HNGN.com has a nice interview with Carrie Preston. She talks about her new sitcom on NBC: Crowded. She also talks about Michael Emerson, which I’m including that part in this blog. I f you are interested in reading the entire interview, just click here.
The shooting schedule for “Crowded” allowed you to fly home to New York often. Does that flexibility help you maintain a strong relationship with your husband, Michael Emerson?
I think for sure. Plus, we enjoy each other’s company, that’s number one. We’ve been together for 21 years. We’ve been married for 17 and we just keep growing and learning from each other and enjoying each other. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, I think, so we enjoy our time together because we know inevitably we’re going to have some time apart. It really does make you take advantage of the time that you have at hand. So we’ve gotten really good at that. We also don’t have children so it’s made it easier for us to move between things. I think that is helpful to the relationship for us. We have a little dog that we share and we love and he completes our little family.
A few of the shows your husband starred on have cast you as his wife. Is that casting natural?
Yeah, it does come up. For example, in “Person of Interest,” they asked Michael first, “Hey, do you mind if we offer this role to your wife.” Michael was like, “Go ahead. See if her schedule will allow it.” We kind of stay out of each other’s business in a way, so it was fun to work with him on that and we’ve had other times where people have wanted us to work together on something and we’ve gone, “You know what, no. I think I’m just going to let that be yours.” And other times we’re like, “No, let’s do that! That sounds fun.” It really does depend on many factors. It definitely works. I don’t know if they would have thought of me for that role if I wasn’t married to him, but I know they thought it would be something that the fans would enjoy and they definitely have. And so have we.
Michael Emerson attended the opening night of The Woodsman. The new play performed silently and with human and puppet characters. The play is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz story of the Tin Man. Here’s a wonderfulreview written by Marilyn Stasio for Variety:
After limited runs at Ars Nova and 59E59 Theaters, Strangemen & Co.’s production of “The Woodsman” is back on the boards. There’s a haunting beauty about this dark puppet show, created by James Ortiz, the writer, co-director, puppet master and star of the current production at New World Stages. This eerie prequel to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” reveals how the Tin Woodman (as he’s known in L. Frank Baum’s Oz books) lost his heart — not to mention all his body parts — when the Wicked Witch of the East put a curse on his ax.
Although most of the show is in wordless puppet-speak, a narrator (Ortiz, who owns this show) addresses the audience long enough to put the story in perspective. The wicked witch who rules over the eastern provinces of Oz, he informs us, has made a sad and sorry place of her kingdom. The woods are inhabited by monsters, the witch’s spies are everywhere, and people are afraid to speak their thoughts out loud.
Words have literally become dangerous in the kingdom, so everyone stops talking and now communicate in non-verbal grunts, groans, squeaks, squeals and whistles. They laugh, they cry, they clap their hands, and make all kinds of weird noises — but they truly do not speak. The only other sound is the expressive but rather hectic violin playing of musician Naomi Florin. The music is not unpleasant, just relentless.
Even at 70 minutes, this cacophony of non-speech could drive a person crazy, a reminder that one of the joys of puppetry is its eloquent silences.
Despite the dangers, a brave woodsman named Nick Chopper (Ortiz again, carrying an ax) and his bride, Nimmee (Eliza Martin Simpson), make their escape through the haunted woods and into a happy place where Nick can chop down trees and build a home.
The malevolent witch is not to be outwitted, however. She puts a curse on the woodsman’s ax, directing it to (here comes the good part) chop off his limbs, one by one. But as fast as the ax shears off a limb, a clever tinker (Amanda A. Lederer) fashions a prosthesis made of tin. The woodsman’s head is the last to go, but when it does, the transformation is complete and the Woodsman has become the Tin Man.
The puppeteers are proficient and the effects are exquisite. The witch flies in on a bad wind, always in the company of the evil-looking crows that serve as her eyes and ears. But the life-sized tin puppet of the woodsman (tenderly manipulated by Ortiz) is heartbreaking.
Off Broadway Review: Oz Backstory ‘The Woodsman’
New World Stages; 199 seats; $85 top. Opened Feb. 8, 2016. Reviewed Feb. 5. Running time: 1 HOUR, 10 MIN.
A presentation by Robb Nanus, Rachel Sussman, Ryan Bogner, Adam Silberman, and Leo Mizuhara and Brian Stuart Murphy, in association with RJ Brown & Joe Carroll, Rebecca Black, and Ellen Myers, originally produced and developed by Strangemen & Co., of a play in one act by James Ortiz, adapted from the books of L. Frank Baum, with music by Edward W. Hardy and lyrics by Jen Loring.
Directed by James Ortiz & Claire Karpen. Sets & puppet design, James Ortiz; costumes, Molly Seidel; original costumes, Carol Uraneck; lighting, Catherine Clark & Jamie Roderick; movement coordinator, Will Gallacher; fight director, Aaron McDaniel; music director & violinist, Naomi Florin; production stage manager, CJ LaRoche.
Benjamin Bass, Devin Dunne Cannon, Will Gallacher, Alex J. Gould, Amanda A. Lederer, Aaron McDaniel, Lauren Nordvig, James Ortiz, Eliza Martin Simpson, Meghan St. Thomas, Sophia Zukoski.
Larger and additional photos are available here.