Old Jews Star Tells Me Village People Movie Dish

Categories: Theater

Marilyn Sokol on the right.
How's that for a grabber?

Let me explain. The hilarious Marilyn Sokol is one of the stars of Old Jews Telling Jokes, the breezily funny revue, which was honored with a Drama Desk nomination.

At a Drama Desk event yesterday, I asked Marilyn about having appeared in the infamous Village People film musical Can't Stop The Music in 1980.

Is the film underrated?

"I don't care!" Sokol replied. "It's not a work of art. It's sort of like a wonderful dessert--like a strawberry fruitcake." It's fruity all right. "Sometimes I like looking at it," Sokol went on, "because I was so thin. But I didn't know I was in the throes of a clinical depression, which is why I was thin!"

While we were talking disco cinema, did the credited Nancy Walker really direct the thump-thump classic?

"No," Sokol replied. "The cinematographer did. I went out with Bruce Jenner [who was also in the movie]. He had a Porsche. Very nice. He used to lift me up like a little sister. That was before his nose job."

And so much else!

Anyway, Marilyn told me one of the new jokes from Old Jews and it had to do with a woman screwing the mailman and giving him a dollar. She did this because when she and her husband were talking about who to give Christmas tips to, hubby said, "Screw the mailman! Give him a dollar!"

And by the way, Sokol didn't give Jenner a dollar. I asked.


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"Well, when I was last in 'Frisco.." "Never 'Frisco, dear, SAN FRANCISCO!" "Pardonnez moi!" Love this movie!  "I Love You To Death," "The Milkshake" ("One more time!" Nancy made Valerie do that line about 20 times until Val broke down and screamed "For chrissakes, Nancy, how many ways can I say 'One more time?'") and the title tune.  See Marilyn all the time for years in HK, she's a sweetie.


I also saw Todd Sussman when he went on as understudy to Dick Latessa in Hairspray.  He and Harvey made a lovely couple and when they danced together, Sussman holding him from behind, Harvey said, "I can tell you're Jewish."  While I was disappointed not to see Latessa (this was soon afterhe won the Tony), Todd was excellent--I would never have known he was an understudy had there not been a program insert.


When I came out in 2000 a friend laughed and said, "Hell, I knew it 20 years ago when you went to see CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC!"

Good to see Todd Sussman.  I thought he was so funny and cute on NEWHART as officer Shiflett.