Kerry Butler has the best Broadway stories from Beetlejuice, Hairspray, Little Shop, Xanadu & more

Kerry Butler has the best Broadway stories from Beetlejuice, Hairspray, Little Shop, Xanadu & more


(upbeat music) Hi, I’m Kerry Butler, I’m playing Barbara in Beetlejuice and these are my mishaps and memories. Some mishaps have happened during Beetlejuice. One time I have to, spoiler alert, I levitate in the show. So, one time I’m levitating and the stage manager comes on and he’s like, “I’m sorry, we have to stop the show.” We didn’t know that the, we had no idea that anything was going on. So they give the, everyone’s like walking off stage and I’m just stuck there, levitating. (laughs) And so then the curtain is coming in as I’m still levitating so I just waved goodbye to the audience. And then another time when I’m haunting I got so into it that we rattle chains and I don’t know. And I actually like ripped my dress open. (laughs) But you know I am trying to save Beetlejuice and give the people something to come back for. Their money’s worth. So they got an extra part of their show that time. (upbeat music) I don’t remember many mishaps but I have a really great memory from Mean Girls. Tina Fey and I were friends already ’cause our daughters grew up together. And on my, somewhere around my last show, the girls were taking me out and they surprised me and took me to Tina’s office, and she threw me a going away party and it was, I was totally surprised, and it was all water colors because I love to paint. So every table had water color paints set over. And then everyone painted me a picture for my last show. And it was really special. (upbeat music) Hairspray was sort of like the most exciting part of my career just because it was my first hit show. We were all so youn,g and so close because we went out of town to Seattle together. So we really, really bonded. Fierstein and Dick Latessa, I decided were gonna be my mentors. And I wanted my career, the way I treated people to be like the way they treated people. And so Dick Latessa just coming in, doing his show, always happy, and leave, and never cause drama or anything like that. So I was like,I wanna be like him. Harvey was like the mother to all of us, and he would, he would always stand up when something happened to someone in the ensemble. He would use his power and his voice to stand up for everyone that kind of didn’t have as much a voice as he did. His dressing room was the hangout and everyone was loud in there. We would all hang out there the whole time and he would take pictures of everybody. So his walls were covered in these amazing pictures that he took every day of everybody just being in his dressing room. (upbeat music) So my best mishap is Beauty and the beast. Everybody that came to Beauty and the Beast came thinking that there’s this amazing thing that happens at the end. The beast transformation. Everyone hears about it and it was pretty spectacular. The Beast, Belle’s crying over the Beast, and then the music. (imitates music) The Beast starts floating up into the air. And then he starts floating this way. Then he turns, and so then you’re like, oh okay well obviously he’s on strings. He’s you know, whatever’s happening now. But then he rotates this way and you’re like what? How did he do that? While he’s rotating, he’s transforming. You say, oh, whoa there’s his real hand. When he comes down and his face, he’s a completely different person. He’s skinny. He looks like a real person. He’s not Beast any more. So, anyways that’s the whole trick. What’s supposed to happen. One day I get on to the stage. The castle. And the magic isn’t happening. The magic won’t work. And we were like (gasps) what’s gonna happen? So I’m crying over the beast. No please don’t leave me. And then the music starts. (imitates music) And I have no idea what is gonng happen. (imitates music) And Chuck Wagner was the Beast. And so he stands up, and, (imitates music) he just starts doing a modern dance. It’s the best thing ever. (imitates music) And I have to, I mean, you have to really see the dance because it’s like he’s doing turns and then. Well Xanadu was my scariest show. I thought I was going to die every show and I can’t believe I made it out without breaking anything because three people broke legs or bones before we opened. The saddest memory was the James Carpinello, who was my boyfriend in the show, my Sonny, he was always teaching me to skate how to skate. He was an amazing skater. And he played hockey, and he was always holding my hands. Showing me how to do everything. And then one day he was showing me what not to do, and that was when he broke his leg in three places. Well, my husband is a puppeteer. And suddenly our worlds combined because all the people that worked the big plant were my friends from my husband. Like Matt Vogel, Marty Robinson. They all worked the plant, and they’re these famous puppeteers. So at the end of the show when the plant grows, and it comes out in our production. The plant came out over the audience’s head, and went right out over all the audience. And people were looking up screaming. And I was being eaten by the plant during that time. So I’m inside the plant’s mouth going over the audience and I’m not harnessed in or anything. All I’m doing is holding onto a bar inside the plants mouth with my feet dangling out over the audience. And it’s like going up and down. It was really fun. And I’m in the plant’s mouth and I’m looking at my friends like Matt Vogul and Marty just holding on like, I hope I don’t fall out on top of the audience. Another show similar to Beetlejuice where our fans went bananas. They would come with signs. They would do the dance moves. I remember one time I was in a restaurant and especially then, as a Broadway performer, I don’t get recognized. I’m not famous or anything. So I remember one time I’m in a restaurant and I look out the window and people are there just going like this to me. And my family were like, what is happening? (upbeat music) I only came on in the second act. It was a very cush job. And, but at the end of the first act, I had this one pivotal moment. Aaron Tveit and Norbert Leo Butz have, they see each other for the first time and they have this beautiful moment. It’s very touching, and all I had to do was walk across the stage. That’s it. And it’s during this very touching moment. So I’m walking across the stage. I’m walking the stage and one day and my shoe gets caught in a track in the stage, and I can’t get it out. And so then I’m like, oh my gosh. All I have to do is walk across the stage. And now I’m stuck. What do I do? Do I lean over and pick up my shoe? Or do I take my foot out and just leave my shoe there? And so anyways that’s what I decided to do. And them I’m like I’m ruining the show. There’s this whole moment, and I’m just stuck here trying to get my foot out. So I decided to be like Cinderella and leave my shoe on stage, and I kind of walked on tip toe on one foot, so hopefully the audience wouldn’t notice it. And then I say Aaron after that scene and I was like Oh my god. I’m so sorry. All I had to do is walk across the stage, and I almost ruined the show. And Aaron was like, Kerry I saw all of that stuff go on on your face. I saw everything. Oh I’m ruining the show. Do I leave my shoe here? Do I pick it up? So anyways I don’t think I ruined the show that day. (upbeat music) So people always think that being on Broadway is so glamorous, and when we did Les Mis, there was a very big rodent problem. And I, backstage in my dressing room, a lot of times I would see mouse poop on my makeup. And sometimes I would try and trick the mice, and I would put chocolates in my robe pocket thinking they won’t go, in my robe pocket but they did. They climbed up my robe and then there would be the wrappers all over the floor. But the worst story is one day, I don’t remember who it was, but someone, during the show, they have to run backstage and change boots, and they put on their boot, and there was a dead mouse in their boot. True story.

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