Broadway Ensemblists Share Their Memories of Performing with Marin Mazzie
“I’ll never forget the day I met Marin Mazzie. I was rehearsing Curtains with her husband Jason and she came right before lunchtime to meet him. John Kander rushed over to greet her like a giddy school boy. Marin walked up to each and every member of the company and introduced herself. I immediately felt her warmth and kind presence.
“Years later I was beyond excited when I found out Marin was going to be in Bullets Over Broadway with me. To be able to watch her every day was a true master class. In life she was the opposite of her character Helen Sinclair in Bullets, but it was thrilling to see her embody that character. Marin never took herself too seriously. In fact, we had quite a few laughs about a theater patron who very loudly kept pronouncing her name incorrectly. We even wrote it that way on her dressing room door. She was always one of the girls and had the ensemble ladies in her dressing room for a chat or a hangout. She would take time to do our annoying “Saturday Night on Broadway” pics when I’m sure she had more important things to do.
“One of my greatest gifts in theater was seeing Marin in her closing show for The King and I. Beth Nicely and I went together and sat there filled with emotions and crying during curtain call. Marin was captivating and strong. We both said we could only imagine how much she was going through physically and emotionally. As usual, she was so gracious with her time at her closing show and made sure to see us and catch up on our lives. I still can’t believe that was her last show on Broadway.
“There will never be another Marin. While her talent and beauty were unmatchable, they weren’t even the best part of her. Her heart was really what drew people closer. That and her incredible laugh. They just don’t make stars like Marin. But I know she is somewhere more peaceful with her glorious light still shining.”
-Brittany Marcin (Bullets Over Broadway, Anything Goes)
“Marin played a 10-week return engagement as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot in 2008. I made my Broadway debut there earlier that year. As an admirer of her work, this was a big deal to me! She didn’t make her entrance until about 20 minutes into the show, but she always came to the stage to gather with the company at the places call. A three-time Tony nominee, revered performer and beloved human just hanging out before the show in her wig prep, robe and slippers. She was simply one of us. I just loved this about her. And always so kind, generous, fun and funny. Such a joy to have in the company.
”A few years ago I was doing Chicago and Jason came in to play Billy Flynn. Because of that, I had the opportunity to reconnect with Marin. I don’t think I had seen her since Spamalot. She was so lovely and gracious when I reminded her that we had performed together at the Shubert. Our working together may have been brief but I will forever count myself lucky to have had those 10 weeks.”
-Andrew Fitch (Spamalot, Waitress)
“Marin Mazzie was a true force of nature. I first met her in 1995 when I was swinging/dance captaining the Canadian premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music of the Night. Marin was one of the three principals. At the time I had just moved to NYC a year ago and had only one Broadway show under my belt. I remember begin starstruck watching Marin every night and marveling at her incredible presence and talent. She could sing absolutely ANYTHING… ”Memory,” “With One Look,” “Tell Me On A Sunday….” and the list goes on. She would stand on stage in her black velvet dress with the orchestra and a spotlight and she commanded every moment. You could not take your eyes off of her. And it wasn’t just her glorious voice that drew you in, it was her emotion and investment in every second of the song. I don’t think I ever saw or heard Marin mark anything.
”I had the privilege of working with Marin again on Spamalot when she joined the company as the Lady of the Lake. Once again she was a complete joy to work with and she gave 100% at all times. Marin had that amazing combination of talent and grace, strength and sensuality, elegance and bawdiness. And she was equally glorious off stage. She was strong, kind, funny, humble, and always, above else, generous. She was so full of life that it is hard to imagine she is gone. But the memory of her performances and her work will live on in my heart. She will always be a shining example of all that is wonderful about the Broadway stage.”
-Emily Hsu (Spamalot, Elf)
“Marin was a light. I did two Broadway shows with her, Spamalot and Bullets Over Broadway. She became a dear friend, even coming to my wedding with Jason. I remember them dancing the night away. Every night at the end of Spamalot, Marin, The Lady of the Lake, tossed a bouquet out to the audience. The show ended with her wedding to King Arthur. The night before my wedding, I was dancing behind her in the ensemble, and she turned and tossed the bouquet to me, instead of the audience. That was Marin. She made you feel so special.
“I will never forget that night and her kindness. I was so excited to get to do another show with her when Bullets came around. I ended up playing her maid, Josette. She was the most incredible Helen Sinclair and made my small part into something important to her character. She was always beyond generous to her fellow actors. Apart from the show, she wanted to build relationships with everyone. She even had the idea to help me host a "Bullets Girls" night at my apartment. No one on stage mattered more than anyone else and she treated everyone like they mattered.”
-Beth Johnson Nicely (Bullets Over Broadway, Chicago)
“I’ll never forget walking into the first day of rehearsal for Bullets Over Broadway. Most of the cast had done workshop a few months before so they all were old friends. As a swing, I joined for the Broadway company and didn’t know many people. As I stood in the overcrowded room, somewhat overwhelmed, I felt a tap on my shoulder: ‘Hi there! I’m Marin, I don’t think we’ve met yet!’ The musical theatre nerd inside me was freaking out. OF COURSE I knew she was ‘Marin.’ What I would soon learn was how incredibly kind, generous and supportive she was. She would become much more than a role model. She would become a friend.
“Marin was one of those people who seemed completely oblivious to the fact that she was theatre royalty. She treated each and every person in our cast with respect and compassion. The first time I went on for one of my understudies, she stopped by my dressing room before the show, gave me a huge hug, and simply said “You’re going to nail this.” To her, It didn’t matter if you were the star of the show, an understudy, or a member of the ensemble. She wanted to see you succeed, and celebrated with you when you did.
“I learned so much from Marin. I watched her performances, and learned valuable lessons as an actor. I observed her genuine kindness, and learned what true class was. Most of all, I learned that you never give up without a fight. She fought. She fought hard. She was loved, and she loved hard. She will be missed.”
-Synthia Link (Bullets Over Broadway, Frozen)
“I can not even begin to explain how sad and empty I feel. And I know that everybody she touched feels there is now a missing piece of love in our world. My memories of her and Kiss Me Kate are full. Laughter, laughter, laughter, a few tears... laughter. Her sitting naked as naked could be while she picked her Secret Santa out of one the the “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” guy’s hats. Not sure if it was Michael or Lee’s hat... guessing Michael’s because Lee could be a grouch-a-moe.
”When I saw her at a Pump Boys and Dinettes reunion concert with Jason, I so wanted to go up to her and tell her how I have always admired her, always! But instead, I chickened out for stupid reasons. I was afraid, I did not want to bother her, I felt I was imposing... stupid, stupid reasons.
“She will forever be one of my most favorite humans that I have been lucky enough to encounter and play with. Where ever you may be out there in the universe, please rest Marin and then get up and show those young’ins how its done.”
- JoAnn M. Hunter (Kiss Me Kate, School of Rock - The Musical)