Grand Horizons’ Priscilla Lopez explains how to tell if a show is going to be a success | Buzz broadway
(Photos by Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com)
Last year, the Tony award-winning actor Priscilla López received a call from Mandy Greenfield, artistic director of the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. The Summer Theater was producing a Broadway play by Bess wohl called Great Horizons; Would Lopez be interested in being a part of it? As a Williamstown fan, “I said ‘Yes!’,” Lopez recalled to Broadway.com’s Imogen Lloyd Webber in a recent #LiveAtFive maintenance. “She said, ‘Well, maybe you should read it first.’ I said, ‘No, no, no, no! Of course I will! ‘”
Lopez got the script and she checked to see how many lines she had. She then discovers that her character, Carla, only intervenes in the second act. “It was a nice little part, but it was a small part,” she said. “And I thought, ‘What am I going to do?'” She had given her word to do the play so she stuck to it. Of course, Carla and Great Horizons has grown and changed a lot since that initial script. Lopez still arrives at the show in Act 2, but she has a lot more to do, including a hilarious monologue about aging and vibrators. “The play itself and everyone involved gets such an incredible response that I never imagined it. I never imagined it would be so perfect.
Great Horizons is a contemporary comedy about a couple named Bill and Nancy, played by James cromwell and Jeanne Alexandre, who decide to divorce after 50 years of marriage, and the ensuing havoc after telling their family. To Lopez, whose illustrious resume includes being in the original cast of In the heights and A choir line, it was a privilege to share a scene with Alexander. “I signed it [show] poster, and I said, “Working with you is a master class, so happy for this privilege.” Because I learned so much, ”Lopez said.
Over the course of his long career, Lopez has had his fair share of flops and successes. His first Broadway show, Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘s, did not even attend the opening night; it closed in 1966 during the previews. She has learned to say whether a show will be a success or not. For example, when she was working on In the heights with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lopez knew this was going to cause a stir. “You can just smell it,” she said. “Because there is a sense of order when things are going well, you know?” There is no chaos. When things are chaotic, no one knows what’s going on and people start to panic. There was order and the people in charge knew what they were doing. It also helped that it was a show with an all-Latino cast. “All of this culture comes with you. Everyone is very sensitive. It’s true.”
Watch the rest of Lopez #LiveAtFive interview below.