fbpx
Monday, April 6, 2020

‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Cast Looks Back With Laughter, Affection

mm
Erin Ben-Mochehttp://erinbenmoche.contently.com/
Erin is the Digital Content Manager at the Jewish Journal. She writes about Jewish art and culture.

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Author’s note: Videos embedded within the story contain adult themes and may include explicit language. Viewer’s discretion is advised.

Hundreds of devoted fans gathered on March 20 inside the Dolby Theatre to honor and kvell over CW cult favorite “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” 

- Advertisement -

The raunchy and comedic cast got together for a panel discussion at PaleyFest LA — most of which was “not safe for parents” — where the show was referred to in the past tense because it’s fourth and final season has wrapped. 

“This is all making my heart kind of hurt,” actress Rachel Bloom, who plays ex-girlfriend Rebecca Bunch and executive produces, said after moderator Stacey Wilson Hunt asked cast members to name their favorite songs from the series from a lengthy list. “It’s the first time we’re saying it in the past tense. … It’s really interesting … we’ve now finished the concert, the show actually really is in this past tense. It’s really weird.”

Bloom was referring to the “Yes, It’s Really Us Singing: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Concert Special!” show that will follow the series finale, in addition to the concert tour that the cast did in several cities around the country.

The number of F-bombs dropped during the event was in the spirit of the TV series, which addresses mature themes (sex, drugs, mental health, coming out, LGBTQ rights, sex again), but the amount of self-deprecation dispersed from the talented ensemble made the night of laughs heartfelt. 

For a TV show that tosses social tropes into the garbage (its song “Let’s Generalize About Men,” for example) and also plays like a musical fully recognizing it’s a musical, almost every actor needs to bring their comedic chops, dancing abilities and vocal performances to the forefront on top of acting. This cast and show’s cameo actors are quadruple threats.

- Advertisement -

Bloom kicked off the night with the show’s origin story, sharing her fears. Pitching “C.E.G.” in her mind wasn’t easy because “literally no one wanted” her other two shelved musical television shows. 

“Hot tip,” she told the crowd. “If you’re pitching a musical television show, don’t sing in the pitch.” 

Bloom was seated next to her show runner and “work wife,” Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “27 Dresses”), each of whom wore matching prescription-pill-bottle dresses. 

“She’s a fellow writer girl and I liked that,” McKenna said, remembering their first meeting almost six years ago.

- Advertisement -

The Jewish-female dynamic duo, along with their team of writers, created more than 150 original songs during four seasons. Their Jewish roots came into play on a handful of occasions including, “The J.A.P. Rap Battle,” and its reprise during Season 4, “Remember That We Suffered” and “The Math of Love Triangles,” which also is reprised in Season 4 — to name a few. 

Bloom said her favorite song, which she admitted changes frequently, is “The Villain of My Own Story” from Season 1. 

“That’s an emotional tentpole song for the character,” Bloom said. “It’s this f—ed-up Disney song, which is my jam. I have a weird fondness for that song because I won the Golden Globe [in 2016 for best actress in a comedy or musical TV series] and came back to set and I shot that song. So it was this weird thing of, like, being in a gown, and then you go to set and you get the prosthetic nose put on and you try to eat chili fries with the nose. And that’s what the job is.” 

One of the main musical writers on the show is Jack Dolgen, who has written songs with Bloom for almost a decade. 

As moderator Hunt put it, “He’s a man of many hats but only one outfit,” because Dolgen frequently appears in real life in his denim-on-denim look. 

He became a key player, who also ended up writing, directing, producing and performing throughout the series. 

“I think just bridging the gap between what we were doing in the writers room and story-wise and song-wise to make sure they work together and fed off each other properly, that was the main trick of the show,” he said. “I think that was a skill we all learned together.”

Dolgen also gave musical props to music producer Adam Schlesinger (“Music and Lyrics,” “That Thing You Do”), who played a big part in every song throughout the series. Although Schlesinger wasn’t at the panel, Dolgen stressed how crucial he was to the process. 

