Now she connects with other people, there's Kate.
That's when Kate appears. Few of -- We'll come to others. Kate of a wholly -- She's on this planet with Trudy, but seemingly of a different planet entirely. As far as her life, Kate's upper-class. Studs Terkel Rather bored, seemingly. Lily Tomlin In fact, there is a condition that sociologists have coined as "affluenza. Studs Terkel "Affluenza. Studs Terkel That's Kate, and we find her in a beauty salon somewhere.
Lily Tomlin Who's had a -- She's been given a bad haircut which is about as horrible an experience as a person of her stature and position could have. Because she says, she says, coming she says to her friend who's in the salon with her, she says, she says, "I tell you coming here today was so humiliating. There were people in the streets actually staring at my haircut.
People who normally would be intimidated. So that, to me, that's the, that's the crux of Kate's character, is that this woman is so vulnerable that she has to arm herself so against, you know, the ordinary person in the street she doesn't really want them to look at her because she's too vulnerable, really, and so in the end that's what's so beautiful 'cause Trudy says, they meet in a rainstorm and Trudy offers her her umbrella hat and she's con-- And you can see Kate has been transformed ,however small the increment is, Kate's consciousness has been has been opened to some degree because she -- Trudy says to her, I mean, Kate is telling it, and she's telling that she says she met this bag woman and who it was, that they were standing -- They had begun laughing at a joke, which is the old Carnegie Hall joke, see, which is something that Trudy plays on people in the street.
Just to make contact. Studs Terkel "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? The prostitutes and Trudy may have heard it by standing in the alley and with the stage door open because the doorman knows them or something and Kate has been to the concert. And Kate says, and it's pouring rain, and they're -- They start laughing together at this joke. These disparate people laughing together. And then Kate says, "And then the bag woman did this dearest thing, she offered me her umbrella hat.
She said that I needed it more than she did because my one side of my hair was beginning to shrink," and she laughs uproariously, the same woman who said earlier in the play, "You know, normally these same people would be would be intimidated. Studs Terkel And she took the hat. Lily Tomlin And she took the hat. That's the point.
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Studs Terkel And so now we come to somethin'. That umbrella hat from the bag lady to the upper-class, Grosse Pointe, you're from Detroit, they say Grosse Pointe, Lake Forest here, suburb, and so now her consciousness now might be opened. Lily Tomlin Right. The umbrella hat might connect her to humanity as this connects Trudy. Studs Terkel So this is a play that has a tremendous impact. Of course, as you only probably gather, it's hilarious, of course, it's -- Audience roars, but at the very end, the audience is roaring, there's a standing ovation, but there's something else, there's tremendous poignance and there's a revelation here.
And that's why they You know, you don't know that she's setting it up, you don't know that she's telling you and then to make it happen. I mean this whole, to turn the play to the audience and the audience becomes a part of the play, that is so wonderful. Studs Terkel Trudy as well as the others, her colleagues, who become her colleagues one way or another in different parts society, we'll come to the two hookers, Brandy and Tina, but there's all connection! Everyone is connected one, one they're a couple of kids, twins, born to another group, to Edie.
Lily Tomlin To Lynn and Bob. Studs Terkel Let's take one little break and then we'll pick it up with Lily Tomlin, we're talking about her performance. I say, was about to say it's a one-person evening of theater, no, it's a half-a-dozen at least, or more.
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It's a play at the Shubert Theatre until the twenty-third of October. And it's it's an experience, of course, obviously. You needn't bank upon the critics, all of whom acclaimed it, quite obvious, but as well as audience. But it's a personal experience seeing it that's rather different from theater as we've known it.
We're resuming now. I know that one of your idols years ago I saw as a kid was Ruth Draper who lived long long some time ago. I say long ago now because a generation every five years and Ruth Draper had this one-woman show of characters.
Yours continues further, but also includes every, almost every development of our day in it whether it be a crazy scientific breakthrough for better or for worse. Studs Terkel Whether it be political stuff. Or if it be socia-- But the feminist movement, I suppose, is kind of the catapult for it, isn't it, of what's happened in the past 20 years? Well, because the play the play is sort of concerned with that from about, you know, from and to the present.
