! I just remembered myself singing all of his scores as a child. (Pause.) It was just amazing, you know?
PC: Beyond words.
PM: Totally. Totally beyond words.
PC: Plus, this is his first R&B-influenced score since LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS thirty years ago.
PM: He does it so well, doesn't he?
PC: He really does.
PM: I mean, I just feel like people hum those songs as they leave for a reason! Those are amazing songs - and, they are catchy songs. You just react to them. People react to the music and I can see it on their faces every single night. Really, I do. (Pause.) I love it. I love it.
PC: Was "Raise Your Voice" added to the score?
PM: No. "Raise Your Voice" has always been a staple.
PC: I know it‘s not one of your songs, but what about "The Life I Never Led"?
PM: "The Life I Never Led" has changed many times - just the ending of the song has changed many times.
PC: What about your big numbers?
PM: Well, "Fabulous, Baby" was originally an entirely different song. It started out in Pasadena as being this different thing than it is now, with much different lyrics. So, they took it out and they put in this other really funky song called "Too Much To Live For", which was Deloris's first big "I Want" song. And, then, that got taken out and when we did it in London "Fabulous, Baby" was put back in and changed. And, now, for New York, it's been changed again. So, now I get the smoothest, fiercest opening of that song that I think has ever happened.
PC: That song is in the class of "Some People" and "I Am The Greatest Star".
PM: Yes. It's a great song.
PC: Does it reinvigorate you on especially low-energy days?
PM: Uh, hello? Yes, it does! Yes, it does. It makes me feel good - you know, when I am having a bad day and I get to come in and sing that song - it just elevates everything. It's just one of those "Look at me" songs.
PC: Do audiences really react to it in your experience?
PM: I think they do, but I can't really tell - I try to block that out and stay in the moment. But, I really go for it every night, which you should do: go for it every night. But, I think the audiences love it. So, then, when I sing the reprise, it's even more heightened. You start out and she wants it, but by the second act she really wants it, by the reprise. (Pause.) I just love doing it.
PC: What was the British reaction to the show with the Philly soul sound and sort of scrappy spirit of the city?
PM: I don't think they got a lot of those Philly things. You can tell in the reactions because they are so different. We are getting so much more here - but, that's also because [book-writer/show-doctor] Douglas Carter Beane knows his stuff. He knows everything about Philly, so he's made it specific. So, when you hear those jokes and those things, you really know it's real.
PC: So, it's a marked difference in the audience reaction?
PM: I think over here they just get a lot more out of it and they can really be reeled in by the material because they get it and they are familiar with it.
PC: But, the book for Broadway is entirely new.
PM: Oh, yeah, the entire book has changed.
PC: Are they all improvements?
PM: Oh, yeah, Mother Superior and Deloris's relationship, especially - they are so solid now. It's so, so solid.
PC: How do you think the show has been improved with them?
PM: It used to be sort of about these two ladies who hate each other. Now, it's all about the Mother Superior character and Deloris and you really get to see their journey together from beginning to end and it's beautiful how it ends up.
PC: What about the additional back-stories Beane added in?
PM: Well, you get a lot more back-story on my character. You get to learn more about her. Thank God for Douglas Carter Beane really giving me something to work with and something to bring to it.
PC: How do you see Deloris yourself?
PM: Well, she starts out in this place where she has all of these issues. She's kicked out of Catholic school, so you know she's a bad girl anyway. Her father was never around, so she's kind of messed up and screwed up. And, she likes the bad boys because she has a bad relationship with her father. She wants to be a singer. She wants to be like Donna Summer; that's who she wants to be. So, she has this obsession with this white sequined dress and this white fur - and, that's what she wants. That's success to her; to have all of that. To have the white fur and to be in the spotlight - that, to her, is what is driving her in the beginning because she really wants it so bad. So, when she witnesses this murder and she has to hide out at a convent she finds the best way to make it work for her. She's there anyway, so why not sing with them, you know, and get better?
