Backstage Titanic - Metro Guide Interview

Metro Guide interviewed
Allan Corduner (Henry Etches)
and Victoria Clark (Alice Beane)
on October 15, 1997.

Laura Savini:
We haven't seen in these clips unfortunately -the extravagence of the set. It is incredible when the ship starts sinking and in the audience you are
saying how are they going to pull this off...but it really..Have you been able to see the show Victoria?

I've never seen it. Most of the actors...
Allan actually got to watch it one time because he was..

How did you do that?

I was doing a movie and they let me out for two weeks contractually. The movie finished like a day early so I actually managed to come back and see one performance when I was not on payroll and it was the most amazing thing.

It must make your acting a little different because now you know what the audience is seeing..

Yeah, because now you get an idea of the whole picture where as you the character don't really know what's going on. I mean you have to be in the moment. And also where the light is and what's happening at one moment you can think
oh I'll time that slightly differently.
It was a very good learning experience.

Most of us haven't seen it and it's amazing.
The last time we saw we really saw the bulk
of the show was when we were in previews
and we rehearsed during the day. We could sit
out in the house and watch what was going on.
And most of the big spectacular things like the
ship sinking that was all set way into previews
and it happened through performing it night after night.
So we've never seen it. We can only hear it.
We hear stuff crashing and hear people screaming
but we have never seen the effect.

It's spectacular

It's ok. I can imagine what it will be and one day
I'll sneak in with some popcorn to Lincoln Center
and watch it on the little ..<she makes a TV shape>
They taped it for the archives.

But you know something- I was completely unprepared knowing the show as well as I do- to sit out in that audience and be as moved as I was. It was extraordinary.

It is very moving

I'm often tempted to just put a scarf over my wig and pretend that I'm
..I don't know..<laughing>

<<Clip of What a Remarkable Age>>

Now I am fortunate enough to be here with two of the survivors. I hope that I'm not ruining it but people know some characters aren't going to make it unfortunately. <to Allan>
You're character's story is very interesting how you actually end up surviving..

Well Henry Etches went down with the ship.
He's seen administering to his charges ..

In real life what happened?

In real life what happened was that he was probably doing that and he went down with the ship and fell into the waters and was picked up by a lifeboat miraculously. And that did happen to several people and one of the main officers Lightholler was taken under with the ship and was
blown out of the waters by an explosion when the ship went under. So even some of the people who kept their post to the very end - some of them survived.

It's interesting to hear the real facts because some of it you miss in the show. Now tell me about Tony Awards - that night.

That was the funniest freakiest night. We weren't called to the theatre until 9:30. Isn't that right?

Yeah something like that

The Tony Awards I think started at 9 but the PBS started at 8. So most of us didn't have to leave our apartments until 9 or a little after. So the whole segment from 8 till 9 was when four of the awards were announced. We were all in our homes
hanging out with our families or friends or whatever. I remember the first award was for orchestration which we all expected to win well..we did..

We did...

But that was the only thing that we were -
Jonathan Tunick - we were pretty sure we had.
But the rest of it we honestly didn't think..
but we figured hey best know.
and so we won that and that was great and then it was..

I guess it was the designer...

I think Stewart came toward the end.
I think it went right into Peter

Yes it was Peter!

And then Peter won for best Book and then
Maury won for Best score and then Stewart
won for Best Set Design.

And there was one left..

And we all came to the theatre.
I've never been early to anything in my life <laughing>

That's true!

...and I came early to this theatre just so I could stand by the stage door and scream at people as they came in and just hug them. And when we all went over to the front of the theatre we were like: "well we've won Best Score; Best Book...
and we were trying to think - we have certain
encyclopedias of musical theatre history in the show as a cast right?


And we were trying to think of shows that have
won Best Score and Best book...all those things..

And didn't win Best Musical..

And we couldn't think of two many...

And then it came!

Phenomenal. Five Awards is quite impressive.
Congratulations to both of you and
good luck with the rest of the run!

Thank you.

Allan :
Thanks very much indeed.

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