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INTERVIEW: A Chat With Entertainment Legends Michael Tucker And Jill Eikenberry

T.J. Clemente

Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry. (Courtesy Photo)

Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry have been together for over 40 years. "It was her eyes," says Michael, "It was his voice," says Jill, but whatever it was, it surely was love because now so many years later their magic is still so visible when they perform. When they do their show at Bay Street in Sag Harbor, it will show two lifelong entertainers who understand what it is to entertain.

In an interview for Hamptons.com, both Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker were very professional, sweet, funny, endearing and knowledgeable. They will be doing their show together Monday July 1st, at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor at 8 p.m.

Jill explains her first stage experience was at five-years-old when she actually performed her part, in a Snow White production, "In French, the whole show was actually in French!" Where as Michael remembers being 14-years-old and, "Being in a Peter Pan production, I was in the troupe."

Fast forward to 1970, at an Arena Stage Production, in Washington, D.C. where they both meet each other, with their lives already going on. However "her eyes," and" his voice" sparked a romance that fueled two illustrious careers. Never once did they mention that Jill is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Ann Kelsey on NBC's long-running hit series LA Law, which earned her four Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Golden Globe Award. Jill has starred on Broadway in Moonchildren, All Over Town, Summer Brave, Watch on the Rhine and Onward Victoria. She won an Obie award for her off-Broadway performances in Life Under Water and Lemon Sky. Jill's most recent New York appearances have been in Enter Laughing, the Musical, The Kid, for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination, Jericho, Be A Good Little Widow, and Evening at the Talk House by Wallace Shawn. Last summer Jill appeared in her husband, Michael Tucker's new play Fern Hill at the New Jersey Repertory Company, and the play will be coming to 59 E 59th next September. Her feature films include Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Rich Kids, Hide in Plain Sight, Arthur, The Manhattan Project, Something Borrowed and most recently Young Adult in which she played the mother of Charlize Theron.

Michael did mention that he is an actor and a writer. Although to many, he is best known for his role in the TV Series L.A. Law, he's also appeared over the years on stage and in film. Michael has written three memoirs, a novel and two plays. He did say how proud he is of his second play, Fern Hill, that will open this coming September. He said he, "is very excited."

About the show at Bay Street, Jill said they have been doing it "for appreciative audiences, and I sing tunes from shows I have been in and others I just truly enjoy. Michael comes out and joins me on stage too." They will also be joined by special guest David Rasche.

When asked about the East End, Jill mentioned that both she and Michael starred in a 2011 Bay Street production of Enter Laughing. "Bay Street provided us with this lovely house with a big backyard, and the whole time there in Sag Harbor was very lovely." When asked about influences in her career Jill singled out, "Laurie Metcalf comes to mind," however then added, "but really there are so many others."

They said how proud they both are of their son. Jill said, "Max is a wonderful drummer and he is actually teaching me to drum, as you might see in the show!"

They mentioned their second home in Umbria, Italy, where they actually live among the olive tree and make their own, "Olive oil," Michael said, "Making our own olive oil is something we are both very proud of."

Finally, I asked both Michael and Jill the big question: What is your favorite dessert? Jill knew instantly, "Dacquoise!"

I had to Google it and discovered it is: "A dacquoise (French: [dakwɑz]) is a dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and whipped cream or buttercream on a buttery biscuit base."

As for Michael, he thought a while then said, " A glass of Sauternes (a Dessert wine) and some Epoisses cheese."

I think these choices by Michael and Jill say a lot about their worldliness, their keen intellect, and their spirit all to be on stage at Bay Street, along with their great talent and love.

Tickets to Music Mondays: Jill Eikenberry with Michael Tucker with special guest David Rasche Present Here I Go Again! are $69 to $89.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.

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