Is Broadway Better?

Actress Sally Wingert develops a new appreciation for local theater

Sally Wingert returns to the Guthrie this month as one of the crazy sisters in Joseph Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace, following her London and Broadway debuts in 2010. “This has been Sally’s year of living excitedly,” Wingert says. “It’s been quite a ride. But I’m glad to be home. And my husband’s glad I’m home, so I can take over the shoveling.”
Wingert describes her run in London, in David Hirson’s La BĂȘte, as “astonishing and thrilling.” But when it came to Broadway, “I confess I had a chip on my shoulder,” she says. “None of the work I saw blew me away. But everyone was so kind. And getting off the subway at Times Square was buzzy. Theater [is] the currency of the area. It was dang exciting.”
Still, Wingert’s stint in the theater meccas of New York and London gave her a new appreciation for life at the Guthrie. “I’m almost embarrassed to be such a cheerleader, but when I get on the Guthrie stage, there is nothing— not actors, stagehands, folks in the booth—that does not equal what I saw on Broadway.”
Her one wish for the local scene, based on her experience: “More new plays, more new playwrights, so that we as a community could support more new work.”
But for now, Wingert is happy to be performing in Arsenic and Old Lace. “It’s a great American comedy,” she says. “If you approach it with honesty, it’s all there, and I love inspiring belly laughs.” April 9–June 5. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-377-2224,