Photo Credit: Kevin Alvey

Richard Skipper Celebrates… Linda Purl

Home for the Holidays

December 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Linda Purl joins forces once again with Tom Wopat to bring us all Home For The Holidays. This takes place at Birdland (315 W 44th St). Featuring a sparkling array of holiday classics dressed up in new arrangements (Tedd Firth), this duo of acclaimed entertainment personalities has the audience snapping their fingers and tapping their toes along to many familiar melodies of the season.

Recent running roles: Homeland, (Elizabeth Gaines); True Blood, (Barbara Pelt); The Office, (Helene Beasley) and a guest on Designated Survivor. She has starred in over 45 made-for-TV movies, and is especially known for Charlene Matlock, Matlock and Ashley Pfister, Fonzie’s fiancée, Happy Days.

Broadway: The Adventures of Tom SawyerGetting and Spending. Off-Broadway: The Baby Dance. Regional: Romeo and JulietThe Merchant of Venice, Hedda Gabler, The Real Thing, A Glass Menagerie, The Little Foxes, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Road to Mecca with Miss Julie Harris, A Doll’s House, Dinner with Friends (original production), The Year of Magical Thinking, Hippolytus, Camille, Same Time Next Year, The Miracle Worker, Little Murders, All the Way Home, Nora, Copenhagen, Beyond Therapy, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Oliver, Grease, On a Clear Day, Three Penny Opera, The King and I…at such theatres as Long Wharf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Santa Fe Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Laguna Playhouse, The Lensic Santa Fe, Berkeley Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival (six seasons); Theatre Princesse Grace, Monaco; Imperial Theatre, Tokyo, Japan. Partial film: Mighty Joe Young, The Walking Major; Leo and Loree; Sundays. Upcoming: Ties That Bind.

Born in Connecticut, Purl grew up in Japan, becoming the only foreigner to have trained at the Toho Geino Academy. Her studies continued at Neighborhood Playhouse and Lee Strasberg Institute. She was Founding Director of the California International Theatre Festival. Purl currently tours with her solo concerts Midnight Caravan – Celebrating the Great Ladies of the Glamorous Nightclub Era and Up Jumped Spring. Solo albums are Alone Together, Out of this World—Live Midnight Caravan and just released Up Jumped Spring. Past concert venue appearances include Lincoln Center Jazz, Feinstein’s in NY, Naples Philharmonic, Catalina Jazz Club in LA, Crazy Coqs in London, Club Raye in Paris and Satin Doll in Tokyo.


What advice would you give someone who is about to tackle this business for the first time?
If you could do anything else, what would it be?

I love being with curious minds and folks on the cusp of setting out into the world. So I’d have to say teach. What little I’ve done has shown me that it is the teacher who learns from the experience. So its greedy really of me to want to be front and center in a classroom.

What do you miss most about where you came from?
A sense of order. I grew up in Tokyo which was sparkling clean, safe, busy and beautiful. It still is. Japan embraces by comparison to us here a profound sense of order and therefore reliability..blended with aesthetic in almost every endeavor. It is a jewel.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your career?
My family. Our glue was theatre. We didn’t go to church or temple, we went to the theatre, ballet, concerts, galleries. It was our joy and the artists who populated those worlds frequented my childhood home as guests, friends, house guests who stayed.

What is your idea of happiness? What do you miss most about New York City when you’re away?
Where do I start?! The energy, diversity and proof that America works. The endless mind candy, standard of excellence. Constant reminders of humanity’s heartbreaking circumstances and possibilities alike.

What’s been the most surreal moment of your career?
In the middle of a quick change, buck naked and the turntable started to turn in the opposite direction of what it should have been turning. Disaster loomed as I was within seconds of giving a far more revealing performance than ever intended. My dresser and I dove for the wings and lived to tell the tale. So did the stage manager.

Favorite slogan?
Michele Obama’s “When they go low, we go high.” Words to live by in today’s world.

What awards have you won?
Some acting nods here and there. Nothing grand. My favorite, if it can be called an award, was when my son bequeathed the title of Lady Mommy on me.

Anything else you wish included?
Thanks to YOU!!!!

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