I was first introduced to the talented Emily Bergl in 2010 when she starred on ABC's "Desperate Housewives" as "Beth Young" (the wife of "Paul Young," and the daughter of "Felicia Tilman," played by Tony Award Winner Harriet Harris). I loved Emily's performance as "Beth," so I was quite excited when I attended a benefit concert this past June at Joe's Pub entitled "Night of A Thousand Judys" where Emily delighted the audience with her brilliant and dramatic rendition of Judy Garland's "Zing, Went The Strings Of My Heart." I was lucky enough to be able to introduce myself to Emily afterward. She was so warm and nice. Then, just one week later, I had the opportunity to see Emily perform in the Off-Broadway smash hit show "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" along with fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participants Julie Halston and Ashley Austin Morris. Emily once again commanded the stage. After the show, I got to speak to Emily again. Not only did she remember meeting me at "Night of A Thousand Judys," but Emily was kind enough to talk to me about doing an interview for "Adaumbelle's Quest" which now I present to you, my faithful readers...
Emily Bergl is a talented actress, a powerful and passionate singer, and most of all, a wonderful, kind, and down-to-earth human being who's a joy to talk to! Emily started performing in London, England when she was just 4 years-old and moved to New York City after college where she was picked from a national casting call to play the lead in "The Rage: Carrie 2," her first job on camera. Since then, Emily's career has taken off! From theatre to film to cabaret Emily delights, no matter what genre she's performing.
Emily won a FANY Award for Best Broadway Broadway debut in "The Lion in Winter," and continued on Broadway in "A Touch of the Poet," and Lincoln Center's "The Rivals" as well as Off-Broadway and regionally in "Becky Shaw," "Romeo and Juliet," "Proof," and "Our Town."
On TV, Emily starred in "Steven Spielberg Presents Taken," for two seasons on "Gilmore Girls" and two years on ABC's "Men in Trees," as well as numerous guest appearances on such hits as "The Good Wife," "ER," and "NYPD Blue." She is about to begin a fourth season on John Wells' "Southland" on TNT.
When Emily is not performing, she spends much of her time volunteering with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and Read Across America in addition to Habitat for Humanity. At the end of 2011 she will join President and Rosalynn Carter in Haiti to build for the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
Before Emily departs for Haiti, she will be dazzling and wowing audiences with her cabaret show "Kidding on the Square" in NYC at the Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel (59 West 44th Street) from August 30-September 10.
In "Kidding on the Square," audiences are transported to a unique cabaret world that blends classic hits from Noel Coward to Fats Waller with modern favorites from Madonna to the Scissor Sisters. As a special treat, Emily will be reprising her powerfully dramatic rendtion of Judy Garland's "Zing, Went The Strings Of My Heart!" For tickets call 212-419-9331 or e-mail email@example.com.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? When I was four years old my grandmother sewed a fairy costume for me and I started performing in it in our living room. Whether people liked it or not.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Cherry Jones. I bumped into her at an opening recently and found out that I had lost a television role to her. You really don't feel bad when you lose a part to someone like that.
3. How did you come up with the title, concept, and song selection for "Kidding On The Square" and what excites you most about performing at The Oak Room? "Kidding on the Square" came out of a sense of nostalgia I've always had for the 1920's and 30's. The songs were all taken from my personal playlist and from my collection of vintage vinyl. It's my vision of that time period told from my modern perspective, so I also include songs that I love from other time periods that fit the theme. "Kidding on the Square" is a saying from that period that means "half joking, whole truth." It really fits my show, because I have a lot of comedic numbers, but at there's also some very dark and dramatic overtones behind the show. The Oak Room could not be a more perfect venue for my show, and I've always dreamed of performing there. I've even added a special song about Dorothy Parker!
4. What do you get from performing your cabaret show that you do not get from television, film, or theatrical stage work? The direct relationship with the audience of a cabaret show is like nothing else. At first I was terrified. I had never talked directly to the audience before! Now it's my favorite part of my show. Especially when I play my German character and get to berate the audience.
5. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting a cabaret show together? In the back of my mind I'm always daydreaming about the show. I love riding the subway or driving in LA and getting a sudden idea for a song.
6. Favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? If I'm getting really into a song I will sing it constantly. I love singing on the street but I get embarrassed when I get too loud and people catch me at it. Luckily when I do it in midtown people are pretty used to it.
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Rowing a boat in Central Park.
8. Favorite skin care product? Avocado oil to remove eye makeup.
9. Favorite website? http://crazyuglybeautifulthings.tumblr.com/
10. "Mary" or "Rhoda"? To be honest with you, I moved to the States from England when I was kid, so I didn't grow up watching a whole lot of American TV. But I'm going to have to go with "Mary" because I would enjoy throwing my hat up in the air.
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Be nice to the person ironing your clothes today, they may be the person giving you a job tomorrow" - Laurence Fishburne
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Alan Rickman.
13. What attracted you to "Desperate Housewives" and what did you enjoy most about being part of the show? I was attracted to "Desperate Housewives" because I liked the idea of doing a very specific and dramatic style on television. Then they wrote me such a juicy character, it truly was a joy, right up until I put the gun to my head. Plus the fans are so great, they have even promoted my cabaret show.
14. Since working with Harriet Harris (on "Desperate Housewives"), has there been any discussion about the two of you putting together a shared cabaret show? Harriet and I are dying to work together again. We first met doing a radio broadcast of "Agnes of God" for LA Theaterworks, which won a Grammy. I'm also a huge fan of the cabaret singer KT Sullivan, and we want to play mother and daughter somehow.