Up Close & Personal With Broadway Director Richard Jay-Alexander
December 8, 2015 6:10 PM By Lisa Petrillo
MIAMI (CBSMiami) â€“ Renowned Broadway Director Richard Jay-Alexander has a home filled with memorabilia.
â€œSo is this your life in your house CBS4â€™s Lisa Petrillo asked him while walking through him home.
â€œYes this is my life. Itâ€™s 40 years of a career, no joke and everything you see here has stories,â€ said Jay-Alexander.
Walk into the Miami Beach home of the Broadway producer and theater impresario and youâ€™re immediately transformed into the land of show business past and present. Theater fills every nook and cranny of the home.
â€œOpen any cabinet you open and it has showbiz in it,â€ Jay-Alexander said pointing out the Broadway posters inside his kitchen cabinet.
Jay-Alexander has worked with the best in the business. Thereâ€™s Bette Midler, Kristin Chenoweth, Ricky Martin, Rosie Oâ€™ Donnell and many more. But no one is showcased bigger than Barbra Streisand. He and Streisand go back many years and many songs together.
â€œThatâ€™s from Back to Brooklyn. Thatâ€™s walking Barbra either from the stage or to the stage,â€ he said explaining the picture on his wall.
In the â€œAnything Goesâ€ room there were more treasures like a poster from Miss Saigon when he directed it in 1989. Thereâ€™s more.
â€œThis is one of my favorite possessions. I have Gwen Verdonâ€™s original shoes from Sweet Charity signed by Gwen Verdon,â€ he said while showing off the very vintage shoes.
The bathroom has a framed gold album from his work with Streisand and 10â€“ $10 dollar bills hung on a wall given to him by Marie Osmond after he bet her she would get three standing ovations and she did.
A career highlight was when Broadway producer Cameron Mackintosh hired him to be the executive director working on such shows as Phantom of the Opera.
â€œPhantom was just fantastic. I thought Andrew Lloyd Webber found something as big as his music. It was jaw dropping, â€œsaid Jay-Alexander.
Then there was Les MisÃ©rables.
â€œLes Mis was the greatest 10 years of my life,â€ he said.
At age 62, Jay-Alexander doesnâ€™t take one minute of his colorful career for granted.
â€œYouâ€™re looking at someone and I could cry when I say this, that all my dreams have come true and more, so itâ€™s just icing. I couldnâ€™t have imagined, if you saw my childhood bedroom with Barbra and Bette and Liza all over it . What happened at night while I was sleeping?â€ he said emotionally.
Petrillo asked, â€œWhat does theater mean to you?â€
â€œMy God. Everything, he answered while tearing up. Everything, the stories. the music. I feel sorry for people that donâ€™t feel music, that donâ€™t have a barometer for it. My whole day can be rocked by what I listen to,â€ said Jay-Alexander.
Jay-Alexander said he wants everyone young and old to experience Broadway.
â€œYou canâ€™t go to NY and not see a Broadway show. Donâ€™t tell me you went to the Statue of Liberty and Central Park and didnâ€™t see a Broadway show because I will kill you. Broadway is essential,â€ said Jay-Alexander.
With that, they ended their interview, but not before he gave Petrillo a special gift â€“ a Barbra Streisand cartoon Christmas Tree ornament which benefits, what else, but Broadway Cares.
â€œEvery year when you make your tree, youâ€™ll remember Richard Jay and this interview. Merry Christmas,â€ he said.
â€œWhatâ€™s better than that? Thank you, thank you so much Richard,â€ Petrillo said.