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May 27, 2017
Interview: Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley Celebrate their 20th Anniversary at Feinstein’s/54 Below
Courtesy of Feinstein's/54 Below

Broadway golden couple Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley are celebrating their 20th anniversary and we get to join the party. The talented duo are set to perform at Feinstein’s/54 Below starting May 29th. Singing from the Great American Songbook, as well as the shows they’ve done together and separate, Mazzie and Danieley are sure to provide an unforgettable evening. I sat down with both of them at the iconic New York venue to talk about the music they love, performing together and what it’s like to live with another artist.

Congratulations on 20 years of marriage! Is it easier to decide what to have for dinner or to put together a setlist for a show?

Jason Danieley: They’re both equally hard.

Marin Mazzie: (Laughs) That’s a good question, sometimes deciding what to have for dinner is quite hard, but putting together the setlist is fun. It’s been fun to look back at our 20 years together, singing together and separately, choosing what we want to do, and including things we’ve never done before. In fact we’ll be doing three songs from the show we met doing, which we have not really visited since. We got a great new arrangement by Ted Firth and that’s gonna be a lot of fun to open the show.

When you were dating what artists did you introduce to each other?

Marin Mazzie: Jason introduced me to “why not get drunk and screw”, who’s that?

Jason Danieley: Jimmy Buffett.

Marin Mazzie: (Laughs) When we started dating Jason went on the road and I was in Toronto doing Ragtime, so he made me a mixtape.

Jason Danieley: A real cassette mixtape!

Marin Mazzie: And that was one of the songs in it (laughs)

Jason Danieley: Marin introduced me to Sean Cogan at the time, an incredible singer songwriter, we knew we had something in common because we both loved that kind of music. It’s that insight into someone’s particular likes that make you go “oh OK, this can be a lot more smooth sailing than I was hoping”.

Marin Mazzie: Our musical taste was very similar, we also liked a lot of the Great American Songbook.

So from all the shows the other has done separately, which one would you like to be in the most? Would you like to do The Visit for instance, Marin?

Jason Danieley: We should get the rights and do The Visit together.

We talked about doing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf - Marin Mazzie Click To Tweet

Like way, way, way in the future!

Jason Danieley: 75 years from now.

Marin Mazzie: I’d love to do that show, that’s a great one.

Jason Danieley: I was gonna say Man of La Mancha but I don’t think that’s high on my list especially since Brian Stokes Mitchell is here, so I shouldn’t touch that one (laughs)

Marin Mazzie: Another show he’s done I’d love to do together is Sunday in the Park with George. I was thinking I might be too old, but I’d love to do She Loves Me.

Jason Danieley: You do like ice cream though.

Marin Mazzie: I do like ice cream.

Is vanilla your favorite?

Marin Mazzie: I’m pretty basic, I like vanilla and chocolate.

Jason Danieley: Sheldon [Harnick] is still around, we’ll see if he can change the flavor to Rocky Road.

Courtesy of Feinstein's/54 Below

What about non-musicals?

Marin Mazzie: We talked about doing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

All the shows I could think of have the couples just tearing each other apart.

Marin Mazzie: Yeah but it’s kinda fun, because you get all that out and then you don’t have to do it at home.

Jason Danieley: Someone posted on social media an image of Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and that used to be our affectionate nicknames for each other, Brick and Cat, we moved on to George and Martha later.

Maybe you can do a musical version of Woolf?

Marin Mazzie: (Laughs)

Individually when you discover new music what’s the process of bringing it into the house? Do you play it constantly and listen to it together?

Marin Mazzie: If we love something we’ll play it a lot.

Jason Danieley: It’s funny, for musicians and singers we don’t play a lot of music, I remember taking art appreciation in college and as soon as they would teach me what to look for it became un-magical in a way. I felt a certain way but now I knew why. With music I tend to dissect it a little bit, I’ll notice the piano or the interpretation, I break it down so it becomes more of an occupational thing.

Marin Mazzie: Also, Brian Stokes mentioned there’s a radio in your head and I have that too, so sometimes I want it to be silent.

Courtesy of Feinstein's/54 Below

I’ve been wanting to ask you for the longest time how you made your Anna in The King and I so sexy?

Marin Mazzie: Oh, I don’t know!

Jason Danieley: It’s all in the hips!

Marin Mazzie: It came out of me? (Laughs) Anna was an amazing woman, she was a fiery, passionate human being and that’s what I felt doing that role, there was a lot of deep passion for the journey that she was on. It’s unreal to think of the journey she took as a woman, she was such a strong woman, and I guess that’s how my passion came through.

Jason Danieley: It doesn’t hurt when Daniel Dae Kim is walking around shirtless either.

Marin Mazzie: Yeah, it didn’t hurt that he was my King.

We’re living in crazy times, do you have any music or art that takes you to a happy place?

Marin Mazzie: We’ve been through a journey the last couple years as I had ovarian cancer, that’s a road we’re still going on, so I think both of us have gotten into meditating more, being quiet, meditative music, a lot of calm. I love to be outdoors with trees and birds, I find nature extraordinarily healing. That’s where I’ve been placing a lot of my mental and physical self.

Jason Danieley: I’m a distance runner, I don’t listen to music while I run, unless I’m learning something, a great way to learn something is to listen to it and run 13 miles. Also, to purge all the stuff going out, send out into the universe, cause the universe can handle it, and coming back and when I’m stretching and doing yoga, I listen to meditative music. There’s this frequency music made for meditation, it’s not just the Buddhist “om”, it’s something else and it’s great.

For tickets and more information on Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley: Broadway and Beyond click here.

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Written by: Jose Solis
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