Go Away With … Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich

Marcy Heisler_Zina Goldrich x 640 rooftop_Marcy Heisler is on the left (dark, curly hair), and Zina Goldrich is on the right (blonde, straight hair)_photo credit Matthew Murphy

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
March 14, 2017

Composer Zina Goldrich and lyricist/author Marcy Heisler have collaborated on numerous projects, including Julie Andrews’ Netflix series “Julie’s Greenroom” and the stage adaptation of the popular children’s book series “Junie B. Jones.” (“Junie B. Jones the Musical Cast Album” is on sale now.) Based out of New York City, the musicians’ work has also been heard on the Disney Channel, PBS and Nickelodeon. To read more about their songwriting and music, check out their website.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

Goldrich: On the fancy side, I love a little town in Tuscany called Castellina in Chianti. I’d recommend visiting the neighboring villages. San Gimignano is an old city with towers, which seem not so tall by modern standards — but great history; also, a quick trip to Palio di Siena to watch a horse race. Closer to home, I love Great Barrington in the Berkshires (Massachusetts).

Heisler: As a Midwestern transplant and as someone who doesn’t get to travel recreationally that often, I always enjoy going back to my childhood home of Chicago. It’s an absolutely wonderful city and the architecture is beautiful. As a writer, I love quiet places by the water. Martha’s Vineyard is very special to me, as is Traverse City, Mich. I travel a lot to Los Angeles for work and my family has relocated there — my sister in L.A. and my parents in Palm Springs. It’s becoming like a second home to me.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

Goldrich: I am dying to go to Australia. It’s hard to believe that I was able to make it to New Zealand, but not Australia. I was playing in the orchestra for the world tour of “A Chorus Line” and they only had time to book New Zealand. I’m hoping to plan that trip soon.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

Heisler: Because I’ve spent my entire adult life in New York City, I like relaxing vacations the best, often by the beach. The Traverse Bay area is breathtaking. The water is the most beautiful shade of blue you can imagine and the stars in the Michigan sky are not to be missed. I went to the summer program at Interlochen Center for the Arts as a teenager and experiencing the culture and concerts available there as an adult vacationer is very special. And the ice cream is wonderful too.

Q. What is your best vacation memory?

Goldrich: Visiting my friend in Tuscany. We were invited to a dinner party at a vineyard. I sat at the table with people from all over the world. There were at least four languages going at once and I was excited to keep up with a good part of it. Needless to say, the food was amazing, but I’ll never forget feeling like I was part of a global community.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

Heisler: How important it is to reconnect with nature. I always keep a little bit of sand in a certain pair of shoes for good luck. I learned that I can pass for an Italian and can crack up an entire Italian restaurant in Pienza simply reading from the dictionary. I’ve been grateful to learn how breathtaking art can be and how welcoming so many places are. And I love that the first thing you hear upon waking in Venice is the laughter of children and neighbors greeting one another. Most of my travel involves teaching and concert work, a few days at a time. But I always try to take in local sights and sounds and do one exploratory thing on both a tourist and a native level. And I’ve learned sometimes getting lost is not such a bad thing.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

Goldrich: I think we went to Acapulco. I loved it. I grew up in New York and Acapulco was warm and beautiful. I haven’t been there since, but I have visited Mexico again and still love it.

Heisler: When I was four, I took my first plane ride — a family trip to San Diego and Los Angeles. It was 1971 and I really did love the glamor of flying then. I think there were two floors and a lounge on the plane and everyone, by and large, was dressed up — at least to me. I remember both cities as having a lot of family-friendly things to do and seeing the television studios fascinated my sister and me. I think we both got the showbiz bug from that trip. While I remain a New Yorker, I am ever grateful that the easy, open, beachy cool of Southern California figures prominently in my life.

© 2017 JAE-HA KIM

Comments (5)

  1. Pat Carey says:

    This is such a lovely column about two wonderful and talented people – thanks!

  2. Richard R Schilling III says:

    I remember well. I got lost in Los Angeles trying to have lunch with her…

  3. Linda Chapman Baer says:

    Loved the site. 💋💋to you.

  4. Susan Winett says:


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