PC: And what about her eventual friendship with Mother Superior?
PM: They don't hate each other like you first think, it's more like, "Who is this girl? Who does she think she is?" But, they are not nasty towards one another - it's just that we are trying to one-up each other all of the time.
PC: What about playing the scenes opposite her?
PM: It's such a pleasure to get to play onstage with Vicki Clark every night. She is amazing and everyone in this cast is amazing so to work with them all every night is just great.
PC: What is your impression of Vicki?
PM: Oh, I had heard so many great things about Vicki. When I told my friend Jonathan Groff - who had worked with her - that I was going to be doing a reading with her back in December when I came back from London, he was like, "Oh. My. God. Vicki Clark is amazing! You are going to love her!" And, so, I was like, "All right. Let's do it!" And, immediately, I just fell in love with her from the very beginning. She is so sweet. She is also a very hard worker like me and we get along because we want to be the best we can possibly be. We are always working on it and there is no ego - we just want to be the best we can be. She is one of my biggest fans and I am one of her biggest fans and it is just a big, big love fest.
PC: What about your male co-stars?
PM: Oh, my God! Chester Gregory, Keith Dullea, Fred Applegate - those men, man, they are just the best! They're the best and it's been a pleasure to work with them. You know, it's kind of weird to get this cast that gets along so well. We were talking about singing that song "Spread The Love" and you wouldn't think that this is how it is offstage, but we just love the show and we just want it to be the best it can be. We are all just really close and we want it to be as beautiful as it can be every time. Everyone is just a delight to work with and it's just a pleasure to come to work everyday because, from the beginning, through all the changes and all the tech: everyone has remained in high spirits and highly supportive of each other and that's really beautiful.
PC: "High spirits", eh? Are you totally sick of all the puns yet?
PM: No, no, not at all. Please! (Laughs.)
PC: What does it feel like to get this kind of rave reviews?
PM: Well, I have to be honest with you: I haven't really been paying attention to them. I have heard about some of them. I just said to myself in the beginning that I wasn't going to get caught up in all of it and I was just going to be the best I could possibly be. I can't let those kind of other things matter to me too much right now - but, I have heard some really great, cool things. I am just so happy and so thrilled that people are really, really enjoying our show. At the end of the day, that's all I want: for people to come to the theatre and enjoy themselves; that's why I love my job.
PC: Are you looking forward to the Tonys?
PM: Oh, it's a dream. It's a dream of mine; being nominated for a Tony. Back in school, I would dream about winning a role and someone taking a chance on me and then going to the Tony Awards and winning a Tony and all this stuff. Of course, it's like a big, huge dream of mine. But, to finally be here on Broadway being able to be a part of it? If I get nominated that would just be pretty frickin' cool. But, we'll see.
PC: We'll see. There's no other SISTER ACT, though. It's all you.
PM: Thank you so much for saying that.
PC: Speaking of Tony-winners - and EGOT winners - what about working with Whoopi Goldberg on this show?
PM: Oh, my Good Lord! Now, come on now - there is only one Whoopi! She is so amazing - she has been in our corner from the very beginning. She wants it to be the best it can be because, of course, it's hers and it's a role she made famous. SISTER ACT is known internationally as her. She just has wanted it to be the best it can be from the very beginning.
PC: How involved has she been all along?
PM: Very. It's been so great seeing her checking in and really being a part of it. She has been really involved - even now, all discussions with the creative team she is there with Jerry [Zaks] and everyone else making sure it is the best it can be. She said to me in London, "Don't worry about it, it's going to be great in New York." I was like, (Hesitant.) "All right. OK." She said it and she was right.
PC: Did she keep your spirits up when the original director was fired in London?
PM: Well, I can say that: the director was let go and someone else was brought in two weeks before tech. So, in my mind I was freaking out, you know, "Oh, goodness gracious!" That was the only point in the rehearsal process in London that I really freaked out.
