The Hill: Q&A with Joy Davidson


Joy Davidson & Kitty Felde at the Fringe Festival 2012

Joy Davidson & Kitty Felde at the Fringe Festival 2012

Online Source: The Hill

Washington, DC: July 18, 2011:

“She could have been overshadowed by her president father and House-Speaker husband, but Alice Roosevelt Longworth found a way to make a name for herself. Actor Joy Davidson, who plays Alice in the self-titled play appearing at the Capital Fringe Festival this month, said Longworth’s wit, stark honesty and knack for surprise were among the characteristics that attracted her admirers.

Davidson, 74, a former opera singer, spoke to The Hill about the challenges and joys of playing Longworth in the town she once “ruled … as a princess.”

Q: What do you think is most interesting about Alice Roosevelt Longworth?
She really loved life. She took her father’s motto, and that was: “Have a good time as long as you live, and by God I have.” Her father, whom she absolutely adored and admired, [said], “You forgot the second half of that motto, and that is to do good.” Her answer was, “I’m all for doing good as long as I don’t do it myself.”

And he calls her a gadfly, and she takes that as a compliment: “Socrates said gadflies were necessary to sting the mule of society.”

Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned about her in preparing for this role?

Everything. I didn’t know anything about Alice, other than those famous quotes, like, “If you haven’t got anything good to say about anyone, come and sit by me.”

Read the rest of the questions for Joy Davidson on the one-woman plan “Alice: An evening with the tart-tongued daughter of Theodore Roosevelt” on The Hill website

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About Joy Davidson

Joy Davidson, mezzo-soprano, began her career with a professional debut in Rossini’s Cenerentola with Greater Miami Opera and went on to sing 45 roles throughout Europe and North America. Since her retirement from the operatic and concert stage, Joy has returned to the theatre with performances as Maria Callas in MASTER CLASS (Terrance McNally) and two one woman dramas: MARIA: The Life and Loves of Maria Callas (Alma H. Bond) and ALICE: An Evening with the Tart-Tongued Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Kitty Felde). Recent performances of these plays have been at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, Florida, the Kravis/Rinker Center for the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL and Colorado State University in conjunction with Opera Fort Collins. ALICE sold out 5 performances at the Capital Fringe Festival, Washington D.C. July, 2011. Miss Davidson garnered rave reviews for her performance as the NURSE in MEDEA (Euripedes/Jeffers) for Theatre Conspiracy in March 2011. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts presented Miss Davidson in another one-woman tour de force, TEA AT FIVE (Matthew Lombardo), which captures the fiery spirit of Katharine Hepburn, March 11, 12, 2012.