I'd love to hear you talk about Catch Club.
It's something I do with my buddies Murray Hill and Neal Medlyn (a.k.a. Champagne Jerry). We're the three core members, and we go to McCarren Park in Brooklyn and we play catch, do drills, move around and talk about showbiz. When you work at night, it's nice to have a daytime activity, see friends and get some vitamin D and sunshine.
Do you play other sports?
Yeah, I've always been an athlete. I went to Arizona State and did competitive sports. I was on the swim team. Growing up I was on a traveling softball team--we were called "The Curies." Catch Club came about because a few years ago I was in a funk and my friend Murray was like, "Get outside and get some sunshine and get an activity going." It's great.
And Catch Club is where you came up with your hit "Titties," right?
It is. There were five or six of us doing batting practice and I was out in the field shagging balls and this idea popped into my head. [Beginning to sing] "You got those tube sock titties, put 'em in the air. You got them little nippy titties, put 'em in die air. Put 'em up, put 'em up, put 'em up!!"
I came off the field and I sang it into my phone immediately And then afterward we were having egg sandwiches and I said to Adam [Horovitz], "Is this silly?" And he said, "Yes, but it sounds like a hit. Write it!" And now I play it at all my shows.
For Rock Bottom you worked with more mainstream musical-theatre guys, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman of Hairspray. What's that like?
It's great, really. Marc and Scott have such a rich and varied musical history. I got a grant to write a new show at Joe's Pub--basically they were like, "Would you like a grant?" I was like, "Yeah!" Marc and Scott have this one rule: "Exact rhyme." They like everything to have a perfect rhyme, which is a real challenge for me, because I don't work with any rules. They write well-executed songs, whereas my songs have always been a bit scrappier. But they never talked down to me. Marc has a Tony Award and five Academy Award nominations, so it was incredible! He loves the song "Titties."
Who else are you dying to work with?
I'm really excited about doing something with Patti LuPone--I think it's going to he a cabaret show and a blend of our styles. We have the same birthday, April 21.
Do you feel like a Taurus?
I do feel like a typical Taurus, and from my view Patti's also a Taurus through and through. She's sort of this epitome of a Broadway diva with the heart of an outlaw. She's just so fun to be around and so fun to watch. She and I were texting that we should have lunch together and it was like, "Yeah, let's sing!" And I said, "Don't say it if you don't mean it!" I had said how I'd never sing at Carnegie Hall, but then six months later I sang with Patti LuPone at Carnegie Hall.
In his review of Rock Bottom, Charles Isherwood described you as "rampaging id." What do you make of that?
I think that's a pretty good description--I remember seeing that and thinking, "Oh! That's how you describe it." I want to do a show and have an experience with an audience that feels unforgettable. Unforgettable in a great way--or maybe in a not great way for some people--so I think that "rampaging" is a good word for that, because it's full throttle. I'm 150-percent committed to every show I do, physically, vocally and emotionally. I'm so grateful every time, because I have pretty bad stage fright.
How do you manage it?
I have happy hour! I'll also I do that trick with your eyes where you blur everyone out. If I'm especially nervous, I'll do exercises before I go on.
Your costumes are amazing. What's your daywear like? My friend Larry Kron is the costumer for Rock Bottom and the force behind House of Larreon, and the first thing he made was a silver muumuu I wore. His designs are funny and whimsical but they also really showcase my body in a way I'm comfortable showing it. His costumes embrace the power of a full-bodied woman, if you know what I'm saying!
What is your idea of spiritual bliss?
Probably sitting on the beach at sunset with a fluffy kitty cat and a bottle of chardonnay. That's as close to heaven as I'm gonna get.