From the Capital Times:
"This show you'll be doing in Madison, it's sort of a greatest hits?
Kind of. It'll be more like greatest-hits characters, because it's much more informal, talking to the audience. It's not like doing a theater piece, like one of the Broadway shows. I'll do Ernestine and Edith and Beasley and Sister Boogie Woman, whatever comes up.
I'll talk about Madison. I've been there lots of times. In fact, I waited tables at Dotty Dumpling's Dowry. I used to do stuff like that all the time, if we hit a town early. We traveled with a large video show. This was back in the '70s, so everything was black and white. We'd always make a travelogue when we came into the town. So I worked the counter and the tables, and we filmed it and put it in the show that night.
I liked the old dishwasher who was there that day. I don't know if he's still around. He was an old street guy who probably did a little dishwashing on the side. He had an old whiskey and cigarette voice, and some tattoos and stuff. I have a strong image of him in my mind.
You can ask your "West Wing" colleague Bradley Whitford where to go when you're in town, since he's from Madison.
He's a good one, too. He is so limber it's astonishing.
(Laughs) He can bend himself into the most amazing positions. You're just standing around between takes and he just starts throwing a big leg up on the desk, or getting way down on the floor. He just does it while we're talking.
How are those last few episodes going?
It doesn't quite hit you until it's over. I remember on "Murphy Brown," they had been there 10 years and I had been there two years, and I cried more than they did. It was like I was crying as a viewer. Everybody is going to be back for the last episode. I haven't seen the script by any means, but it should be pretty great.
And having John (Spencer, who played Leo McGarry) die. We had two memorial services at the studio, and then I was out of town and couldn't go to his big memorial service. And then we had his funeral on the show. We had Leo's funeral. It was a bit surreal. Everyone was just crazy about John. He had a little bit of Irish that got under your skin a little bit.
Are you a particularly political person?
Personally, I am political and I do as much as I can. I'm not like Martin (Sheen) though. I will do some stuff, probably, on whatever's happening at the moment, because it just bears comment. This administration bears comment.
I don't like to do stuff that divides people. You want to do it in some way that speaks to people, and doesn't necessarily galvanize them. Sometimes I do, but I don't do it deliberately to galvanize people.
I've had shows where people make a fuss in the audience, because they take exception to something I've said. Then the other people get after them, and they start a little fuss between themselves. And then I try to encourage them all to come up on stage. (Laughs) They usually don't take the offer.
Do you think you'll go back to Broadway at some point?
It's possible. My partner Jane (Wagner), she's not as ambitious about that as I am, but I would love to work in the New York theater. I like to work in any theater for an extended run."
From the Wisconsin State Journal:
"Her Madison show will be "really more than doing classic bits - it's more like classic characters," she says. "I do Ernestine and Edith and Mrs. Beasley. I'll probably do 10, 12, characters. But it's informal, more interactive with the audience than if you were doing a play. It's more like a stand-up concert.
"I'll talk about Madison if I can, if I come up with good enough stuff," she says. "I'll talk about Washington. I'll do some topical stuff, whatever's happening at the time - and just fooling around, be in the moment."
If you go
What: Lily Tomlin
When: 10:30 p.m. Friday. The 8 p.m. show is sold out.
Where: Overture Hall, 201 State St.
Tickets: $39, $44 and $49 at the Overture Center box office; also at 258-4177 and www.overturecenter.com"
From The Desert Sun:
"The Program for the Theatre"
Most welcome homecoming: Lily Tomlin, March 25 (2007).
Tomlin's everywhere these days: "The West Wing," theaters, the Academy Awards ceremony. She's moved from Palm Springs, but she'll bring back Edith Ann, Ernestine and all of her beloved characters for the friends who have missed them."
From USA Today (on 9 to 5):
""Jane was married to very strong, aggressive men," reminds Tomlin, 66, calling in from the L.A. set of The West Wing series finale. "(In the '70s and '80s), there was all that machismo."
Tomlin and producer Jane Wagner have been a couple for 35 years, but with no plans to marry. "I don't know that we ever will," she says. "(Coordinating) our wardrobe is complicated enough."
Jokes aside, Tomlin believes it is probably easier for a woman to be in a relationship with another woman. "Especially a woman of consciousness," she says. "And if you are married to a man with any consciousness, I think that would probably be all right, too."
"By the way, Lily just wrapped production on her work on The West Wing; her episode will appear very soon on NBC."