Family & Companions
Whether she is portraying a damsel in distress, nurturing mother figure or uncontrollable shrew, Broadway actress Marin Mazzie has proven she is equally comfortable--and mesmerizing--in poignant dramatic and outrageous comedic roles. Known for her meticulous character development and pure, versatile soprano, Mazzie (to date) has been nominated for three Tony Awards for her outstanding performances in "Passion" (1994), "Ragtime" (1998) and "Kiss Me, Kate" (2000).
Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, Mazzie went to parochial school and spent most of her spare time singing in the church choir, listening to recordings of show tunes, and trying to imitate singers like Judy Garland and Barbara Cook. After high school, she headed off to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where she studied theater and music. During this time, she also worked in summer stock as an apprentice at the Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan, the place that counts among its alumni "Dukes of Hazzard" star and Broadway leading man Tom Wopat.
Mazzie performed leads in regional productions of "South Pacific" and "Guys and Dolls" and made her NYC stage debut in a 1983 Equity Library Theatre revival of the 1948 musical comedy "Where's Charley?." She first worked with director James Lapine in his re-staging of the problematic Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical "Merrily We Roll Along" in 1984 at the La Jolla Playhouse. She nevertheless made an impression on both Lapine and Sondheim who hired her in 1987 to play Rapunzel in their fairy-tale themed "Into the Woods" (1987). The blonde beauty had also proven to be a standout in the previous year's award-winning "Big River" and subsequently dazzled in the Encores! presentation of "Out of This World" (1995) and the off-Broadway production of "The Trojan Women, A Love Story," in which she was cast opposite future husband Jason Danieley.
After more than a decade of earning raves for her work, Mazzie broke through winning a 1994 Tony nomination for her portrayal of Clara in the Sondheim-Lapine chamber musical "Passion." Critics praised her stunning portrayal of a beautiful, young mother torn between family life and the soldier with whom she is having an affair. and applauded her for her courage in performing part of the opening number nude. The actress recreated the role--with her clothes on--for a 1996 TV production that aired on PBS and later was released on video.
It was after "Passion" that Mazzie was given the opportunity to originate what is to date her favorite role-- that of the brave and compassionate Mother in "Ragtime." The actress started out in the 1996 Toronto workshop, was featured on the concept recording and originated the role in Canada before reprising it on Broadway, for which she earned a second Tony nomination. To prepare for the role--much as she did for "Passion" and her other shows--Mazzie read everything she could about the time and place her character lived. She even kept in her dressing room at the theater as a source of inspiration a copy of the E L Doctorow book on which the musical was based. Mazzie has said that she aspires to be like Mother--selfless and good--in her real life, which is amusing since her next major role on Broadway was as the irascible Kate/Lilli in the hit 1999 revival of "Kiss Me, Kate." For her gleeful portrayal of a stage diva co-starring with her ex-husband in a touring theater company performing William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," Mazzie earned critical kudos and her third Tony nomination. The show also reunited her with her "Ragtime" co-star and friend Brian Stokes Mitchell who portrayed her former husband and co-star.
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
NYC stage debut in the off-Broadway revival of "Where's Charley?"
Cast as Beth in the James Lapine-directed reworking of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Merrily We Roll Along" at the La Jolla Playhouse
Appeared as Mary Jane Wilkes in the Broadway production of "Big River"
Cast as Rapunzel in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical "Into the Woods"
Returned to Broadway as Clara in the Sondheim-Lapine musical "Passion"; created a stir by performing the opening number partially nude; received first Tony nomination
Originated the role of Mother in the workshop of the stage musical "Ragtime"; featured on the concept recording; also first collaboration with Brian Stokes Mitchell
Was one of the singers on the the soundtrack of the animated Disney sequel "Aladdin and the King of Thieves"
Recreated part of Clara for the TV production of "Passion", aired on PBS and then released on video
Reprised role of Mother in the Broadway staging of "Ragtime"; received Tony nomination as Lead Actress in a Musical
Was one of the featured performers on the PBS special "My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies"
Nominated for a third Tony for her performance in the hit revival of Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate", co-starring Mitchell