“We couldn’t have done the show without him, [without] Adam’s ability to produce in any genre and to write incredible songs in his own right, simply the quantity that we did,” Dolgen said. “We did over 150 comedy songs.”

McKenna added how nice it was to see the cast members show up on set to cheer on one another during the songs they might not be in. The show isn’t just musically hilarious; the panel revealed they were like a family. Their dynamic allowed for a great space for making the scripts come to life. 

Donna Lynne Champlin, who plays lawyer and Rebecca’s best friend, Paula, admitted her steepest learning curve was adjusting from live theater to single-camera television. She joked she didn’t fully feel comfortable until Season 3.

“I didn’t know how anything on a TV show came together,” Champlin said, holding for laughs. “My nickname, lovingly, was ‘Sabotage.’ … It was so overwhelming … for me. The weirdest [part] was coming from a live theatrical background, I didn’t realize how much I relied on the audience, most particularly, the laughter.” 

Vella Lovell, who plays the sarcastic and apathetic Heather, and studied acting at Juilliard, also weighed in on the TV-production process.

“I feel like you can train forever and not be prepared to be on set of a television show,” Lovell said. “I don’t think anything could have prepared us for this experience. Yeah, I mean, we were all saying it was kind of our senior year, like we all got into college. Now we are saying goodbye.” 

Although the show’s final episode will air soon, Bloom and McKenna aren’t done with Rebecca’s story. Bloom and McKenna hope they can continue to perform the series’ songs in concert and potentially condense the 60 hours of the show into a musical. 

“We are only starting to talk about that [stage musical],” Bloom said, “but for now, we have these live performances with the cast, and the coolest part for me is that we have begun to create a hybrid of a comedy show to a full-fledged musical revue, and the fun thing about it is that we are playing ourselves. … It allows for the freedom that we have when we are on set. … I am probably going to be bothering them to do these shows for the next 50 years.”


The final episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” airs April 5 on the CW. 

- Advertisement -

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our email updates.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
- Advertisement -

Popular Articles

Forgot How Good ‘The Prince of Egypt’ Is? Well, Now It’s On Hulu.

Social distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not. This is the first installation of...

Pakistan Court Overturns Conviction in Daniel Pearl Murder Case

An appeals court in Karachi, Pakistan, has overturned the murder conviction of the man sentenced to death for masterminding the kidnapping and beheading...

Outsiders ‘Zoombomb’ Yeshiva University President With Anti-Semitic Material During Speech

Outsiders disrupted Yeshiva University President Ari Berman’s March 31 speech to the student body on the video conference platform Zoom with anti-Semitic material. According to...

New York Jew Dies Suddenly of Coronavirus at 74

William Helmreich, a prominent sociology Professor best known for walking nearly every block of New York City, died Saturday morning of coronavirus at the...

Climate Activism Will Stop the Next Pandemic

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” So begins Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s book “The Social Contract.” I’ve been thinking about that line...

Bracing for the Week of Death

I tell you this to break your heart; by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world. – From...

Holocaust Museum to Present Virtual Programs Via Facebook Live

Although the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is closed indefinitely in response to the coronavirus crisis, its virtual programs are ongoing. On March 31...

In The Sea of Uncertainty

This Pesach, we tremble at the preciousness of life so we don't want to cause harm. This quaking in our bodies is an outgrowth of love. The Israelites felt...

Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Sending Netanyahu Back to Quarantine

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The announcement that Litzman and his wife tested positive for the...

Emergency Fund Launched to Help Israeli Nonprofits Amid Coronavirus

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An emergency fund has been launched to help Israeli nonprofit organizations slammed by the coronavirus crisis stay afloat. The Emergency Fund for...

Pop Star Pink, Having Recovered From COVID-19, Donates $1M to Fight Disease

Jewish pop star Pink and her 3-year-old son have recovered from the coronavirus, she announced on Twitter. She and her son Jameson were sheltering at...

