Though Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker is currently appearing in The Snow Geese, a new play by Sharr White that is now in previews on Broadway, she has a few words of concern about it that she gave to The New York Times earlier this week. But if you know her Broadway history, you shouldn’t be too concerned.
Parker is a Broadway veteran, having made her debut in 1990 in Prelude to a Kiss. And though she has appeared in several plays since, Parker has had some — let’s say abrasive — experiences on Broadway. She had a publicized backstage feud with director Ian Rickson during her last Broadway play, Hedda Gabler (she describes their relationship as, ““It wasn’t a marriage made in heaven” and “There wasn’t perfect alchemy”), and during the run of her debut show she once threw a shoe at an audience member who left mid-performance. But according to Parker, “One person’s crazy is another person’s refreshing. I was always a very hidden, quiet child, and in some ways I can be opaque as an adult. I can have an air of vacancy about me. I can see it in my son. He can go so far away, and people made fun of me as a kid about that. But I hate fakeness. You have to be true to yourself.”
There are signs of Parker is sticking to not showing “fakeness” with The Snow Geese. She jokes that after the first run-through of the play she called Lynne Meadow, the artistic director of Manhattan Theater Club (which is co-producing the play) and said, “I had various concerns — you know, dialogue, my acting, whether I was about to be responsible for the death of the American theater.”
She points out that she was concerned about the play’s extensive dialogue. She explains, “It’s a very talky play. It’s very, very wordy. I think sometimes I fare better when I’m more monosyllabic. Or silent. It’s a very, very talky role, and interestingly enough, my character is not an inherently talky person. The three moments when I speak most in the play are moments when maybe she’d rather not speak.”
Oddly, though Parker admits theater is her first love, she carries that hatred of “fakeness” with her on stage. She ends the interview with, “The worst feeling on earth for me is to stand on a stage and feel like I’m in a play.”