Call Answered: Caitlin Lee Reid: "Lezzie with A "Z" at The Duplex
Love, loss, and homage are three things I enjoy learning about. So when I read that Caitlin Lee Reid’s Lezzie With A “Z”, an tribute to Liza Minnelli’s 1972 filmed theatrical event Liza With A “Z”, was returning to The Duplex for an encore run, I knew I just had to get to the heart of this show.
It was so much fun to “Ring Them Bells” with Caitlin as we discussed her story of love and loss with Liza Minnelli as the backdrop.
Lezzie With A “Z”, written and performed by Caitlin Lee Reid and Will Larche with direction and choreography by Joe Barros, is one-woman show that puts a new twist on classic Broadway tunes to tell Caitlin’s story of being gay-married and gay-divorced by age 27.
Lezzie With A “Z” will play at The Duplex (61 Christopher Street) for four performances only, April 15, 19, 22 and 26 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!
1. After a sold-out performance in November, you are returning to the Duplex this April with your show Lezzie With A "Z", an homage to Liza Minnelli's 1972 filmed theatrical production of Liza With A "Z". What are you looking forward to most about this return engagement? We’ve always done one-offs of this show, so I’m ecstatic to be able to perform this throughout the month. I’m excited to see how different audiences react to the changes we’ve made since our last performance.
2. This show puts a new twist on classic Broadway tunes to tell an autobiographical story of being gay-married and gay-divorced by age 27. How did you come up with the idea of telling your story through Liza With A “Z”? One of the things I love most about Liza With A "Z” is the ride she takes the audience on. She traverses through intense emotional moments and splashy “showy” numbers. I’ve always been obsessed with “It Was A Good Time” in Liza With A "Z" - cause as an audience member, you’re like - “Oh shit, we’re doing this!” Using this vessel, I could tell an intimate story and give the audience that same cathartic release…then make jokes about dildos.
3. What do you relate to most about Liza Minnelli in this theatrical production? When I watch Liza with a "Z” it always amazes me that she gave every ounce of herself in that performance. My favorite part of performing this show is leaving literally it all out there.
4. Which song was the most fun to learn? Which one gave you the most trouble? Ooh same answer for both - "Ring Them Bells!" We went through like five re-writes of it, til we decided to go bells-to-the-wall with it and tell the story of my post-divorce sexcapades. Relearning a song I’d known already had its own challenges.
5. What did you learn about yourself from creating this show that you didn't know living through the events you talk about? Hindsight is definitely 20/20. I give myself a lot of credit now for all the things I just put my head down and got through. But also learned - betch, pick your head up.
6. How did you come to work with this incredible team you have: Will Larche (co-writer/performer), Joe Barros (director/choreographer), & Jesse B. Langston (producer)? They ARE incredible! Will and I met because I performed in a lesbian musical he wrote. After finding out we were brain-twins, we then worked together at a tech startup while writing this show. Joe was actually my very first director in NYC in a Fringe festival show I did like three weeks after I moved to the city. Joe introduced me to Jesse, and I’m pretty sure we became best friends four minutes into our first meeting.
7. What did you learn from November's performance that will now inform these scheduled shows? My first thought when writing this show was: who’s gonna care about some lesbian’s tale of love set to showtunes (#niche). After chatting with a bunch of people who I never thought would relate to it, I felt this sense of community. So…if you come see the show grab me after and we can do what lesbians do best: process our feelings.
8. If Liza Minnelli came to see this show, what would you want to discuss with her about this show that you discovered while preparing for your show? I mean after you scraped me off the floor, and assuming my mouth would make words...,I’d love to hear about her process of making Liza with a "Z". I’d want to ask her a million questions, but I’d honestly just listen to anything she wanted to talk about.
9. Where are you in journey of love these days? I’m at an amazing place in my journey, but I won’t say too much now - cause you can hear all about it in the show.
10. If you could "Ring Them Bells," what celebrity would you want to be ringing them with? I’d peg Zac Efron.
More on Caitlin:
Caitlin Lee Reid was branded in her most recent 4-star review by Time Out NY as an “adorkable dyke.” She was last seen starring as Sue in the musical Lesbian Love Octagon and performed in the East Coast premiere of The Break Up Notebook. Caitlin has a penchant for queer cabarets and has performed with LezCab and is a proud member of Ring of Keys. She attended The University of Michigan and RADA. Other favorite roles include The Rocky Horror Show (Magenta) and Red Light Winter (Christina).