PC: How did you react; or prepare - if you even could?
PM: Well, when you've been with this one person for a really long period of time and then to have it all change on you like that overnight? You know what: that's the business. It happens like that all the time. So, I just really had to focus. Whoopi was over there as well and she said, "Just focus. Just do your thing." And, I did. I didn't think about all that other stuff - I just did what I had to do.
PC: Did you feel coming into the project that it would be a problem not to have the Motown/Marc Shaiman-arranged mash-up church numbers?
PM: Of course. That's like your biggest worry: that people will come expecting the movie and then they will be let down. But, the thing about our show is that when you come into this show you might miss the movie songs for the first fifteen minutes, but, then, you are completely in love and you just forget about it.
PC: With that score it's no big hurdle to get over, either.
PM: Totally, and, if you really think about it, there were only like four songs in the movie. So, it's not enough to make a full musical out of that anyway, you know?
PC: I agree - and more Motown would be repetitious.
PM: Yeah, and, plus, I think it's really great that Alan wanted to do his own thing and really make his own score. It's not just another jukebox musical - yeah, it's based off of a movie, but it also has an original score. And, that's how you have to do it. If you are going to put SISTER ACT onstage you have to do it differently - and we did.
PC: The first two songs are so sensational - they set the scene so well for the show that is about to come.
PM: Yeah, man: it's seedy, it's dirty, it's funky - you know what the night's gonna be.
PM: From the very beginning, you know that we are setting it all up. Curtis's song, "Find My Baby" - when you hear that bass in the beginning?
PC: So cool.
PM: Yeah, it's like, "Oh, well, OK. So, we are going there!"
PM: He's not playing around [musically]- and he's really not [dramatically]!
PC: It fits the character like a studded leather glove.
PM: Yeah, and then you have the ballads like "The Life I Never Led" and "Haven't Got A Prayer" - so, I think everybody gets a little bit of everything in this score.
PC: Do you have any new musical moments in the Broadway version?
PM: Hmm, let me think. (Pause.) I think all my songs have pretty much remained the same - but, I do miss the song I used to do at the bar, "How You Do The Sacred Mass". It was funky.
PC: I miss it, too.
PM: But, Vicki and I duet at the end of her song now - "Here Within These Walls". I think it's a nice little addition - you get to see Deloris's funny, crazy side a little bit more, so you know what you are in for, going into the convent.
PC: "Fabulous, Baby" has a slightly new intro, though, as we discussed earlier.
PM: Yes, the opening of that changed - and I think the rest of that's the same. Other than that, though, I think it's pretty much stayed the same for me since London - and (Sings.) "I love it!"
PC: It is right up there with HAIRSPRAY as one of the great R&B/soul homage scores. It's not easy to do right.
PM: You are so right. I preach to everyone, "Listen to this music! Close your eyes and really listen to it." It's such an amazing score.
PC: The London cast album is effervescent as well. It's beautifully produced.
PM: Oh, you know what? They did it right! We did it for five days - we had a week to do it.
PC: That is so unusual these days for a cast album.
PM: Well, it wasn't the best week for me because I was still doing eight shows a week, with the album 10 ‘til 5! (Laughs.)
PC: That's unreal.
PM: Yeah, it was kind of hard to do both! But, I was so proud of what I did during the day and I am proud of that album because I really put my heart and soul into it.
PC: And that "Fabulous, Baby" for all time is just that.
PM: OK, and that was at 11 AM! (Laughs.)
PC: After a two-show day?
PM: On a Thursday, after a two-show day! (Laughs.) I just get giddy talking about it now - I love that you love the score as much as I do.
PC: It's perfect.
PM: This lady came up to me crying after the show two weeks ago, she's like, "The music is just so amazing! I just love all the music and the lyrics, but really just the melodies - I can't believe just how much it moved me!" And, she was sobbing!
PC: I'd love to hear an all-star tribute album, too. Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Aretha...
