#LiveatFive with TOOTSIE Book Writer Robert Horn

what's up everyone we are live at five here at it is Tuesday May 14th I'm Paul Montoya and I'm Beth Stevens we're joined by Caitlin Moynihan hello and a super talented guy who I feel like everyone on Broadway is talking about right now that's right Robert Horne who wrote the book to Tootsie is here Tony nominee Tony nominations for today and he just went out a critics award the New York Drama Critics Circle named it the anyway there's a lot to talk about we'll get to him but first today's top 5 another day another awards hey Paul did you know that other cities have theater awards other desert cities other desert seas this is not a desert city city this is Washington DC they have the Helen Hayes Awards I think it's kind of rude but they say it's like the Tonys of DC what's Helen Hayes is connection to don't ask me that's not on the sheet okay I'm sorry she has her own she's knocked to me not anymore the one that's right follow along children it'll be fine these are the Helen Hayes Awards this honors outstanding theater in Washington DC but there's some familiar names so after him Sykes who want who was made to proudness a Tony nominee won for outstanding performer this I love this part visiting production yeah kiss me Cates Corbin Bleu for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for not for Kiss Me Kate but before anything goes would you play Billy right before he came here did Tina Landau for the musical Dave ooh what's happening with Dave you know skip teen on the horn Eugene Lee who appeared in American sign he won the Probert prosecute member Robert prosecutor cross key Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a play for two trains running at Arena Stage anyway check out all the winners on Broadway come good stuff I'm gonna look good look yeah not right now and this show was keeping it in the family this yes absolutely Olivia Valli hmm we'll be starring in Jersey Boys so that's interesting interesting that Valley name so yes she is the granddaughter of Frankie Valli who of course is a character in Jersey Boys band in real life that's the whole point it's about Frankie Valli in the four seasons she's joining the cast in the musical about her grandfather's this is so interesting ally with an i who does she play what a cool idea oh I didn't she's playing Mary Delgado which is the row based on her grandmother I actually didn't even know that fact Thank You Beth I've had a busy day but that's amazing starting next week starting May 20th currently Nathalie Gallo is playing the role it's at New World Stages off-broadway she's leaving on the 19th and we have a 10 tech Valley over there sorry that's 1/8 congratulation Bali with an anti ham steak and this contemporary remix is getting an upgrade okay who knew that Uncle Vanya the Chekov play needed a contemporary remix apparently lots of people because it's getting a summer run at theatres oh and it's called life sucks clever clever it will transfer to the Acorn Theatre and it's I guess it's recently concluded it's New York premiere at the wild project it's directed by Jeff wise and it will begin previous on June 4th and open on June 16th for a 14 week limited engagement through September 1st what's this summer of sucking on theatres oh yes yeah but it's a remix of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and that's a rainbow stars we're calling them remixes now it's when you take a song and you do it differently but the same and it stars Tony nominee Austin Pendleton oh okay among others cool check that out and casting has been announced for this New York premiere second stage is doing a play called make-believe it's a new play by best wall it's having its New York premiere and they just announced of coach Michael greif is directing it who's a obviously parented very talented guy it's about the 4th Connelly kids whose parents inexplicably disappeared 32 years later their search for answers continues let's see who's in the cast Brad huh burly Ryan Foust Kim flusters and a flood Harrison Fox Marin Harry and Samantha Mathis congratulations all and some fierce ladies are going to do this fierce awesome that night so you know how the public Peter always has a big summer gala at the Delacorte theater in Central Park yes this year it's called women of the public mmm which means the ladies are taking over it's on June 3rd I'm gonna read a list of names so awesome Daphne Reuben babe Jen Colella yes Annaleigh Ashford Jane howdy shelf all Stephanie shoo-shoo I always sorry Stephanie krysta Rodriguez Shaina tab Alisha on for second many more that's an exciting star-studded star-studded well also co-chairs our suzan-lori parks I mean just this is a tippy top of the tippy top of the windmill theatre anyway that's what's happening it's a it's an event it's a performance it's directed by Lee Silverman and it's at the Delacorte and I only female raccoons are invited what else is on this site a new episode of what's gonna happen which is Sarah Styles it's all about theater families time and there's a building Broadway with Oklahoma director Daniel fish and set designer Lauren jellinek it's so interesting did you find interest I did a lot of plywood there's a lot of plywood over at the Circle in the Square Theatre and photos of the MTC gala which was last night and also about I have a little announcement okay so you know there's this show on Broadway called the prom yes you may know it's at the Longacre we've had many of the stars of the prom sitting here we have there's a pivotal role in the prom called Olivia Keating do you remember Olivia Keating yes she's with Broadway mania yeah she is she's a reporter that opens the show normally played by courtly balan Courtney normally played by Courtney Balon who's a fantastic actress and also Dede Allen understudy for what level fun fact tonight I'm playing Olivia Keating tonight in the prom I look at Kaitlyn well I'm playing myself in that in the in the Olivia Keating track I know it's a it's terrifying as you know I was never an actor it's the opening moments of the entire show do you know your lines I know my lines but I don't know how it's going to when I stand in front of people with lights because everyone compared to this it's not like this