In 1997, David Morse and Mary-Louise Parker racked up accolades and Off Broadway awards in Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “How I Learned to Drive.”
Twenty-five years later, Morse and Parker have reprized their Broadway roles — him as Uncle Peck, a charming pedophile; her as Li’l Bit, the niece he feeds on – and won Tony nominations.
The new production was first explored a decade after it first aired, but Morse had not yet returned to the stage and did not want his final play to be the next. And though the timing seemed right when he signed on to this show two years ago — he’d since appeared on Broadway in “The Seafarer” and “The Iceman Cometh” — he was nonetheless intimidated by the impact, both breathtaking and heartbreaking. , from the original about the audience and the cast.
He was particularly worried about Uncle Peck.
“I thought he didn’t have a chance in this new world,” Morse said. “Paula tried to make him a convincing and understandable human being despite what he does, and I was afraid of the judgments against him. It would just be too difficult to take that leap that Paula wanted people to take.
He didn’t need to worry, Morse admitted in a Zoom interview from his Midtown apartment — he lives in Philadelphia when he’s not working — about why daily devotions, cooking his own food and new motorhome are imperatives in his life.
“The room has the power that it always has, and our age has actually helped in some ways,” he said. “There are layers that weren’t there before, and I think that really comes from having lived a life. »
Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.
1. Read aloud Every time I read a book, I read it out loud from start to finish. I can play all the characters and be in their world. I discovered this joy when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I finished reading “Old Yeller” in my bedroom one Saturday morning. I’m lying in my bed, my heart hurts and I’m crying. I had to share the book with my family. So we sat around the dining room table and I read to them, crying again until the end of “Old Yeller”.
2. His Faith I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in my teens. But when I arrived in New York in 1977, I was very much at odds with the faith and the church. My consciousness was changing and I was furious with institutions. That’s when I read “Surprised by Joy” by CS Lewis. Her story of her own struggles with faith helped me through a particularly turbulent time. During these years, I have memorized the daily morning and end of the day devotions from the Book of Common Prayer. Since then, I have barely missed a day saying the two services privately.
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David Morse stabilizes with daily devotions and his own cooking – Reuters News in France and abroad