Victoria Clark — who plays the fairy godmother in the Broadway production of Cinderella — had to ‘learn to fly’ despite a fear of heights. She did it to mom-up: as a life lesson for her son who is about to leave home.
As parents we often wish we had a magic wand, but Cinderella’s fairy godmother, played on Broadway by Victoria Clark, says that even with a magic wand, the job’s not all that easy. The actress is petrified of heights but overcame them for the role, largely as a lesson to her son about pushing our boundaries and to show him that parents really can feel joy, despite all our complaining and bossing.
Ms. Clark stars as Marie, the fairy godmother in the Broadway musical revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s "Cinderella." She told me during a phone interview from her New York apartment that the first time a stage technician suspended her from the cables at the Broadway Theater he told her, “Just let go. Don’t touch the cables. You HAVE to LET GO or you can’t really fly!”
Now I want that on a T-shirt with a fairy pointing a magic wand at a kid whose helicopter parents are keeping him/her grounded by doubt and worry: “You HAVE to LET GO so they can fly!”
I digress. Back on Broadway, Clark was eyeing the technician and telling him flatly, “I can’t do this. No. No, I really can’t.”
However, this is the mom who, in order not to disappoint her son Thomas Luke “TL” Guest, now 18, took him on rollercoasters each summer, riding them with her eyes closed. She and her husband divorced when TL was four years old, leaving the child to “commute” between parents. Therefore, time together doing “normal family things like going to the amusement park” as mom and son became mission critical. She wasn’t going to spoil it by grounding them both.
Despite her rollercoaster ride experiences, the prospect of being suspended by cables above the stage, while saddled with a massive pair of wings, was nearly too much for Clark to cope with.
Add to that the stress of the mom of an only child seeing her son is about to graduate from high school and head off as one of the top NCAA soccer drafts. It seems her entire life, personal and professional, seems to have come down to “letting go.”