And and, I don't know why it just feels right that that just worked out that that was sort of. Because so many value the different paths and the choices and things that people are making or taking or attempting. I mean that's also what the play's about, too is just all these disparate paths that we all try, that we all take and think we're doing the right thing, or. And then the overview, it's, you know, it's really just our common humanity that means anything. Studs Terkel That's what it amounts to, so it's our common humanity. I mean the -- There are the kids -- oh, those damn kids!
And so, no, I'm comin' out to Agnes Angst. So now we come to someone that could be a punk rocker or a kid of the -- Agnes Angst, she speaks, she's full of vitality, vital is the word she uses, vital.
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Lily Tomlin I thought when we were when we were developing the play, of course in our old show, "Appearing Nightly", we introduced Jane and Jane Wagner and I introduced Lud and Marie, who then were probably in their late 30s. Because it was set, their particular piece was set in the '50s and so their daughter, that piece in that original play was called, "Lud and Marie meet Dracula's daughter", because they had this teenage daughter who was just out totally, you know, contemptuous and awful.
Studs Terkel Their daughter, Janet.
So when we, when Jane started working on this new play, on the search and she'd already begun developing Agnes and everything and then and then she began to give me and she suddenly said to me, "I've decided. Agnes is going to be Lud and Marie's granddaughter. Studs Terkel 'Cause the daughter's left.
Lily Tomlin 'Cause the daughter's left, right. Studs Terkel The daughter has her own problems. Lily Tomlin Yes. Studs Terkel And she left. Lily Tomlin And so now, so if you -- You don't need to see the two plays with any -- continuity but for, you know, for me and for my own sense of of the work. It was delightful to me to have this connection. This further connection. Studs Terkel So Agnes is, what? Agnes is Lily Tomlin She's 15, she -- Well, here's, Agnes -- She comes from a, her father's a, you know, a bioengineering science, scientist, a gene splicer, she says. She says, "You know, his wor-- he works on some new bioform he thinks he'll be able to patent.
He doesn't get that I am a new bioform. Doing, you know, very pretentious performance art, obviously. And so she -- as a little girl she participated in the art pieces even, we learn that in the course of the play, and then she had this scientist father who is bio-- you know, bioengineering, so she has all these, she has this tremendous amount of kind of like a progressive advanced input. And then at some point she and her mother, I mean she and her father, her father and her mother's divorce, and she's lived the first part of her life probably with her mother and now she has to go live the second part of her life with her father and his and her new stepmother.
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And and so here's a kid just you know, it's a typical kid just [wrenched? Studs Terkel She's also street hip, too. Lily Tomlin Very street hip, because she's been because I'm saying, the father's very rigid, probably, science-oriented disciplinarian wants things in a certain way, the mother's terribly free and progressive and and she's been exposed to these radically different worlds gone from a big city to a small town.
She's very rebellious she's she's something of an artist herself. And she's at this crisis in her life where she's behaved so badly she's so rebellious and has behaved so badly that her father has changed the locks on the door so that when she comes home with her latch key to get in and she's just and she's just stunned because her girlfriend won't take her in, because her girlfriend's parents think that she's a bad influence on her and all, all the doors have been shut to her now, so she turns to the radio psychologist.
And doesn't get any help there, either. So you have this -- And she finally, she says to the psychologist, she says, "Yes, I have other family but we have nothing in common except that we are all carbon-based lifeforms. Studs Terkel There they are, in rockers, are there in a small town Studs Terkel Lud and Marie's more or less accepting that everything is goin' along they're kind of strange in their own way. Along there's a knock on the door, and there she is. Lily Tomlin Yeah, and this kid hung in chains and her head shaved and dyed pink and the zippers all over and everything and screaming, you know, filled with despair and anger and, and she turns up on Lud and Marie's doorstep.
Studs Terkel And so now you have a scene of Lud and Marie, and so you have. Lily Tomlin These generations -- You know, because. Lily Tomlin A generation gap. You know, because what inspires us, I know from Jane is, well, first of all this whole clash of cultures is so it's just the truth. I love to see like you see like some nice middle-aged, you know, ordinary couple driving like in a, you know, a Nova or something, a little simple car, and in the back seat they've got like this kid with a big Mohawk that's like, you know,you know waxed-up so it's brushing the top of the car.
And it's such an incredible image. That these and because we're, you know, people think these kids are so strange. Well, where do you think they come from? They come from just, they come from all of us. Studs Terkel I've seen the other day.