Return of Sarah Paulson to Broadway

At lunch on a beautiful fall day in Los Angeles, charming and melancholy actress Sarah Paulson recalls how she began playing unlikable characters. The harsh Mistress Epps of 12 Years a Slave and Nurse Ratched of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest were portrayed by her. she continues, “I try not to judge them.” So I ignore my looks as few people notice. Responders are like me.

It may seem apparent, but you're not a Hollywood celebrity with likability and marketability concerns. A few days later, Obie Award–winning writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins calls me and says, “There are a lot of incredible actresses out there who are stars because they play themselves.” “Sarah differs. The actress exists.” Paulson impressed him in aughts New York plays like The Gingerbread House and Crimes of the Heart.

Naturally, she became Ryan Murphy's queen.” Paulson, who played Hypodermic Sally, Tuberculosis Karen, a wicked Mamie Eisenhower, and conjoined twins in nine of 11 seasons of American Horror Story, is a fan favorite in the Murphy-verse.

Now Paulson is in her first theater production in a decade, Jacobs-Jenkins' 2013 drama Appropriate, previewing November 29 and opening December 18. The dysfunctional Lafayette family returns to Arkansas to settle their late patriarch's fortune in Lila Neugebauer's drama. Like most of America, the attic has grudges, wounds, and a horrific racial secret.

Survivors must identify themselves and family if they accept degradation. Toni, Paulson's older sister, may be furious and cruel. Play has comedy. Franz, the youngest Lafayette, is engaged to River. Her brother Bo (Corey Stoll). Paulson was considered by Neugebauer. “She has an electrifying kind of command—a combination of technical virtuosity and an appetite for excavating the furthest reaches of human capacity,” the director emails. 

When we meet, Paulson is wearing a dove gray The Row overcoat, a pale blue button-down shirt, wide-legged B Sides jeans, and Irene Neuwirth and Jessica McCormack jewelry. Moving to New York will be a homecoming. She attended Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope before LaGuardia High School and made her Broadway debut in The Sisters Rosensweig in 1994 after graduating.

This is remarkable given she visits the city every decade. In 2013, she performed in Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize–winning comedy Talley's Folly with Danny Burstein at the Roundabout. Living "monastically," she rested her voice and had few company. Holland Taylor, who portrays a tough woman in The Morning Show, will travel between New York and Los Angeles with her three rescue dogs. 

So let's all convene in a room and focus on something. She smiles, “How beautiful and rare.” She's knowledgeable about that.

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