Thespian of the Moment: Julia Sweeney

Probably best known for her four (1990-1994) seasons on Saturday Night Live, Julia Sweeney is a thespian that has appeared in such films as Pulp Fiction, Stuart Little, Beethoven’s 3rd, It’s Pat (based on the androgynous SNL character) and… Beethoven’s 4th.  Okay, so her film work has some hits and misses, but it happens, and her films aren’t why she’s the prestigious Thespian of the Moment.

What makes her the Thespian of the Moment is a series of three autobiographical one woman shows that she’s produced since the mid-nineties.  God Said Ha!, In the Way of Family, and Letting Go of God all detail her diagnoses with cancer, the adoption of her daughter, and her own struggle with religion.  But these three shows are more than glimpses into this woman’s life, they’re told in a genuinely funny way that still manages to make a connection and show the heart of the subject matter.

Because of her immeasurable talent, wit, and style, Julia Sweeney is my Thespian of the Moment.

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Chris’s Thespian of the Week: Mary Bond Davis

Perhaps best known as the original Motormouth Maybelle in the Broadway musical Hairspray, Mary Bond Davis has had a long career in theatre, television, and film. She has appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, The Women, Marie Christine, Grease, Jelly’s Last Jam, and Mail. Her film roles include New York Minute, The Preacher’s Wife, Hook, and Coming to America.

Ms. Davis can also be heard on many cast recordings and concept albums as well as her many cabaret shows. If anyone feels like splurging on anything, buy the Songs from Ragtime concept album just for the sake of listening to her rendition of “‘Til We Reach That Day”. Of course, you could just buy that song off of iTunes, but that ruins the fun of owning the entire album. Maybe I should be a spokesperson…

Err… Because of her amazing voice and talent, Mary Bond Davis is my Thespian of the Moment.

This is Miriam!

Chris’s Thespian of the Moment: Miriam Margolyes

A vast majority of people, unless they have been hiding in a closet for the past one-hundred years, should know of Miriam Margolyes. A vast majority of her work has been as supporting characters on television shows as movies. But Ms. Margolyes is much more than that. With her clever timing, brilliant character voices, and dirty jokes; Miriam is one of the most talented Thespians on Earth.

In film, she can be seen/heard in the 1985 version of Oliver Twist, Babe, Little Shop of Horrors, James and the Giant PeachMulan, Romeo + Juliet, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Her theatre performances include playing Madame Morrible in Wicked both on Broadway and as a part of the original West End Cast as well as being in the most recent West End revival cast of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. She also has performed on tour in her one woman show, Dickens’ Women.

Miriam Margolyes has, and continues to have, a marvelous career in all forms of media. Even so, I think that her essence can be summed up with the following quote: Upon being asked what she studied while at university, she replied, “Oral sex.”

I salute you, Miriam Margolyes.