Gov. Cuomo Renames Hate Crime Legislation to Honor Monsey Stabbing Victim

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is renaming proposed state hate crime legislation in honor of the Monsey stabbing victim who died on...

Adam Schlesinger, Songwriter for ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ Fountains of Wayne, Dies Due to COVID-19 Complications

Adam Schlesinger, one of the lead songwriters of Fountains of Wayne and the musical series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died April 1 due to complications from...

New Initiative Delivers Seders to Needy Holocaust Survivors

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping people at home for Passover this year, the Israeli nonprofit Adopt-A-Safta is now offering Seder in a Box to...

Comedian Stephen Glickman Brings Laughter During Pandemic

At a time when comedy clubs are closed and there’s not a lot to laugh about, stand-up comic Stephen Kramer Glickman has released a...

Culture

How Jews Are Celebrating Passover in the Hospital

Even with abnormal hospital restrictions, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is ensuring Jews can still have a seder.

This Family Makes Distance Social with Their Video Parodies

“I wanna play and hang out with my friends, but we gotta practice social distance,” the 12-year-old girl sings to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”...

Larry David Says Bernie Sanders Should Drop Out of Presidential Race

Larry David, the Bernie Sanders doppelganger who often portrays the presidential candidate in skits on “Saturday Night Live,” says the senator from Vermont should...

Pop Star Pink, Having Recovered From COVID-19, Donates $1M to Fight Disease

Jewish pop star Pink and her 3-year-old son have recovered from the coronavirus, she announced on Twitter. She and her son Jameson were sheltering at...

Psychiatrist Documents The Reality of Mental Health Illness in ‘Bedlam’

According the PBS “Independent Lens” documentary “Bedlam,” there are 15 million American families living with serious mental illness. For psychiatrist and filmmaker Dr. Kenneth...

Trending Right Now
Trending

Anti-Semitism and Israel Advocacy Matters Even More During Coronavirus

There’s no doubt that anti-Semites and Israel detractors haven’t gone away simply because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the coronavirus, they, too, have mutated...

What’s Happening: Virtual Seders, Shabbat and Book Club

FRI APRIL 3 STEPHEN WISE DAILY STREAMING After streaming Shabbat services for more than a decade, Stephen Wise Temple continues its virtual programming during the coronavirus...

Israeli Missile-Production Line Starts Churning Out Much-Needed Ventilators

“We are operating in a challenging time, and in a global ‘war’ to acquire the necessary components and fulfill our mission,” said Udi Kantor, CEDO of Inovytec.

Confronting Passover in Absence of Community

The very essence Passover is based on an understanding that it is spent in the company of others. The concept of someone spending the...

Creating Resilience in the Age of COVID-19

“What is the secret sauce that holds a family together?” “What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient and happy?” In the...

Hollywood

Larry David Says Bernie Sanders Should Drop Out of Presidential Race

Larry David, the Bernie Sanders doppelganger who often portrays the presidential candidate in skits on “Saturday Night Live,” says the senator from Vermont should...

‘On the Map’ Free Online Screening and Q&A This Sunday

The documentary “On the Map” tells the story of the underdog Israeli basketball team’s triumphant victory at the European championship in 1977. Set against...

‘Frozen’ at the Pantages: It Doesn’t Have to Be Jewish

Let’s face it, there’s nothing particularly Jewish about the Disney musical “Frozen.” Unless you count Idina Menzel and Josh Gad, both of whom appeared...
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 16: Food author Paula Shoyer on cooking during a pandemic

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning at 11am. Celebrated food author Paula Shoyer discusses how the pandemic is influencing how we view food, and shares her...

Prof. Yair Zakovitch and Prof. Avigdor Shinan: The Song of Songs Scroll

Shmuel Rosner, Professor Yair Zakovitch and Professor Avigdor Shinan discuss their new book - The Song of Songs Scroll, a New Israeli Commentary. Prof. Yair...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact