Catching Up with Bebe Neuwirth

4.7.2010

By Dustin Fitzharris

You played Lilith on Cheers and Frasier. What do you think Lilith would be up to today?
I guess her son would be in college or maybe just graduating.

What was his name?
Fredrick.

Ah, yes.
And somebody once called him Freddie, and Lilith goes, 'Fredrick.'

But you think she'd be tied up with his life?
He'd probably be in college, and she would be caught up in that and sever those ties with her son. That was such an interesting relationship that Lilith and Frasier had. What Kelsey and I both acknowledged was that after the characters had gotten divorced and as their relationship continued, you saw how they truly loved each other but couldn't be married to each other.

You made your nightclub debut two years ago. Do you have any plans on releasing a CD?
Yes, we actually recorded a concert at the Napa Valley Opera House. We're fooling around with it. It's on hold right now, but I would like to do that. I also have plans to do a recording of all Kurt Weill music. I just love that music so much. I'm so comfortable singing it.

What are you the most proud of?
I'm thinking of things that I'm proud of, but I don't like to say them because then it sounds like bragging.

But you're proud of them, so you can say them.
I am blessed to have been able to partake in certain jobs and works and activities. There are jobs that I feel really good about the work that I did -- Sweet Charity and Chicago. This performance isn't fully formed yet, so I don't want to say this. I'm very happy and blessed to have been able to work with the Actors' Fund to start a program specifically for dancers -- there's something there called the Dancers' Resource.

What is that program's intent?
Because I had my hips replaced, and it was an emotionally traumatic event, I thought, there are things that I've been able to afford and have access to that other dancers don't. They need this. One thing would be emotional support. I wanted group therapy for injured dancers -- dancers who want to continue dancing, not people who want to switch careers. We want to keep dancing, but we're suffering deeply. It's a private suffering because as dancers, we are so replaceable. We can't tell people that we are injured because we'll be replaced. Dancers are most likely to be underinsured or uninsured. It gives me great pleasure to serve on a board where they've said, 'Yes, that is a good idea' and then they made it happen.

Beyond The Addams Family becoming a hit, what is your mission for this show?
Have fun. This cast -- there are some fascinating and deeply good people here. I just want to keep having a good time and giving the audience as much pleasure as they seem to be having. I think that's what this is. It's just pure joyful.

The Addams Family opens on April 8 at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th St.(between Broadway and 8th Ave), New York City. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com. To learn more about the Dancers' Resource, visit their official website here.

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