THE INCOMPARABLE ANDREA MARTIN
FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS
SCTV performer ANDREA MARTIN can not part with her old Canadian cat sweatshirt.
The U.S. born comedy giant said she received the pink cotton jersey — which is adorned with black velvet cats and the words TORONTO, ONTARIO on the front — as a gift when she moved from New York in 1971 and has kept it as a reminder of that memorable time.
“Occasionally I put it on,” the two time EMMY winner said in a recent phone interview.
“I very seldom wash it and I handle it with care. It still fits — I’m the same size, thank God. My ex husband gave it to me. It was a beautiful time in my life when I came to Canada. I got married and had two children and we were very happy and my career started out…and so I think it symbolizes a kind of innocent time in my life.”
ANDREA thought of the fanciful feline sweater this week when she arrived in the city to costar in the Canadian debut of LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE, which begins performances on Friday and officially opens next Wednesday at the Panasonic Theatre.
Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman and on a collection of stories by screenwriter sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, the show features monologues of women’s memories connected to articles of clothing.
Off Broadway, the play has won a 2010 DRAMA DESK AWARD and featured a top tier cast including KRISTIN CHENOWETH, JANE LYNCH and BROOKE SHIELDS.
The Toronto production has a rotating cast that also includes MARGOT KIDDER, MARY WALSH, WENDY CREWSON and CYNTHIA DALE.
“It isn’t just for women,” stated ANDREA.
“I mean, if you’re a son, if you’re a husband, if you’re a father, you certainly can relate to these stories for sure.”
ANDREA — a Broadway veteran who has won a TONY, a THEATRE WORLD AWARD and a DRAMA DESK AWARD — had received several offers to star in LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE since it hit New York last fall.
The Toronto opportunity was perfect, she said, because she recently bought a house in the city’s lush High Park neighbourhood and was looking for a way to spend the summer there.
She also already had plans to head to Huntsville, Ontario in late August to stage her new one person play FINAL DAYS! EVERYTHING MUST GO!!
“I feel like I’m going back to my roots,” said ANDREA, who hasn’t performed in a play in Toronto since her 1996 solo show NUDE, NUDE, TOTALLY NUDE.
“It’s a really nice feeling, actually. All these memories are coming up.”
ANDREA will perform FINAL DAYS! EVERYTHING MUST GO!! at the Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville on AUGUST 27 & 28.
It features monologues, sketches and songs about her time in show business — from her salad days in the famed musical Godspell and the SCTV sketch comedy series in Toronto, to her film and TV career in Los Angeles as well as her theatre success on Broadway.
“It’s kind of a garage sale of my life,” explained ANDREA, who recently starred in the indie film BREAKING UPWARDS and plans to film another one in September. She also hopes to do another television show eventually.
“Think of it as a comedy tag sale. I talk about my celebrity friends and exploit them just shamelessly — anything to get anybody in the theatre. I talk about my early days in Canada. I do sketches from SCTV. I do my Broadway songs. I think that’s what’s so apropos about coming back here.”
“It brings me back to when I first came to Canada in 1971.”