They are making Studio Theatre audience howl with delight as they dig their claws into each other at Legends!. The actors responsible for the hilarity, John Epperson and James Lecesne, sit down with Joel Markowitz to schmooze about the show, talk about playing Leatrice Monsee and Sylvia Glenn, how John rewrote the original script by James Kirkwood, how James got involved in this production, and what’s next for the show.
John on Leatrice Monsee, who he plays in the show: “Although she has a “Little Goody Two-Shoes” image, like Julie Andrews and Debbie Reynolds, she isn’t one at all. She is old enemies with Sylvia Glenn … Both of them are broke and Sylvia knows that if she can convince Leatrice to appear together, the public will want to see them because everyone knows how much they hate each other… I see myself as dysfunctional, so I can relate to Leatrice”.
James on Sylvia Glenn: “She is based on someone like Bette Davis, who played a lot of tramps and rougher characters. She is outspoken and bawdy and Elizabeth Taylorish like in Who’s Afraid if Virginia Woolf. They’re a nemesis of each other, The play is about them coming together – Sylvia trying to convince Leatrice to do a play on Broadway… I’m a tramp, and that’s how I relate to Sylvia Glenn!… The whole play is a “prop nightmare”.
James and John love Roz White who plays Aretha. James calls her “The greatest thing ever! She is an amazing performer. She is such a wonderful actress, with incredible timing”. And John says, “ She gives an anchor to the show”.
James and John talk about “The Trevor Project” which was founded by James, director/producer Peggy Rajski and producer Randy Stone, who created (James wrote the screenplay) the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film, “Trevor”, about a gay 13-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life. “The Trevor Helpline” is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. You can read more about The Trevor Project here, and “Trevor” the film here.
LEGENDS! plays through July 11th, at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (202) 332-3300, or click here: