Fort Worth's Finest, Broadway's Best

Betty Buckley Records another magnificent album.

Who has been your biggest inspiration throughout your career? When I first saw West Side Story when I was 14, and I really wanted to be a Jet, and I had a major crush on Russ Tamblyn, who played Riff. It went way beyond a crush. I wanted to be Riff, to walk like him, to talk like him, to dance and sing like him. So I auditioned, of course, for the Casa Mañana production of West Side Story when I was I think 15 or 16, and I didn’t get the part of anybody, just a little girl that hangs out with the Jets.

How did this album come about? I started thinking about all of the great parts in musical theater that are written for men and how certain great actresses like Sarah Bernard played Hamlet, and there were some notions of genderless casting in those times and so I thought it would be great to play some of those parts. Some of my favorite songs are sung by men or were originated by men on Broadway shows that people wouldn’t expect me to sing. So I thought that, ‘Oh, I’ll just have to put a concert together one day of all my favorite men’s songs, and then I had a reason to sing them.’

What is your best piece of advice for those who have dreams of being on Broadway? Practice, practice, practice. You know whenever I’m home between engagements, teach at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The students in the past several years that I’ve taught there have gotten into the schools of their choice, and many of them are on full scholarships. So the next time I teach, I would suggest that people come and study with me!