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The Boston Globe

Magazine

First Person

‘Mildred Fierce’ speaks

Varla Jean Merman, alter ego of actor Jeffery Roberson, plays the lead in the new parody by Ryan Landry and his Gold Dust Orphans.

Believe it or not, the last time I was in Boston with the Gold Dust Orphans, I was playing a virginal high school girl. I guess I was 39 at the time. The hardest words for A YOUNG INGENUE to hear are that it’s time to play a mother role. But there’s a lot more roles this way, and there’s a lot of pressure off. You don’t have to waist-cinch anymore, which is really nice.

This is such a great role. Mildred is doing everything she can to PLEASE HER CHILDREN, but the funny thing Ryan does is: She loves only one of her daughters. She can’t remember the name of the other one. It’s so sick. I don’t have a daughter, and I don’t think legally anyone would ever let me have one, but I do have a dog, so I’m reading all my lines out to my dog, Mrs. Danvers. She seems to be quite bored right now.

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