PM: Oh, come on, now! It can work! I am just waiting to do my disco version of "Fabulous, Baby" - my club version!
PC: Your Gloria Gaynor anthem!
PM: Umm, yes! Of course! That has to happen. (Laughs.)
PC: David Benedict in VARIETY compared you to Gaynor, as well as Whitney Houston.
PM: Oh, yes? Do you know how that makes me feel to hear someone say that? I mean, those are the people I listened to! Those are the divas I used as my influence for the sound. This sound - and I was really specific in the sound I made for this - I stayed away from riffing because that's not what that sound was. It's dirty - and that's what I tried to make it be. It's just dirty as it can be - loud, brassy and fun. I love singing it.
PC: What song do you miss the most from the score in any iteration?
PM: Well, there was a song back in the old days in 2006 called "Would It Kill Me?" It was a funky blues ballad for Deloris before she leaves - it took the place of "Fabulous, Baby (Reprise)".
PC: Why did they keep that reprise instead of the new song?
PM: I think it's so you get to see more of Deloris having more of a struggle between the two worlds. And, I think it works better. Plus, you get to hear "Fabulous, Baby" one more time.
PC: With more bite.
PM: Oh, yeah, man. I love it.
PC: Tell me about your friendship with Jonathan Groff.
PM: He's one of my best friends - we met during HAIR and we've just stayed close ever since. We bonded during HAIR and we've just never let go of one another. He is one of my closest friends and, I'll tell you, when I went to London, we both had decided not to do HAIR at the same time. He was off doing his thing...
PM: Right. And, then, I had gotten SISTER ACT. We had a powwow about it. He told me I was going to be fine. So, he came to London and visited me two weeks later so I got to spend time with him before I started the crazy London run. Then, a year a later, after being in London by myself and lonely and missing all my friends, Jonathan comes over with his show! So, we got to spend six months together there over the last year.
PC: What was that like?
PM: Oh, you know, it was really amazing having one of your best friends and someone who really knows you just there with you and able to experience it all, too. He was in the West End as well and we'd spend our days off shopping and having movie nights and just being friends and being there together. I am just so lucky and happy to have him in my life.
PC: Did you see him onstage in DEATHTRAP?
PM: I sure did!
PC: What did you think?
PM: He was frickin' amazing! I was so proud to be in that opening night audience and looking around the audience and seeing their reactions to my friend. I was so proud. He did an amazing job and it was just great.
PC: And, he is returning to GLEE soon.
PM: As he should - because he was brilliant last season. Every scene he was in. Brilliant.
PC: He is a fan favorite.
PM: He is.
PC: I've heard he is killed off in a motorcycle accident on the show soon. I hope that's not true, though.
PM: Oh, I hope not, too! Oh my gosh.
PC: Tell me about working with Henry Krieger on DREAMGIRLS.
PM: Well, I did a reading of his musical called ROMANTIC POETRY two years before I did HAIR. I think Robert Longbottom saw me in HAIR and he was still developing the show with Henry during ROMANTIC POETRY and I heard they were doing it, so, then, I said to Henry, "Are you doing DREAMGIRLS?" and he was like, "Yeah, and here's the role we have in mind that we think you'll be right for. You have to go in and audition."
PC: What role?
PM: That's what I said! "Really, Deena?" and he was like, "Yeah, really. Deena." So, I went in and did my little Deena thing and had a great time. I then found out that I got it. So, they wanted me for that, but I had to choose between that, HAIR and SISTER ACT.
PC: What a choice!
PM: (Laughs.) When it rains it pours!
PC: Indeed. How did you choose?
PM: It was a hard decision, but, ultimately, I think it was the right decision.
PC: Undoubtedly. Didn't you also audition as Effie for the film version of DREAMGIRLS directed by Bill Condon?
PM: Yes, I did. Back in college, my senior year, I auditioned for Effie.
PC: What happened?