you're not gonna see a little bit key ting from Bravo mania you're gonna say come on tour from Broadway keep said made and the nice thing is I not only get to introduce Dede Allen Beth level yes I get to throw her her first punch like like I get to set up a joke for her her first the very first joke of the show for both level so anyone who's at the longer Laker tonight you'll see this guy terrifying I'll be there she'll be there anyway Olivia Keating is getting a standing ovation tonight Beth thank you so much for always being here Kaitlyn gladly yes we have book writer Robert horn here to celebrate his very first Tony nomination that he got for Tootsie like we said earned 11 Tony nominations including Best Musical he also wrote the book for 13 and he helped write Dame Edna back with vengeance make sure you follow him on social media at our horn one the number one not oh and E please leave all of your questions below and please welcome Robert and Paul hello thank you hello oh my god Tina actually didn't know how are you good in fact I saw her today at this event don't stop event that's right and there was a loveliness luncheon today today there was a line like all the way around the hotel to get their coats and she was she said I have rehearsal in 30 minutes I said give me that and I took her ticket like handed I said Beth level has to go to a rehearsal I got her coat for her and she kissed me this is how you are you're you're a real fan of Broadway and eilen attic and it's amazing because now you are like right in the middle of the stew like you're in there everyone wants to talk to you ever wants to meet you you're winning awards you're nominated for a Tony how how is this all feeling to you this has all happened very sort of quickly and not quickly but but you know in the actual immediate of tutsi the last opening of the season sort of came in or Lotte's openings and came in and and everyone just fell in love yeah first of all I don't know this Stu but here he's nice it's been a whirlwind it you know I this is actually my v musical I've done but yeah but nobody's ever heard of me the same time and I've always been a theater guy I grew up here in New York wanting to be a playwright wanted to be in theater couldn't get a job to save my life and then finally you know went out to LA and have this sort of other career and then finally was able to make my way back and this is all I've ever wanted to do this is really my passion and to do it with this collaboration with David aspect and Scott Ellison and and Dennis Jones and Santino Fontana and this incredible cast it has been I'm like trying to slow time to it all being over and then the next season coming well I was thinking that because every day you you're just sort of getting so much sensory overload I'm sure it is it is a whirlwind it's very different it this is it's such a community here and it's so tight-knit and everybody knows everybody it's not like that in in the LA world it's much more segregated it's much more sort of spread out and I don't really know anybody but here you can't leave your apartment you have to give yourself an extra 20 minutes because of all the people you meet on the street on the way to wherever you're going right it's just and and to be embraced by that has really been a thrill amazing have you been hanging out at the Marquee theatre a lot and listening to the audiences so can your jokes now big laughs a touch say it's it's crazy it's to be in that theater and have fifteen to sixteen hundred people weren't sitting together in a communal event all laughing like forgetting what's going on outside and just taking the journey it is it's thrilling I'm Mike at this point Mike I trained myself to listen to the laughs not the lines because I'm already like okay you know what am I gonna change if it goes out on tour but I but yeah it's a new cradle I try it's hard for me sometimes to go to the theater and watch because I if if something doesn't get a laugh I'm like what's wrong with you people last night it was a rock so but um I I will I'll go and see bits and pieces I will I don't sit through the whole show anymore it's just really hard to do that but I'll go and I'll see bits and pieces especially so here's this is the greatest part of all this is that you know you grow up loving theater and and and I'd love the idolizing these people and it's suddenly your Instagram it's everyone's coming to see Tesla it's insane and so I'm like oh I'm getting a picture with them so I'll show up at the end of the show because oh no no I'm getting a picture is this may never happen I'm just going for the photo I'm going for the selfies that's it yeah even I went last week and backstage Tony Shalhoub was there and they're all kind of his wife Brooke Adams and and Graham Phillips Graham Phillips I didn't it took me like five minutes to really process that that was actually him Graham Phillips of core height now I mean he's he's an adult he was a star 13 and obviously he's doing very well he has a great film and TV career um you keep in touch with with all the kids from 13 of them it was that was such a unique experience to be on the road out of town and then on Broadway with with 13 13 14 year old kids and and we got started in LA didn't it start well I wasn't part of that it's true I came it was starting good speed all right okay after LA and um yeah I'm close to most of the kids but no one else from that cast doing anything or anyone else doing well from the cast of there was one girl I heard a record on a growler Gillis who's on who's the star of dynasty and and Graham and a man Foley who's got this incredible fiat theater they're all these kids did you see the production of merrily we roll along he choreographed I did not go hard under the one in LA I was actually here but over town but there so yeah we all keep in touch it we're so all really really close and there's some 13 news that is on the horizon which I'll tell you about when it's official it's gonna be a 13 reboot it's going to be something yeah in maybe oh yeah the ground is gonna be the mom yeah she's on tour right now she's yeah she's very busy she's very busy she's a busy but but a big Broadway one she can sing yes she you know theater is is her roots are in theater she loves