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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 48
Good times
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Good times

SNL alum Ana Gasteyer to perform with Seattle Men's Chorus
by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

BABY, IT'S
COLD OUTSIDE
SEATTLE MEN'S
CHORUS
BENAROYA HALL
November 30 -
December 22
(Featuring
Ana Gasteyer,
Nov. 30-Dec. 1)


The latest celebrity to guest-star with the Seattle Men's Chorus is a comedic favorite with real singing chops. Ana Gasteyer will make two appearances with the chorus at Benaroya Hall: Friday, November 30, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 1, at 2 p.m. You likely know her from her stint on Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2002, where her fantastic impressions of Joan Rivers, Martha Stewart, and former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (of 'hanging chad' fame) gained her a wide following.

She also originated the character of high school music teacher Bonnie Mohan-Culp (with Will Ferrell as her husband) and Margaret Jo McCullen, a fake NPR host whose 'muffin' sketch with Betty White is a YouTube favorite. After leaving the show, she went on to perform in the Broadway musicals Wicked and The Threepenny Opera, and did several more in Chicago, including Passion and The Rocky Horror Show. Gasteyer calls her theatrical career 'the road less travelled' after SNL.

In a quick phone interview with SGN, Gasteyer said that performing in theater and television (and movies, such as Mean Girls) are completely different experi-ences. 'I love them in completely unique ways,' she said. 'Television is really fast and instant gratification and more lucrative, especially when you're paying for private-school tuition. Theater allows for richer understanding of the material, and if you're doing it daily, you get better at it. The bone-marrow exhaustion is amaz-ingly thorough. Of course, if you are an animal of live audience, it's very intimate as opposed to television & even the biggest auditorium is more intimate.'

EXCITED TO SING WITH SMC
Another part of her current career, when she's not working on her current TV show, Suburgatory, is a nightclub act. She's excited about performing with SMC because 'I have a nightclub act with a band and the band sings along with me, and I'm excited to have real singers to sing along [with]. It's prohibitively expensive to hire singers. I would never turn down 200 voices. The other really important thing is that they a really great sense of humor and that's important to me.' She's never fronted a chorus like this before, but she has sung choral music in college.

If you're hoping she'll do any of her famous characters, the answer is no. 'This is a straight-up vocal show. No characters. In my own show, I do a lot of comedy, but I'm not really a wig person anymore.'

Gasteyer is married to Charlie McKittrick and has two children, Frances and Ulysses, and they are all coming with her to Seattle, she says. When asked if she would discourage her children from a career in show business, she replied, 'I'd say go for it. My daughter played me, a few weeks ago, in flashbacks on Suburga-tory. It was so cool to have her have that experience. They're both very theatrical. The shtick is that actors say, 'I'd never want my kids to go into show business because it is hard.' But if you don't mind being a gypsy, it's a great life. It's not lost on me how unique and fun it is that I get to do what I love to do.

'You have to really want it. But you have to stomach the real hardships, all of it. My kids live in one city and I'm constantly travelling and away from them. My husband has to run the household by himself. It's very last minute. My extended family [misses me too] as I've gotten older. I'm always missing bar mitzvahs and weddings. That's hard on all the people in your life, not just you.'

SUPPORTING EQUALITY
Gasteyer is very happy about the recent voter approvals of same-sex marriage. 'I love to sing at a Gay wedding and have done so on many occasions. It's really exciting what's going on in the country these days. We're around the corner. The fact that equality is being opted for on the voter level, not just on the court level, is a great sign of changing times. My kids are growing up in such a different world. My nanny is a Lesbian - that's who she is. The community is so much more hon-est, my daughter knows kids who are out in her high school. My kids have never been part of a conversation where it was a difference. It won't be an obstacle with them and that's where we're going to see the change. Personal freedom should be a right.'

What does she want for the future? Her list is quick and sure: 'I want Suburgatory to run for a really long time, and I'd like to record an album, and I want to bring a nightclub act to its proper glory. I want to be the Betty Hutton of tomorrow except for the alcoholism. I want to wear pretty dresses and have people sing great old fashioned songs.'

For tickets to her performances and the rest of the run of SMC's Baby, It's Cold Outside (through December 22), go to www.flyinghouse.org or call (206) 388-1400. Information on Ana Gasteyer's performances is online at http://anagasteyerinconcert.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AnaGasteyer.

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