PM: Well, they were having this search for Effie where people were sending tapes in. So, my teacher told me about it and I got my friends together and I videotaped myself in one of our studios and we did all these scenes and everything. So, I sent my tape in. I was doing URINETOWN at the time and I let it go for a whole month. And, I thought, "You know what? It's not gonna happen." I thought it was gonna happen overnight!
PC: The folly of youth.
PM: I know! How corny is that? So, then, right after our rehearsal is done my teacher called me into her office and she tells me that they want me to fly out and it's down to the last three finalists for the role and you have to fly out to do a screen-test in LA for three days. (Pause.) So, that's what I did. I went out and screen-tested for Effie for three days. I didn't get it, but it was an amazing experience to know it was down to me in the final three.
PC: Who else was there besides you and Jennifer Hudson?
PM: I couldn't tell you who it was because they kept us very separate. We each had out own little teams and everything. But, it was so nice meeting Bill Condon and the producers and just working with everyone. But, they kept us all very separate. Obviously, J-Hud did her thing and she was the right one to do it, but I'm just happy I had the experience.
PC: Did you rehearse "Love You, I Do"?
PM: Yes, "Love You, I Do" is one of the songs that I learned, but we didn't actually have to sing it - I just had to do "And I Am Telling You" like five times; screen-testing it. It was so much fun and I had a great time.
PC: It's a beautiful film.
PM: It sure is.
PC: I think you made the right choice sticking with SISTER ACT - and, of course, there is always the possibility of SISTER ACT: THE MOVIE MUSICAL starring you.
PC: Would you be open to doing that?
PM: Umm, yeah! That would be pretty amazing.
PC: Tell me about working on the Central Park production of HAIR.
PM: I was in both the Central Park productions - we did the concert version and then the next season they brought us back and we did the entire thing.
PC: What were your experiences like on those productions?
PM: You know, I will always remember the first. That was one of my favorite experiences ever being in New York City - being there in the park and learning HAIR for the concert version in eight days and performing for those three days and getting all that love and people just really loving it and having such a wonderful time. And, being able to open the show with that amazing song, "Aquarius", and still having people come up to me after the show now and say things about how much they loved my "Aquarius" back then. Everyone in the cast had such a great time and we all bonded with one another. To put a show together in eight days and be off-book with all the songs, you have to come and do your thing, you know? And, everyone is so talented and there is a reason that production is coming back and it's still going on. It's just a really great show with really great people and I will always have special memories of that show.
PC: I preferred it in the Park, though.
PM: Yeah, the thing about the Park is that you can't beat that location! That's where it was really happening!
PM: And, to be under those stars - real stars - and to be able to look at the moon, really. And, to have it rain during your show and you have to sing "3-5-0-0" in the thunder and lightning? I mean, it's pretty magical stuff. So, I think that's the best way it was ever going to be done.
PC: And speaking of stars: how did you become involved in LOST IN THE STARS? What do you think of Kurt Weill's music?
PM: Well, I have to be honest: before being in LOST IN THE STARS, I didn't know who he was. But, my agent said, "Hey, there is this role that we think would be nice for you to do before you do SISTER ACT." And, I said, "Oh, I don't know. I've been doing this show eight times a week and I just wanna rest." Then, they talked me into it and I was like, "Yeah, I'm gonna do it. It's only one song and I'm only in one scene - can't hurt, huh? And, I get to sing this amazing song!"
PC: What was it like working at Encores!?
PM: Oh, being there at City Center and enjoying that show working with all those amazing people! I mean, Chuck Cooper - who I worked with before during BEING ALIVE - it was just amazing to hear those songs sung by him. I gained an appreciation for a composer I wasn't familiar with before. It was just amazing. I loved those songs and there was some amazing stuff in that score.
PC: What was it like singing your big centerpiece song?
PM: My song happened to be the one song that kind of stuck out in the entire piece, didn't it? (Laughs.) But, it was still fun to do. I had a great time.
PC: So, you didn't know "Mack The Knife" before then?
