Faslettos cast interviews: Glynis Ranney as Trina (straight spouse)

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In 1979, a married man (Marvin) leaves his wife (Trina) and son (Jason) for his male lover (Whizzer). Amidst a torrent of psychiatric consultations, bar mitzvah plans and a mysterious illness on the rise, can this foursome redefine what it means to be a family? Set against the backdrop of the sexual revolution and the emergence of AIDS, Falsettos breathtakingly depicts the birth of a non-traditional family amidst a time of astonishing change.

Acting Up‘s production of Falsettos premiers in Toronto tomorrow (April 25) and runs until May 12. Last month we answered some of Acting Up’s questions about our real-life experience of having a gay father. You can watch our interviews on Acting Up’s blog if you missed them: Erin/Larry & Amie/Pete. My dad and I will be in Toronto to participate in a post show chat after Acting Up’s (Tuesday) May 7th show, so in preparation I asked some of the cast a few questions about their characters in the musical.

The following are Glynis Ranney’s answers in response to playing Trina, the straight spouse/mother.

Glynis Ranney in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol

Glynis Ranney as Trina in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol

What do you think is your character’s biggest challenge?

1)  I think Trina’s biggest challenge is to truly find her own strength.Throughout her relationship with Marvin she struggles to find control in a situation that is uncontrollable.Throughout her experience of marrying Mendel ( in which she finds love and acceptance) and Whizzer’s illness (where she finds herself feeling love for Whizzer and sorrow/compassion for Marvin) she transforms. Her world expands as she realizes that there is great mystery in this life and that we cannot control things. In this process of surrender she finds BIG LOVE and is cracked open to find her own strength and peace.

Her acceptance of self is greatly aided when she finally realizes that Marvin IS GAY!! – that there is NOTHING she could have done differently to make him love her – that he IS WHO HE IS and, through no fault of their own, their marriage could not work.

Glynis Ranney, Eric Morin, Stephen Patterson in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol

Glynis Ranney, Eric Morin, Stephen Patterson in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol

If you could, would you have your character do anything differently?

2) I wish that Trina could see clearly from much earlier on than she does that Marvin is gay (this ties in with previous answer) and that none of this has anything to do with her. She can’t change  it, and that it is no reflection whatsoever on her value that he couldn’t be her lover.

Stephen Patterson, Michael Levinson, Glynis Ranney in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol

Stephen Patterson, Michael Levinson, Glynis Ranney in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol

What is your favorite part about playing the straight spouse and mother to Jason?

3) I love having to opportunity to try to (hopefully) honour the throngs of women who (due to despicable discrimination against homosexuality, where men have not been able to live their authentic lives) have been in this position. My other favourite part about playing this straight mom is to be mother to Jason (Michael Levinson)! He is extraordinary and I love the journey that I take with him throughout the show.

(More Q & A from Jason, Marvin, and Whizzer coming soon!)

~Amie

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