Forget about Mr. Smith and his dusty, old Washington. We have our very own Smith star and she’s coming to a theater near you.
Kookie cat lady Mrs. Smith (played by David Hanbury) — best known for her appearance on “America’s Got Talent” — will head to Bryant Lake Bowl this week for a show-stopping performance with her infamous Broadway Boys.
But wait, what? You’ve never heard of Mrs. Smith? Not familiar with her over-the-top guitar skills and big, crazy gray hair? Well, not to worry, child. She was kind enough to chat with us before her big show this weekend.
Q: Tell us about Mrs. Smith. Who is she and how did she come about?
A: I’m really just a woman searching for my missing cat Carlyle. Along the way, I’ve found myself catapulted onto the national stage because of this quest. Along with that I’m a philanthropist, cat lover and electric guitar virtouoso.
Q: What’s a show with Mrs. Smith like?
A: Music! Comedy! Spectacle! Cats! There’s some audience interaction (but not the annoying, stupid, or scary kind) as well as musical numbers, special guests, and classic tunes sung in the classic style!
Q: Who is this show for?
A: Anyone who loves a gangbusters, take-no-prisoner, Broadway-style one-woman show in the style of “Stritch at Liberty” or “Liza with a Z!”
Q: Obviously national audiences are most familiar with Mrs. Smith from “America’s Got Talent.” What was that experience like? What was it like to be on that big stage?
A: Nerve-wracking and AMAZING! The audience at the Orpheum embraced me wholeheartedly and lifted me up. I was standing on their shoulders — their broad, capable, steady Midwestern shoulders — and because of that I found my head in the clouds! I’m not from Minnesota originally and I thank God for the even-keeled nature of the incredible people who blazed trails to settle here. I call them my Living Lithium because they help me stay calm!
Q: When you saw the reactions from Howie and Sharon and saw how impressed they were during your incredible guitar riff audition, what was that like?
A: In real life (not in the edited version that appeared on TV) Piers Morgan was, in fact, there and he adored me as much as Sharon did and they both voted me through to the Vegas rounds. The complexities of my performance seemed to be too sophisticated for Howie Mandel, which isn’t surprising because he’s a washed-up stand-up comedian with very little to offer the world.
Q: Meow. So did you travel to Vegas with everyone for the show?
A: After I was voted through by the judges with brains they sent me a laughable, 100-page contract that I literally laughed at. After I picked myself up off the floor, I faxed it to my paralegal Mr. Mau and he described it as “draconian.” I put the contract into the shredder and never looked back!
Q: Tell me about your cat, Carlyle, and how you became such a lovable cat lady.
A: Carlyle is always there with a kind whisker or thoughtful meow when you’re having a tough day. People literally flock to him because he’s such a soothing presence and I have to say, “Please go away, he’s mine!” He is compassionate, wise and possesses special abilities as well. He’s been studied by medical science and parapsychologists alike, he’s just that unique a feline. My life is empty and pointless without him. Why do I go on?
Q: Who are the Broadway Boys?
A: Rick Latterell and Tony Milder are my Broadway Boys. They are multi-talented singer, dancer, actors, puppeteers. They also transport the props from the bins in the basement onto the stage. They inspire me, they perspire on me (which is gross and I wish it wasn’t so hot onstage), they challenge me. They’re great kids and they’ve got a lot to offer the world (if they can keep from falling into the pitfalls of fame and fortune!) I hammer away at them, “Yes, you are brilliant and unique … and so is everybody else!” You’ve got to keep them on their toes!
Q: What was it like working with Andrew Rasmussen for this production?
A: It’s a mixed bag. He’s a slave-driver and yet also very kind. He’s a sadist and a masochist from one moment to the next. Speaking personally, it’s been a horrendous living nightmare and my greatest dream fulfilled at the very same time. He’s is a razzle-dazzle, showbiz showmaster who is giving my whole thing the Broadway treatment.
Q: Final pitch – what would you say to get someone to come to this show?
A: Dancing Broadway Boys! A tortured diva singing to save her own life! Cats! What more could you ask for? Come and be part of the fun already!
Mrs. Smith Live At The Bowl opens May 17 and runs through May 26. For tickets or more information, click here.