Anything with Susie Mosher is worth seeing! Ever since I saw her in NEWSical The Musical a few years back, I was hooked on her talent! When I was presented with the opportunity to interview anyone in From The Hip, I decided to go with the show's leads, Susie Mosher and Maggie Moore, as I felt I could have the most fun with them. And, boy, did we have FUN!
From The Hip, is a musical comedy, written and directed by Blair Fell with original songs by Maggie Moore, about "Sissy" and "Sassy Sheraton," conjoined twins with big dreams: to make it in Hollywood and find that special set of appropriately conjoined lovers. But can Siamese lounge singers really find fame and love...especially when confronted with middle age?
From The Hip plays at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue inside the West Bank Cafe) every Wednesday through November 18. Click here for tickets!
1. This November you are both starring as conjoined twins in the revival of From The Hip, which tells the story of how you, as conjoined twins, want to break into the entertainment world in the 1960s. What has been the most fun aspects of the 60s that you've gotten to experience in rehearsing for the show?
Maggie Moore: I love the lounge style, the music, the hair styles and lingo of the time. Ultimately it's a pretty sexy time whether you are in showbiz or not, let alone a Siamese twin in show business. Blair Fell, our writer and director, exploits that sexism and we can take it over the top. Personally, I am drawn to this genre and have the most fun writing songs in this style and hearing them sung by the rest of the cast.
Susie Mosher: It's more of the seedy, side show, fringes of society 1960s as opposed to the flower power peace and love 60's. So the time frame isn't a main element of the story. It could be taking place in almost any decade that has desperate people doing desperate things.
2. Maggie, you originally starred in the 1997 production of From The Hip and wrote the songs for the show. Susie, you were in the L.A. production. What made now the right to revive this show and what has it been like to revisit the show?
Maggie Moore: What made it the right time is that we as actors just wanted to bring it back for the pure comedy of it. We all enjoyed it the first time around incredibly, and somehow now we all happen to be in the same city and in touch all these years later. Blair instigated it. He came to see a reading of mine of another musical project I am working on, that I asked both Susie and Amy to participate in and it sprang from there. And, Amy and Susie have always wanted to revive "Sassy" (lucky for us Amy took on the role of "Lobster Boy" for this incarnation and we were introduced to Sean by blair). The idea of doing this come up a lot. But it would depend on everyones availability to do it too, because we really didn't want to do it unless we could all do it together again.
Susie Mosher: I did the production of From The Hip in Los Angeles in the late 90's with Maggie and Blair. I played "Sassy Sheridan" to Maggie's "Sissy Sheridan." The main difference is in New York, Maggie's twin was played by Amy Ziff, and in this production Amy is playing "Carlotta," the maid with a terrible secret, and "Billy the Lobster Boy," my love interest.
3. When the show made it's New York premiere in 1997, it played at HERE Arts Center. Now the show will be staged at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. What made you want to mount the show at The Beechman for this revival?
Maggie Moore: Susie has a great relationship with The Laurie Beechman Theatre from doing her solo shows and Cashino. I would go to see everyone of them. It seemed perfect and Kenny booked it sight unseen because of Susie.
Susie Mosher: I have worked many times at The Beechman and love it there. It can have the right sort of feel for this show, and the staff is fantastic. Kenny Bell runs the room and does everything to make the artist comfortable and supported.
4. What is the hardest part about playing conjoined twins?
Maggie Moore: We cannot move around independently once we are in that costume. There's no such thing as personal space but fortunately we don't get in each other's way and really like each other.
Susie Mosher: Playing co-joined twins is mostly a matter of the right dress. If you are stuck together in the clothes, it kinda does the work for you.
Maggie Moore: Well, we have been friends for a very long time. I appreciate getting to do this show simply because I get to see my friend more often.
Susie Mosher: Maggie, Amy and I are dear old friends, so we love hanging together anyway. Doing this show is a great way to be together for days doing something we all enjoy, making people laugh.
6. If you were conjoined twins in real life, what traits about each other would you want to share and what traits would you be glad are your own?
Maggie Moore: I think we share a love of doing musical theatre, singing, and character stuff and certainly comedy. I love Susie's commitment to "Sassy" and she's just hilarious in anything she is in and she puts her stamp on it. I like that I can write comedic songs that compliment the piece.
Susie Mosher: Maggie and I are definitely playing the twin that suits our personality. She is sweet and kind and easy going, and I tend to be more bossy and driven. I could use a dose of her calmer energy.
7. Do you think the entertainment world of 1960 would have accepted you as a legit act or do you think you would have been seen more as a "freak" show type act?
Maggie Moore: I think we would be considered freaks. Today that would be exploited too.
Susie Mosher: Well, we are definitely an "oddity." But we are actually talented. Do I think we would make it in Hollywood? Most likely not.
Maggie Moore: I hope they would laugh a lot and see the love and integrity in it. At its heart, it is a show biz story and love story. Everyone gets to be a Siamese twin in this show and everyone thinks of themselves as a freak. Being a freak ultimately unites us all.
Susie Mosher: "Daisy" and "Violet" would probably view "Sissy" and "Sassy" with distain. We are from the wrong side of the tracks and more desperate, not as well dressed or demure.
9. What do you think audiences will be most impressed with about this show?
Maggie Moore: I would hope they see it as pure entertainment and just really enjoy it. I would hope they enjoy the songs a lot and how it all ties the story and comedy together. It has a lot going on!
Susie Mosher: It's hilarious and dark, with smart writing and great original songs by Maggie. People laugh throughout the show, and then realize they actually care about these people.
10. If you were to meet someone you both were interested in, how would decided who got to date them? If one of you ended up dating them over the other, how would handle intimacy, since the one twin would be in the room with you?
Maggie Moore: We respect the other person and their "alone" time.
Susie Mosher: Well, "Sissy" is the one who all the boys clamor to. "Sassy" is not as attractive and doesn't seem to appeal to most, so she has thrown herself into her work. There really is no contest. As "Sassy" sings, "'Sissy' gets the big time, the boyfriends, the boobs!"
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Maggie has performed solo and in concert with artists as varied as Sarah McLaughlin to Lypsinka since the late-mid Eighties. Since arriving in New York in the early-mid Nineties, Maggie has performed in many downtown theaters, (the Ridiculous, La Mama, the Atlantic) and landed on Broadway in Jackie. Maggie is perhaps best known for producing the hit show Viva Las Vegas, the Musical in which she starred as Ann-Margaret. She composed the music and lyrics for From the Hip and Hunchback Without a Bell and starred in both productions which had successful runs in New York. From the Hip went on to play Toronto, L.A. and San Francisco. Maggie can be seen in the critically acclaimed feature films, The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love and Eye of God.
Susie Mosher is also currently appearing off-Broadway in Newsical: The Musical. Her previous credits include Broadway: Hairspray. Off-Broadway: Suds, Back to Bacharach & David. TV: Nurse Jackie, Without a Trace, HBO's If These Walls Could Talk 2 with Vanessa Redgrave, Beverly Hills 90210, Veronica's Closet, and a recurring role of Showtime's The L Word. Films include: A View From the Top, Lost Souls, It's Pat, The Wedding Planner, and Bear City 2: the Proposal.