Interview with Broadways ON THE TOWN actors, Allison Guinn and Chip Abbott

ON THE TOWN has recently hit the Broadway stage again.  The revival is playing at the Lyric Theatre on 42nd Street.  Although I have not had a chance to see it, I know many who have and all I hear is superb feedback.  I look forward to seeing it soon but for now, this interview with two of the cast members was a wonderful introduction to the show.
The Playbill Collector (TPC): What role do you play in ON THE TOWN?
Allison Guinn (AG): Lucy Schmeeler.
Chip Abbott (CA): Dance Captain, Swing, and Assistant Choreographer.  A swing covers all of the ensemble roles when people are injured or sick.
TPC: What is your favorite moment of the show?
AG: I still get a thrill when the three sailors sing “New York, New York” for the first time.
CA: Oh man…there are so many.   I have to say the subway ride to Dream Coney Island is a breathtaking moment.  The reveal of the dream characters is absolutely stunning to say the least and it fully captures the heart of those classic MGM films of the 30’s and 40’s that I used to dream of being in as a kid.  Now I’m in one!  Everyday!
TPC: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
AG: Nothing before the show, but I’ll go over certain bits of physical comedy at intermission.
CA: Coffee coffee coffee!  With so much dance in the show, I like to make sure I’m caffeinated and ready to go!  If I’m onstage that night, I religiously look through my iPad at my notes and stretch.  If there are any lifts or potentially dangerous sections that might involve whatever track I am performing, I make sure to go over grips and spacing with my partners at half hour.
Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.08.59 PMTPC: ON THE TOWN has lots of dancing in it.  What are your favorite dance moments?
AG:It has to be the dream ballet in Act 2!
CA:  Miss Turnstiles is incredible!  An ensemble of 10 men and Megan Fairchild deliver a performance that is sure to knock your socks off!  The men change characters at least 5-7 different times and just when you think the energy can’t be topped, the choreography goes a step further to really knock it out of the park.  I still hold my breath when I watch it!
TPC: Word on the street is that you will be performing in the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Congrats!  Can you give us any insight as to what to expect that day?
AG: Sworn to secrecy!!! You’ll just have to watch!
CA:  No way!  It’s a surprise.  It is not to be missed and it will be huge!   That’s all I’m allowed to say!
TPC: What’s the hardest part about your job?
AG: Honestly, it’s all joy! I’m the luckiest gal on Broadway!
CA: Covering 12 tracks (roles) in the ensemble is really tough.  Each track comes with a very intricate set of details and it is really important to get it exactly right. It can really throw the show off if a swing isn’t sure what’s next.
TPC: If you could play opposite any actor and/or dancer, who would it be?
AG: Wow! So many! There are my heroes: Kathy Bates, Margot Martindale, Melissa McCarthy, but honestly, I love acting with my best friends Josh Lamon and Frank DeJulio.
CA:  I’m a little bit in love with my cast, so it’s hard to say.  I do think a date with Jackie Hoffman would make my life!  She’s hilarious.   She also knows how to shop and has excellent taste in whisky!  My favorite part of previews was going in to her dressing room before the show to make sure we were all on the same page with what version of the show was being performed that night.  She keeps it light and funny all while knowing when to spice it up for shock value.
For more information about ON THE TOWN check out: http://www.onthetownbroadway.com/
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