On Monday, September 23, at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, the Stratford Festival honoured one of Canada’s leading stage and screen actors – Andrea Martin.
Andrea Martin was born in
Portland, Maine, and she is a two-time Tony Award winning Broadway favorite,
whose credits include Noises Off, Pippin, Young Frankenstein,
Oklahoma!, Candide, and My Favorite Year, among others.
She is also known for her TV appearances on shows such as SCTV and Great
News and films such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Martin attended Emerson
College in Boston, Massachusetts, and was cast in a touring production of You’re
a Good Man, Charlie Brown following graduation. She moved to Toronto in
1970 and in 1978 joined the Stratford Festival company, appearing in Candide
and Private Lives with Dame Maggie Smith (the 2012 Stratford Festival
Gala Honoree), Brian Bedford and Nicholas Pennell. During that decade, she
would find work in a Canadian production of Godspell, two horror films
(1973’s Cannibal Girls and 1974’s Black Christmas) and the
popular SCTV series. She would appear in a variety of roles in the
comedy sketch series (including Second City Television station manager
Edith Prickley) and was also a valued member of the writing team, who racked up
a grand total of nine Emmy Award nominations in 1982 and 1983 (winning two) and
Martin herself also earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting
Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series in 1982.
Martin burst onto the Broadway
stage in 1992, officially making her Broadway debut in My Favorite Year,
playing the role of Alice Miller. For her show-stealing performance she earned
her first Tony Award, as well as a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award.
Her next three Broadway outings would be roles in musical revivals, originating
the roles of the Old Lady in Candide in the spring of 1997 and Aunt
Eller in Oklahoma! in the spring of 2002, earning a second and third
Tony Award nomination in the process, and finally assuming the role of Golde in
Fiddler on the Roof. In 2007 she starred in Mel Brooks’ musical comedy Young
Frankenstein, receiving a fourth Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of
Frau Blucher, and in the spring of 2009 she added a straight play to her
Broadway résumé with the role of Juliette in a revival of Exit the King.
She returned to Broadway in 2013 in Pippin resulting in her winning her
second Tony and Drama Desk Awards. She also starred in James Lapine’s Act
One for Lincoln Center Theater in 2014. In 2015, she made her Roundabout
Theatre Company debut in the Broadway revival of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off
and earned her sixth Tony Award nomination for her performance as Dotty Otley.
On screen, aside from her work
on SCTV, Martin has notably appeared in recurring roles in such series
as Roxie, The Martin Short Show, Damon, George and Martha,
Working the Engels, and, most recently, as Marilyn Kessler on Hulu’s Difficult
People, as Carol Wendelson on NBC’s Great News, and as Francesca
Lovatelli on CBS’ The Good Fight. Her many film credits include Hedwig
and the Angry Inch, The Producers, Night at the Museum: Secret of the
Tomb, and the role of Aunt Vuola in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My
Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
All proceeds from this gala evening support the key artistic
priorities of the Stratford Festival.