August 1, 2010
On Hatteberg's People, the last show of Music Theater of Wichita begins this Wednesday Night. It's called appropriately enough 'Curtains'. But what goes on backstage of this show is a story the theater audience doesn't see. Debbie Roberts is the costume designer and in this show, her daughter Broadway Actress Darcie Roberts is one of the stars. It’s a mother-daughter combination that doesn't happen often.
"I think I'm lucky you know. I think I'm lucky because we have a close relationship."
"We get to share something that we are both passionate about."
That 'passion' begins here, in the bowls of Century II. Costume Designer and mom...Debbie Roberts has her hands full getting all the costumes ready for the show.
"To see the outfits come together, the casting come together, it's really fun. And to see the costumes on a person, is even greater."
"Well ladies, five, six seven eight......"
Her daughter Darcie Roberts is rehearsing on stage, both mom and daughter involved in the same production.
"She keeps me in line, she's still my mom. She's mom 'first', and I still get those---Darcie, you are being unreasonable."
Debbie, or 'mom', has done costumes for Les Miserable, High School Musical, Funny Girl, West Side Story and many others -- During the Christmas Season she is at Radio City Music Hall working with the Rockettes. But not often does she get to make the dresses for her Broadway Actress daughter.
"It's never work, it's tiring sometimes, with this schedule, but I really, really love it."
Debbie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Friends University in Dance and Ballet and was a dancer for several years before turning to costume design.
"It's good, because she knows both sides of it. She knows what dancers need. She knows how to design costumes for dancers."
"It looks lovely."
Surrounded by the colorful clothing of her mother's designs for the Musical, Darcie brings an impressive resume from Broadway to Wichita. Her credits include “Curtains”, “Crazy for You”, “Dream-The Songs of Johnny Mercer” and many others. She was on the National tour of “Thoroughly Modern Mille” and Barry Manilow's “Copacabana.” She began her career as a 15-year-old in Wichita, in the Musical Chorus Line....but now working with mom is rare...and a treat.
"Yes, because I don't think I'm going to offend her. At least I don't think I'm going to offend her. It's easy to speak up if I don't feel right or if something should be different."
"Five, six, seven, eight...."
So as rehearsals continue for Wednesday night's opening of “Curtains” -- a mother-daughter team does what they do best. Darcie's singing and dancing, and Debbie's costume's promise the audience will see the joy each have in their chosen professions.
"It's another thing we get to share!"