Tanna Frederick Takes a Swing at a Hepburn Classic

Tanna Frederick delighted audiences for more than a year in A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia comedy, playing the dog who has such a bond with her owner that it starts driving his wife crazy. Indeed, audiences came to see the show, at Santa Monica’s Edgemar Center for the Arts, because of Tanna’s bouncy, uninhibited antics as the title pooch. Now it appears the show is going to open on Broadway, with….someone else. “I’m like, oh God, who’s going to play the part? Miley Cyrus? I’ll just die,” admits Tanna with a groan and a laugh. “That role!”

The red-haired indie film fave, who’s also known as Henry Jaglom’s main muse (“Hollywood Dreams,” “Irene in Time,” etc.) certainly has found a silver lining in the fact that doing Sylvia led to her new role at the Edgemar – Lizzie in The Rainmaker. And yes, she’s aware that the repressed spinster, played memorably by Katharine Hepburn on film, is quite different for her. “I had to mix it up, you know, and I can’t say that it wasn’t a very intimidating decision to do this piece — no pressure or anything,” says Frederick, who has been drawing positive response from preview crowds. “People are shocked…My mother says this is her favorite of all my performances, and she’s been seeing me perform since I was eight, so that means a lot,” she dead pans.

Meanwhile, Tanna has two films expected to arrive in theaters sometime in Spring. One is the menopause comedy “The M Word,” in which “Frances Fisher is hilarious,” Frederick lets us know. Also, there is “The Farm,” a story partially inspired by the true-life saga of Tanna’s own grandparents’ struggle to stay on their family farm in Iowa. The film was made on the actual Frederick family farm, part of the actress’ Project Cornlight initiative to revitalize the film industry in her home state. She expects to begin production on her next Iowa-based movie production, “Just Beautiful,” in June.

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

One thought on “Tanna Frederick Takes a Swing at a Hepburn Classic

  1. J Blair Brown

    Tanna is a WONDERFUL performer and an even more impressive human being! I had the pleasure of interviewing her for my radio show a while back, and she is an absolute GEM! I anticipate a great future for her!

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