Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Q & A With Cait Doyle

Cait Doyle is the star and creator (she co-wrote the libretto with her sister, Meggie Doyle) of the cabaret act Hot Mess in Manhattan, which attempts to answer the question, "If Sex and the City lied, then what's to become of a Hot Mess in Manhattan?" Doyle won the 2009 Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs (MAC) award for best female debut. Now her show is being turned into a 90-minute "high-heeled, low-brow" musical comedy. Its two-week developmental production, directed by David Ruttura, will run from August 30 to September 8 at the American Theater of Actors. Check out the Q&A to learn more about the show, find out what makes someone a "hot mess," and more.

Q: How did the idea for Hot Mess In Manhattan come about?
A: Hot Mess in Manhattan: The Musical is a realistic portrayal of the "single gal in the big city." As a bartender, I would meet so many women new to the city in tears, all lamenting that city life was not what Sex and the City, Friends, etc. told them it would be. I had been auditioning aimlessly at the time and it occurred to me it would just be easier for me to write my own show--after all, my life is like Carrie Bradshaw's, except way more realistic and a hell of a lot funnier.

Q: How is the musical version different than the cabaret act?
A: The cabaret was me singing these 12 incredible new songs written for the show and setting them up with ever-changing pieces of stand up comedy reflecting on whatever was happening to me/on my mind that month, i.e. "The Bridesmaid Mess" or "The Hip-Hop Mess" or "The Economic Downturn Mess." The musical version, however, is exactly as it sounds. I do break the fourth wall at times to talk to the audience, but for the most part it is a fully staged, choreographed story. There are two additional actors (DJ Bucciarelli and Jared Zirilli) who play a variety of other characters in the story: creepy Craigslist roommate, her gay best friend, etc.

Q: A lot of big up-and-coming composers [Ryan Scott Oliver, Adam Gwon, Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, etc.] contributed music to the show. How did everybody get involved?
A: That was a real life lesson in that it never hurts to ask for things! Worst thing that can happen is that someone says 'no' to you. These musical theater writers are at the top of their game and I could not be any more fortunate.

Q: What makes someone a "hot mess"?
A: I don't think anyone is ever permanently a "hot mess," but we all have "hot mess" moments. From my personal collection, you know you're a hot mess if:
  • You ran into your gym right before closing time not to exercise, but solely to shower before going back out for the night, and then the gym closes and you are locked in for the night.
  • At a Broadway level callback in the middle of a song your pianist stops accompanying you--you are missing a page of sheet music.
  • The night before you put a huge crack in a jukebox because you were violently angry that "the best Kelly Clarkson song ever" was not listed. You refuse to believe this until you are shown many pictures and videos of you in the aftermath, hugging said jukebox and apologizing to it.

Q: Why should audiences come see your show?
A: This show is for anyone that's ever intensely loved NYC yet felt they weren't quite sure where they fit inside of it. It's also, in my extremely non-biased opinion, one of the funniest things ever written for the stage. At an 85-minute run time, it's the great type of show to hit before having a night out on the town. Or to just head back home after to wear pjs, eat italian ice, and watch reality TV.

Q: Favorite place in the city to...
A: The Watering Hole
A: Bar Americain
A: my friends' closets
go on a first date?  
A: Theater or the movies (So we have something to talk about if you are super boring!)

Q: What's your go-to karaoke song?  
A: Cee-Lo's "Forget You"

Q: What's your drink of choice?
A: Vodka Gimlet

For $13 tickets ($5 off), use the discount code PataphysicalMESS. Tickets are available here. This discount is only good through the 25th.

And check out the video preview below:

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