theater and and and celebrates it so much and LA loves to sing theater songs and her heart is still here we talk about it all the time yeah when when I'm sure everyone asks you but what's your stuff what's your standard answer for people when people say what was she like at that time I mean I remember like her brother was a Frankie was a member I remember her family being around yeah there were a really tight-knit family you know ariana is you know she was 13 14 years old she's she and truthfully she's grown up and she's a matured and she's a woman now but so many of the qualities that she had then she's still had a little annoyed so deska well read press at all and I know it's not true and I know and she is just incredibly funny and she does the most incredible impressions you have ever seen anybody and she's got a huge heart and she is an activist and a feminist and funny and sweet although all those kids I'm very proud of them speaking of feminists yes bringing Tootsie to the stage and actually interviewed Santino Fontana last week that every will be coming out soon it's a very sensitive project sort of an unexpectedly sensitive project for me to bring back to see to see was a huge movie from my childhood and I know that you you you very carefully looked at these relationships and the female characters and sort of what was going on how was that – how did that evolve over did that evolve over the time of the creation because obviously the world has even changed since with the me – movement and times up since since you started working on to see how has it been sort of adapting to that and watching the show grow well good question you know the the culture was changing as we were writing it me too started to happen and there were certain you know first of all nobody does this alone so working with Carroll firemen and and Scot signatures our producer Scott said his girlfriend and with Yazbeck and and Scott Ellis and and Andrea Brody and all our creative team and Dennis Jones it was it really was it was daily conversations and I always say I never I don't I I know I don't know what I don't know and but Scott Ellis will just insisted have conversations I said T no to was it was very important that we opened open up our ears and our minds to the experiences that we don't have and how do we can we can write the humanity of the show but the specificity of the characters we really needed to educate ourselves on and and be aware of the sensitivities but it was changing as we were writing it I think I knew going in that the movie existed in a time when the culture was very different and it worked perfectly for that time yeah but I knew that those characters wouldn't translate to the culture we're living in now especially some of the female characters like the character of Julie play Dino by Lily incredibly beautifully by Lily Cooper and Jessica Lange in the movie who want an Oscar but she's a little bit of a victim you know she drank and she was a single mom and she was in a relationship where the guy was cheating on her but she felt she didn't deserve better and I knew two things I didn't want to write that character and I knew that in the movie where she finds her empowerment through a man dressed as a woman I did not want to do that yeah I wanted this cat the character of Michael Dorsey to grow and and and find remorse and grow as a person by having spent time with a strong woman who was confident so I knew I needed to change that for the movie and that sort of was where we started from it's very exciting to take something so kinda it was classic for you just like it was for me some younger theater goers maybe the movie didn't mean so much to them night but 282 to take that year Santino was born but it's exciting because you took a lot you changed so many things about it it was originally set in the soap opera world now it's setting a Broadway musical and and all these characters but then you do also do honor certain things in this stripes really is it's a fun project because you were able to kind of deconstruct it and then rebuild it yeah a little bit right and have some of the same moment well you know it was really important David and I talked about this we didn't want the tail to wag the dog and so I we knew going in we had to honor the DNA of the movie I don't know and it's a fantastic story that if you're looking as a short story a guy who's an actor who's told he could no longer do the one thing he loves more than anything right and and what does he do to change that and listen as artists as actors and writers and all that we do we spend most of our lives being told no and and the great thing that he he's he's kind of a jerk when we meet him but he's also passionate and he won't take no for an answer and I loved that and I knew that if that was the our starting place that was a great place to start because that's a story about humanity that's a story and so um and then it was just it was figuring out what's the story we want to tell how do we want to tell it let's write our version and then see what we can bring back from the movie and not the the other way around we knew if we were precious about anything we couldn't tell our story mm-hmm I love this quote from David yeah spec about you Robert is a modern-day Neil Simon who can make audiences laugh hysterically without sacrificing character I'm a comedy writer myself and that's the ultimate praise I can give that's that and I think that is very great many winners also some of that grew up really really loving yeah and David Yas back I mean he's just a disaster was it like working with him but you know he's a handful I love you David you know he'll tell you he's two hands full but yeah I heard it didn't he say like this is the best time he's ever had with a collaborator I mean it sounds like he really it's a bromance going on we it was I was able to write that Michael and Jeff relationship based on David not I met David and it really was it was I never thought I would fall in love with a straight man but I actually the day we met it was just it was like brothers from another mother and he is so funny and he what I love is that he constantly challenged me to bring my A game because he his a game is so effortless and he he knows what he does he