Donna Moore’s Cougar the Musical, choreographed and directed by Drama Desk nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett, sheds musical light on the life of three women in love with the pursuit of younger men. The show, which can be seen at St. Luke’s Theatre, fuses multiple song stylings in its humorous portrayal, including one song, “Julio,” a romantic ballad sung to – you read this right – a vibrator. NYP spoke to several members of the Cougar cast about this most unlikely openhearted new show.
NYP: Is Cougar more of a comedy or a drama?
Catherine Porter, actress: Cougar is a National Geographic jungle romp, full of lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Wait, maybe it’s not quite that, but it is close! It’s about some women of a certain age who are lost, out in the wild, looking for connection and some happen to find it with some feisty and lovely younger men (all played by one mega-talent, Danny Bernardy). In the end, these women discover that what makes them powerful, sexy and strong was already in their hearts and souls. Donna Moore created characters that are funny and fabulous, so you will laugh a hearty cougar laugh, but you’ll also be surprisingly moved. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll purr.
NYP (to Danny Bernardy): What was it like playing a boy toy?
DB: I have thoroughly enjoyed being objectified! I play six characters and I think I have 11 costumes changes over the course of the 90 minute show. It’s like being shot out of a cannon– and I am so grateful to our backstage support for making the thrill of the quick change possible!
Buck is introduced to the audience in a fantasy piece called, “Swagger”. I say fantasy because it’s his own daydream of himself as a man with no physical flaws and who exhales aphrodisiac. I think if Donna called on her male character to play this idea of a boy-toy throughout the entire show– I imagine he would be much less fun to play. And it’s doubtful Moore would achieve such profound relationships as she does.
NYP: Does age really matter?
Babs Winn, actress: HELL NO! It is a monumental task of accepting how many days have passed in one’s life. And the further along I get in that process, the more exciting it becomes. The experience of Ruth Gordon (at 75) in the film Harold and Maude (still one of my favorites) and witnessing Geraldine Page in her 60s sizzle on Broadway in Clothes for a Summer Hotel left an indelible impression that affected my vision of what was possible as I grew older. These women were so hot, sexy and vibrant in their performances that, at 30, I made a commitment to embrace vibrancy as I grew older. And as far as age in relationships, I know of a few couples with a twenty-year age difference (older woman, younger man) that have been successful and long term. I’m a believer. Only the heart and soul connection matter in any relationship! So, I’ll answer the question again, HELL NO!
NYP: Was it necessary to rehearse “Julio” in front of a vibrator?
Brenda Braxton: My first reaction to the song “Julio” was “OMG!! What a great song I get to sing!!” and my second thought was “OMG! How am I going to sing this in front of my mother?!” Also, I’m probably the only woman in America who has never owned a vibrator!! But I remember going with friends to a place called Eve’s Garden and giggling about the different sizes, shapes and colors. And, no — I didn’t rehearse in front of one!!
NYP: What is the appeal of older woman-younger man relationships?
BB: The appeal is an energy level that is refreshing. My ego gets a boost and believe it or not, depending on the person, I actually learn a thing or two. I think it’s different for each couple. The media puts a negative spin on these relationships, which is so unfortunate. Older woman are taking better care of themselves and attracting younger men. I think it’s wonderful!
BW: Some people on this planet are wiser than their years and have difficulty finding a person of their own age with the same interests. Others might need a little more life experience in order to open their eyes, hearts, knowledge and wisdom connection. Wherever two people meet on the same plane in an intimate connection is sacred ground!
CP: As far as the appeal of an older woman-younger man relationship, I don’t think one sets out intentionally to be a puma. We are all looking for a connection, regardless of someone’s age. Years ago, I dated someone thirteen years my junior who I felt was more mature and a better fit for me than any older man I had ever encountered. So, yes, I have been a cougar too! And how lucky I am to be able to draw on that experience for this show! Grrrrr!
DB: I don’t want to give anything away; come see the show! I promise that we address it.
To see Cougar address that and more, show information can be found at http://cougarthemusical.com/
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