PM: See, I didn't know any of his other stuff! Can you believe it? I have to get up on my Weill now! (Laughs.)
PC: Speaking of BEING ALIVE, what do you think of Sondheim?
PM: I love Sondheim. I got to do an entire score of songs that I'd probably never sing - that's what BEING ALIVE was all about. It was an all-black, basically, gospel arrangements, of all of his music. Sondheim's stuff is hard, too, man!
PC: You can say that again. Where did you do it?
PM: I did it in Philly at the Philadelphia Theater Company. I also did the first two readings of it at Vassar. Then, I was doing HAIR so I couldn't do it at Westport. So, I did it in Philly after the first HAIR closed.
PC: What was the experience like?
PM: Oh, to sing those Sondheim songs - to sing "There Will Be Trumpets" and all of those songs that no one would think I would be able to sing. All his songs are so, so amazing. He's pretty brilliant. To be able to meet him and sing his material was a real highlight for me after doing HAIR.
PC: What is your favorite Sondheim song?
PM: Oh, I think it would have to be "Something Just Broke".
PC: I've never heard that answer before! Why so?
PM: Oh, you have to hear the version we did in BEING ALIVE. It was this gospel, choral, freaky little "Something Just Broke"! It was unbelievable.
PC: Did you see the Broadway production of ASSASSINS?
PM: No, I was in school. I wish I did!
PC: What have you seen recently that you really enjoyed?
PM: I saw WAR HORSE in England and I did not think I would react to mechanical horses like I did! I didn't think I would be sobbing through the show - but, it was so beautifully done. I mean, it's a children's story, but the way it is done is just breathtaking. I talk about it to this day that it is one of the best theatrical experiences I've had in the theatre.
PC: What other shows - specifically, on Broadway?
PM: Well, of course I saw Jonathan in DEATHTRAP in the UK. Over here, I saw SPIDER-MAN and PRISCILLA...
PC: What did you think of SPIDER-MAN?
PM: Well, I think there's work to be done. I applaud every actor in that show because they are working their butts off. I hope everything is being taken care of and they are being led the right way. They are not the problem. They are doing an amazing job. (Pause.) But, they do have to open sometime!
PC: Since you did 30 episodes of it and Susan Lucci just did this column: do you have any comment on the ALL MY CHILDREN cancellation?
PM: Aww, it's sad. That was my first job that I got after I moved back to the city after I first did SISTER ACT [out of town]. I loved working on that set with all those lovely people. That's where I learned to memorize so quickly - having to do three different scripts in the same day. I loved working with Susan and I loved working with all those guys. There were some pretty brilliant people there and it's kind of sad that it's being taken away. It used to be the thing for up-and-coming actors to do - do a soap and kind of get your feet wet a little bit. Now that they're all being taken away, it kind of sucks. It's really sad.
PC: What would you envision your solo album sounding like? Original songs? Standards?
PM: I think for my first album I want to do it the right way and I want to do an all-original album. But, I would love to do a concert of standards and cover songs. My whole sound thing that I want to try to develop is I want to do the blues but make it more contemporary. I also want to do the old diva torch songs, as well. I would also love to do a concert of all the songs you wouldn't think Patina Miller was going to sing. I am going to get a list that people would never expect me to sing and then, maybe, at some point, I'll do a concert with all those songs!
PC: The sooner the better.
PM: Sooner rather than later, definitely.
PC: Since it is the essence of theatre: define collaboration.
PM: The thing about collaboration, for all parties involved: I think it is when everyone gets together for the good of the show and everyone puts their hearts and their souls into it and makes it the best it can be.
PC: How much longer are you committed to SISTER ACT?
PM: Right now I am contracted for a year. I can't wait!
PC: You have the best diva role on Broadway and you are rightfully the toast of the town.
PM: I am so lucky.
PC: This was amazing, Patina. You are a huge star. Thank you so much.
PM: Thank you so much, Pat. I loved this. Bye bye.