knows he it was a we have oh just about three and a half years working on this mmm and in the entire production never a fight and this is a tribute to Scott Ellis to the note sessions were funnier than the script and he is just David will start a writing session by saying okay look I know we can't do this but and then of course we'll do it and he just is we had the best time we had the best time he said he's an emmy-winning comedy writer and intimidated I was very intimidated when they first came to me with this I'm like that's a big target on my back but okay work with David yes but in a second do you think you would do it again this no more shows with him oh my yeah we're already planning okay absolutely yes yes okay yeah and if you get the opportunity to work with David Yazbeck make it a priority one more thing there's a great cast which we've talked about is there any were there any auditions when people came in and I was very excited to find out who would get castings roles because a movie was so hard to me so I had all of that you love them I had all sorts of ideas um were there any auditions where like somebody came in and you were like I'm assuming you saw some of these and you and it was sort of like changed everyone's like oh wow that's such an interesting like somebody who sort of like would walk in and then give you a new I in new perspective anything that sort of pops out a memorable moment well here's the interesting thing only two people auditioned in the entire Wow so we would do readings and Scott Ellis who is incredible at casting and Jim Carnahan our casting director would say oh I know somebody that would be good for a reading and they would bring in Sarah Stiles for reading a reg Rogers forum you know John bellman for a reading and by the time that reading is over David and I would say get them Scott we won't get the only only Lily Cooper and Michael McGraw were cast and both of them got the job in the room they both were both sofa I spend the hardest part the cast was Lily Cooper Clarke Julie the kara Julie because she's got I think one of the hardest roles because even though she's funny she's that she's the grounding force of the piece and she you have to fall in love with her so you understand why Michael is willing to give up everything he thought he wanted for love and and she brought this humanity and this inherent sensitivity and and beauty to the role that I truly when she auditioned it wasn't on the page like it is now like with all these actors we really developed it with them as we were going so I think the biggest surprise was how much the show developed with these actors and during the writing process for all of us man first got Ellis to the cabarrus penthouse penthouse so excited included on the Tony nominee it's a good number nice alright if you're watching her so Alex wants to know is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset greetings from London hello alright you know you you somebody said to me how do you how do you write so many jokes and you you the characters live in your head they truly do and I have a schedule of when I slide to sit down a ride I get a very early I get up like 5:00 in the morning and I try to get at least four or five hours done by lunch and even if I throw everything away but they you are writing all day you're just writing all day cuz they talk to you and you know they say suddenly it comes to you and you're just my house is nothing but notes and all over yeah so you just have to just let yourself just hear the characters and start writing amazing lb wants to know what is your favorite song in the show and why I love so many songs in the show I'm act one okay I love okay one would be probably I know what's gonna happen I know everybody says that but it's such a song about about chaos and neuroses and insecurities and that's like all of us and so David captured that so beautifully that and and I won't let you down because hearing Santino suddenly bring that voice I don't know the auditions okay and then how it escalates and it really becomes this power ballad and about 200 it is coming out I like June something like maybe I may be wrong but I think early June cool so this will be our last question and Nina wants to know how do you overcome writer's block you you don't you just wait it out you waited up for me I force myself to write something even though I know it's gonna be terrible you just and you can't fight it just get distressed by always say you have to have you can't be all output you have that input so you watch TV or you read something or you listen to music and you just wait for it to pay it always passes you think it's not going to but it it always passes and then suddenly get an idea was it stressful when like you had the deadline of opening night because you have to freeze the show in previews and I'm sure that was sudden suddenly like it's horrible but you know the Scott Ellis had a mantra which is I want to leave Chicago healthy so we knew the out of town rod so we knew coming in what the work we had to do so when you know what you have to do and then of course it changes once you see it in front of an audience but um yeah deadlines are scary but I like that pressure of being under a deadline because I'm like I got to do it I got no choice I've got no choice awesome yeah congratulations thank you it's thrilling to be so nice to have you on Broadway with a hard way with a hit yeah I hope I hope I can't wait to see you on the Tony Awards I'm definitely wearing a bowtie and I'm probably gonna wear just like overalls I think I think maybe both and a tank top because I respect the Arts I respect theater great thank you so much for being here hey Caitlin why don't you take us out thank you guys so much for tuning and today we are live at five every single day on Facebook you can listen to us where we get your podcasts by searching for a hashtag live at five and hitting that subscribe button be sure to tune in tomorrow we talked to Tony nominee Bob Martin all about the prom

2 thoughts on “ #LiveatFive with TOOTSIE Book Writer Robert Horn

  1. aw you didn’t ask robert horn why he wrote a show that is harmful to trans people and is so tone deaf with the times :/

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