DIVA TALK: Tony Nominee and Fun Home Star Judy Kuhn Ponders Her Dream Roles

By Andrew Gans
01 Nov 2013

Gertrude Lawrence in Lady in the Dark
Photo by Vandamm Studio
Liza Elliott in Lady in the Dark
Kurt Weill is another one I feel such an affinity for, his music and also subject matter. …Lady In The Dark — I think it’s a hard thing to do, but I think it’s fascinating. It’s a play about psychoanalysis that was written in 1941! … Stylistically, his music changed depending on his collaborator, which I find fascinating, but I also think he tended to work with writers who kind of broke open the form of musical theatre. I think their stuff was so ahead of its time, and that piece is one example of it. Again, an exploration of a woman’s role in marriage and society. Just the whole idea of a musical about psychoanalysis. There’s all this fantasy…and the dream thing...I just think it’s a fascinating piece, and it’d be an amazing part to play… I think he was just so far ahead of his time. And, of course, one of his most beautiful songs is in it, “My Ship.” And that is used in such an interesting way because you hear fragments of it, but you can’t sing the song until she’s come to an understanding of herself through the analysis.

Susan Cooper in Love Life
And then the other [Kurt Weill] I’ve been fascinated with for a really long time is Love Life, which is again about marriage and a completely avant-garde piece of writing. It was about this couple, and it starts in the Revolutionary War era and goes to the mid-twentieth century, contemporary time when it was written. It goes through all these different eras. The couple and their two children never age, but their lives are different because of the cultural backdrop. So it’s really an exploration of marriage and family life in different eras. I feel like that also has so much resonance for right now when we’re all talking about family values and different kinds of families and what does it mean...I find that piece really fascinating, and it also happens to have a great score.