With her amazing belt and wry wit, Molly Pope has stolen events like “You Like Me!” and “Night of 1000 Judys,” also turning up at Feinsteins at Loews Regency, and in a Gallery Players production of Wonderful Town.
I caught up with the fearless chantoozie on the road to even bigger and brighter things.
Hi, Molly. What are the challenges of being an up-and-coming performer?
The nebulous state of being kind-of-known-about-town, but not necessarily having the fabled big break yet. Being unable to say no to any gig, no matter where, no matter when, cause “you never know who’s in the audience”. Only spending time with my sweet husband when we’re both asleep cause of schedule ish.
Does your life ever feel surreal?
Increasingly so. It started when I did the first Our Hit Parade [a top-10 countdown show at Joe’s Pub] in 2008 and saw the kind of creativity brought to the stage and the people who were doing it and somehow I wound up being part of it. Or sharing a make-up mirror with Karen Akers at Night Of A Thousand Judys last week. How did this happen? Also, surreality in the rapid transition between survival job and being Molly Pope. In the span of 3 blocks and 5 minutes I go from being a personal assistant to playing Feinstein’s. I’m incapable of leaving any room, including the green room, without asking if anyone needs anything from the deli.
You are gifted with a great voice, among other attributes. When did you become aware of that and what do you hope to do with it?
I thought I was going to be an Olympic swimmer from the age of 4-15. Then I opened my mouth and this huge sound came out (and I wasn’t a very good swimmer anymore), so I auditioned for ye olde high school musical and blah blah blah, Dolly Levi, you know the rest. I don’t know if what I do on stage would ever help to stop a war. But I think I could do something that maybe brings a little joy, a little exhilaration, a little good-for-the-soul to an audience. It’s a weary world (sips whiskey), I’d like to give it a wink.
So, your ambitions, career-wise, are…?
Ultimately, bold-faced-ly: Play Carnegie Hall and win a Tony Award for a revival of Mame. Immediately, practically: Find star-making role that will enable me to be cast in the aforementioned revival of Mame.