Open Fawcett

Photo: Globe Photos

The producer of Bobbi Boland, Joyce Johnson, claims she closed the show in previews (at a loss of $2 million) because the Cort Theatre was too big. What’s your side of the story?
I can’t really explain it. I would rather have gone up against the critics. So they didn’t like it, so it closed—at least we would have known. But I’m the outsider. I’m from Hollywood. I said, naïvely, “Can a play close before it opens?” And they went, “No, a play has to open before it can close.” Oops, guess what!

How did the seven previews go?
Just one minute, I need to put my T-shirt on. [Pause.] When I came out, they would go, “Whooo! B-b-b-b-buh!” And that was a bit uh-uh-uh-uh—I had to get used to it. On Sunday, I saw people with tears in their eyes.

Did you try to convince the producer to keep it open?
Yes, but she said, “No, it’s not working.” And I said, “Joyce, let’s just have one more week of previews. It’s not in my nature to give up!” She said, “I don’t think it’s going to work in this venue. It’s certainly not you, Farrah.” I said, “Joyce, I will not go gentle into that good night. I will rage, rage—Dylan Thomas. That is my nature!”

People in the theater chat rooms said you forgot your lines.
Absolutely not true. I do not do that! I may have transposed a line, said the line and forgotten a part of it and added it at the end, but I learned in this process to respect the writer, the cadence of her lines, which is very difficult to do. I’m used to film, where you kind of say it and it’s not exactly in the right order. Did they say I was drunk?

Yes, and there was a Post article about your being carried out of a restaurant.
Onstage, my character had to swig back some Jack Daniel’s, so I said, “What do you do with your mouth? Is this how you do it?” The director said, “You should have a shot so you’ll know. It burns.” So I went out with him and some of the cast members. And then he ordered me one shot, over ice.

So what will you do now?
I don’t know what’s next, because all of us turned down money and projects. All of a sudden, you’ve got—whoa! People asked me, “Do you want to stay and do Broadway?” And I thought, We’re going to have to get some things straight: not great pay, a lot of hard work, and … But I still feel good. They can’t take that away from me.

Open Fawcett