This week, an interview with one of the alternating star attractions in the enduringly popular Teatro Zinzanni production at their Spiegeltent in Lower Queen Anne, the zaftig and zesty, Miss Christine Deaver!
David-Edward Hughes: I’d call you reigning queen of Teatro but I think you’d have to share the title and crown with Kevin Kent.
Christine Deaver: Well, since we frequently are mistaken as the same person, I guess we’ll share the title. It’s kinda like the LaToya and Michael Jackson syndrome. We had to be in the same show for people to know we weren’t the same person. It wouldn’t be the first time I was mistaken for a drag queen.
DEH: Talk about your beginnings as a performer and how they led to TZ.
CD: I was one of those annoying kids who always knew what they wanted to do. I’ve been performing since I was a kid. I continued that through school, college and grad school. I went thru the PATP(Professional Actor’s Training Program) at the University of Washington, then moved to L.A. to start slaying dragons. A director I had worked with on numerous projects in L.A. started directing at Teatro Zinzanni and suggested me to them. 13 years later, and as Elaine Stritch would sing “I’m still here”!
DEH: What is the gist of your role in the current show.
CD: I play Tina Romanelli, a sassy, Jersey, Italian girl in the 1980’s. Her Papa died a year ago and she and her sister inherit money to reinvent the family restaurant into a show palace. Tina is now out of the kitchen and starring in her own show with a plethora of other colorful characters.
DEH: What are some of your favorite roles you have played or a bucket list of roles you would like to play in plays or musicals?
CD: My bucket list is miles long. I gravitate towards non-traditional roles and I’d love to play a lot of roles traditionally played by men. But one role I’m dying to play is Rose in Gypsy! I wanna get my hands on the song Rose’s Turn and chew that up and spit it out!
DEH: You split your time between L.A. and Seattle mostly these days. What is some place unusual you have performed or would like to?
CD: I just did a one woman show entitled Showgirl in Puerto Vallarta before this show. I fell in love with Puerto Vallarta! Great town, great people! Anytime I can combine work with tacos and tequila, I’m in!
DEH: Do you enjoy the aspect of playing with the audience TZ affords you?
CD: Absolutely! That’s the most exciting part of my job! You never know what those people will bring to the show! They are the guest stars of the night! When they succeed, so do I.
Christine was gracious enough to answer our Inside the Actors Studio questions:
What is your favorite word? Yes
What is your least favorite word? No
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? Music, music, music!
What turns you off Ignorance
What is your favorite curse word? Drumpf!
What sound or noise do you love? The sound of a really good horn section.
What sound or noise do you hate? A dentist drill
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? If I could wave a magic wand, I would come back as a figure skater phenom. Oh, the jumps I would do to the score of West Side Story! LOL!
What profession would you not like to do? President of the United States. I don’t have the ability to be nice to people who piss me off.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I’d like to hear her say “Ya done good, Christine! Welcome to Heaven which is filled with Bette Midler tunes, puppies & kittens, and all desserts have no calories. Now go swim in that warm, shark free, ocean!”
Be Italian!, directed by Reenie Dobb and co-directed by Andrea Doba Conway, runs through June 12, 2016 at Teatro Zinzanni, 222 Mercer Street at 3rd Avenue N in Lower Queen Anne. For tickets go to zinzanni.com/seattle/tickets/