Populating other places besides Claire’s penthouse at the Harwich Hotel are Mrs. Finch and Frank’s wife, Ethel. We’ll start with Finchy, as the characters call her.
Describe your character in one sentence.
Mrs. Finch is quite chatty, very focused on building clientele for her fortune telling business, and looooooves being right.
How are you like your character?
I am a social creature who likes being the center of attention, and can bring any conversation back around to what’s really important…me, of course.
What do you like best about the time period in which “Jigsaw” was written?
I love the social interaction. Even when it was shallow, it’s nice that people talked to one another and spent time with one another, rather than in front of all of our current distracting media.
What’s your favorite drink?
Red wine, all sorts.
Who would play Mrs. Finch in a movie?
Hmmm…that could go many ways. Angela Lansbury, Bette Midler, or Kristen Schaal.
Most recently I have been performing in Comic Opera Guild productions as Eulalia in “Light Cavalry”, Bertha in “The Red Mill”, and Dora in “The Girl from Utah”. Before that, I was Zita in EMU’s production of “Gianni Schicchi”, and Barker in “Assassins”. Other highlights have been Inez in “No Exit”, Mother in “Full Nest Three”, Buttercup in “HMS Pinafore”, and Joan in “Dames at Sea”.
I did study some acting at Herbert Berghoff studio in NYC, but most of my training has been as a singer in Musical Theater, Jazz, and Classical genres. My mother was an actress, however, and I think that instilled a deep love for the theater and for acting.
Where are you from?
I was born in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC. My father was a jazz musician and my mother was an actress for much of my young life, but then changed course and became a lawyer. She was originally from Michigan, so I have been going back and forth between Michigan and New York my whole life.
What do you do when you are not acting?
I am teaching private voice lessons, musical theater class for young ‘uns, and Dalcroze eurhythmics at Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts, and singing out and about whenever possible. I have also written/composed a children’s musical which was performed by YPT, as well as having directed “Beauty & the Beast”, “Bugsy Malone”, “Fame” as well as several original musicals written for children’s theater both in Michigan and Indianapolis.
And here’s Mrs. Mason, aka Ethel, aka Cindy Franklin.
Ok, tell us about Ethel.
Ethel is married to the rather “free-spirited” Frank, and drinks so that she doesn’t have to acknowledge the fact that he’s chases anything in a skirt. And she freely spends his money as a way of getting even.
And how are you like her?
I am like Ethel in that we look remarkedly alike! And other than that physical likeness, we are not in any way alike.
What do you like about the period?
I love the musicals from the 30’s. Especially Nelson Eddy/Jeanette McDonald!
Who would play your part in a movie, either today or in the 30s?
Well, obviously Alice Brady would be great in the role of Ethel. I don’t watch much in the way of modern movies and tv shows, so I have no idea who could play her today.
I did several plays/musicals with the Community Theatre of Howell in the 1990’s.