Speaking with … Maureen McCormick

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
August 23, 2002

Maureen McCormick doesn’t sound a day older than her heyday on “The Brady Bunch.” But Marcia never would’ve been caught dead talking about vaginas. McCormick can’t wait.

McCormick is the latest celebrity to grace the Chicago production of “The Vagina Monologues,” now running at Apollo Theater.

“My father happened to be over the day that I was sent the script,” says McCormick, 46. “He read the whole play and said, ‘Every gal and guy should go see this.’ He was so amazed by it. It’s such a well-written, well-crafted show. I have to say that when I read the script, I was like, ‘Yes, I’ll do it. This is so cool.’ “

Of course, this isn’t the first time McCormick tackled a challenging subject. In 1994, she toured college campuses nationwide to talk about safe sex and birth control.

McCormick, who had heard about “The Vagina Monologues” but had never been to a performance, is eager to do the play, even though she acknowledges that live theater can be a nerve-wracking experience.

“There’s really nothing like it,” McCormick says, phoning from outside a Starbucks in Woodland Hills, Calif., where she was waiting for her extended family to meet up. “Every time I do something like this, I’m nervous. But there’s an excitement, too, that makes it worthwhile. I can’t wait to get to Chicago. I’m ready!”

McCormick was supposed to arrive in Chicago last week. But she had family members visiting from Germany and Hawaii, and, like the Bradys, family comes first for the actress who set the standard for teenage beauty in the 1970s.

Married to actor Michael Cummings, the couple resides in California with their 13-year-old daughter, Natalie, who prefers surfing to acting or singing.

“She is such a great girl,” McCormick says. “She’s a real combo of both Michael and me. She’s an amazing person. She’s so much more mature than I was at her age.”

Or Marcia Brady.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE MCCORMICK HAD TO SAY:

Any friends in Chicago? [‘Vagina Monolgues’ producer] Rob Kolson and I are already best friends now. I love him! I’m so excited about coming to Chicago. I really love the Midwest. I have relatives in Iowa and my husband has relatives in Minnesota and Missouri.

First thing you want to do when you arrive in Chicago: I want to explore the city.

First thing Natalie will want to do when she gets to Chicago: She’ll probably want to go shopping.

If you can visit only one museum, which would it be?: I’ve never really had a chance to be a tourist in Chicago, so I want to go to them all. But the [Art Institute] would probably be it.

Favorite pastime: I love to write poetry.

Good girl or bad girl?: I’ve gotten to be both. I really had fun playing Rizzo in Broadway’s “Grease” [in 1994].

Favorite TV show: I really don’t watch “The Brady Bunch,” so I won’t say that. [Laughs.] I only watch a few, but I die for them. I love “Six Feet Under” and “CSI.” But my favorite show right now is “The Guardian.”

Favorite movie: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.

Best tips for performing on stage: Probably to get to bed fairly early so you get a good night’s sleep.

Response from “Brady” fans when she does risque work: People are always really excited that I’m trying different things. I’ve never had one fan come up and say something negative. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

Growing older while Marcia stays forever young: It beats the alternative!

The last word on Chicago: I hear it’s the greatest city to be in.

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