When actors are accepted into the Disney club, the membership lasts a lifetime. The Disney Princess division is the most elite membership, and Susan Egan holds two of those spots. Having originated the role of Belle in the Broadway production
of Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and voiced Meg in the film Hercules in 1997, Egan has had young girls in awe ever since. In advance of her sixth solo album, The Secret of Happiness, being released on November 15, Egan talked with Stage Rush from her home in Los Angeles about her daughters’ favorite Disney Princess (it’s not who you think), being the punching bag of Broadway, and her future return to the Great White Way.
How does this album differ from your others?
Music speaks to me now in a different way than it did in my 20s, probably because I’m in a different place and I have a different point of view. The album is an examination of life, love, and how much more relaxed I am about all of it and letting things happen instead of trying to force them. I love that the album reflects how so many of the writers I first started working with in New York have also grown. They’ve gotten married and also had kids. I’m singing a lot of material from Jason Robert Brown, Georgia Stitt, Marcy Heisler. We’re all in different places and we’re all growing up together.
The track “Nina Doesn’t Care” is about how your oldest daughter isn’t caught up in you being a Disney Princess. How does she convey this to you?
On a daily basis! It’s not subtle or implied. [Imitates her daughter] “Mommy, my favorite princess is still Ariel.” OK, honey; glad to hear it. I foolishly thought in my 20s as I exited those stage doors as Belle, with hordes of little girls waiting to meet me, allowing myself to believe that some day I would have little girls and they would think that I was pretty cool. Nothing is a bigger or better ego check than becoming a parent. Read more
Robert Creighton made the decision that he would not understudy anymore. After covering roles in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Little Mermaid on Broadway, he felt that he was losing his spark, his “umph,” which Creighton cites as his greatest asset. But then along came the revival of Anything Goes, and as Creighton himself says, “[Understudying] Joel Grey’s a different story.”
Creighton has been covering Grey in the role of Moonface Martin in the Tony-winning revival since October 4, while Grey is sidelined by a foot injury he sustained while walking around New York. Creighton usually plays the role of the Purser. While most actors would be ebullient with the opportunity to play such a major role in a hit show like Anything Goes opposite the great Sutton Foster, Creighton is not in a celebrating mood. “When I found out Joel had hurt himself… I love Joel. I don’t feel comfortable really celebrating that I get to [play the role] when Joel’s hurt. If he was in Europe for a month, I’d be like, ‘Hey, I’m playing Moonface! Come and see me!’ In this case, I hope he gets better and I’m just doing my job.”
This is not the first time Creighton has gone on in the role. While the show was still in previews, Grey was unable to perform one Sunday due to a vocal injury. Creighton got the call at 11:30 a.m. and an hour later was on the stage of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with Foster receiving his first rehearsal as Moonface. In addition to no prior rehearsal, there hadn’t been time for a costume fitting. Creighton brought his own suit and tuxedo pants to the show. “It was scary, but it was also the highlight of my career,” Creighton said.
VIDEO: Robert Creighton on his bold Anything Goes audition and bonding with costar Joel Grey