Cool Peep of the Week: Eleanor Handley…handling it all!

13 Mar

By Christabelle…@CBellesCloset

christina carathanassis, christabelle carathanassis, christabelletheblog.com

Actress, Eleanor Handley
burns up the stage as Maggie
in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

WHO IS THIS COOL PEEP: ELEANOR HANDLEY
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, I moved to NYC in 2005 after receiving a scholarship for the MFA program at the New School for Drama in the West Village. Since graduating I’ve had the chance to perform all over the east coast, including premiering a Chuck Mee play off-Broadway  opposite Austin Pendleton and appearing in ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Morgan Library with Dominic Chianese (AKA Uncle Jnr from the Sopranos)Other favorite stage performances include Cressida in the New York Times acclaimed production of Troilus and Cressida for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and most recently ‘Maggie’ in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival…(where I had the pleasure of meeting the illustrious CC).  On TV you may have seen me in Royal Pains and As the World Turns.

WHAT ARE A FEW OF HER FAVOURITE THINGS (spelled the Aussie way):
1. The sound of the first pour from a great bottle of wine…and then drinking it with wonderful friends.

2. TRAVEL!!!! To relax…. Tulum, Mexico. The magic of the Mayans can still be felt.  Specifically check out Cabanas La Luna. Best spot on the beach. And next, I’m dying to check out Hacienda Petac, not far out of Merida.

To feel glam and close-ish to Australia, without crossing the planet,  I jump the pond and visit my brother in Notting Hill.

When home in Australia, my #1 relaxation spot is the new family adventure WhitesBeach in Torquay, Victoria - private, quiet, and stunningly breathtaking.

(Note: all of 2. usually involve 1.)

(Note from CC: can I come? Please? Like NOW?)

WHAT IS ON HER WISH LIST:
Years ago my wonderful friend Kate (a brilliant novelist), read in Vogue about a ‘Cabernet Sauvignon Scrub’ spa service somewhere in the swanky South of France. To this day that’s how we measure our success trajectory; we’ll know we’ve made it when we book  our ‘Cab Sav Scrub’. We are close… I can taste it.

WHAT IS ELEANOR’S FAVORITE HAUNT:
Cafe Reggio.  To this perennial tourist it is the quintessential Greenwich Village…It’s Bob Dylan’s NYC. The sort of place where people sit for hours by themselves, drinking cappuccino and writing poetry on napkins.

WHAT IS PLAYING ON HER iPOD, RIGHT NOW?
iPod is stuck on my recently purchased list, which means tons of Mumford and Sons and Adele…. And also means I’m overdue for a new purchase. Kindly forward me any musical selections you think I might like.

I also have Reserved for Rondee on loop – bass player, Tom Degnan played opposite me as ‘Brick’ in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof this past summer – huge fan of all his work – both musical and theatrical!

WHAT HANDBAG ARE YOU CARRYING AND WHAT IS IN IT – RIGHT NOW?
Cream Coach handbag… or at least mostly cream. NYC is rough on lighter shades. As for what’s in it -  what isn’t in it? I have officially become a bit like Mary Poppins and her magic carpet-bag. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lampshade and a coat rack spontaneously fell out of it.

WHAT SONG PLAYS WHEN YOU WALK INTO A ROOM?
At this time of year? Here Comes the Sun. Please!!!!!!

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU NEXT?
In April, I start rehearsals for Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where I can be seen Memorial Day through Labor Day as ‘Regan’ in King Lear and ‘Milady’ inThree Musketeers.

Next week, you can find me at Under St. Mark’s in the East Village, where I’ll be wearing my “Producer’s hat”  at the much-anticipated opening of The Dork Knight with Jason O’Connell - the incredibly hilarious and moving story of one man’s obsession with all things Batman. Get your ticket now, we are almost sold out (Show runs 3/19-23/2013).

Note from C: She truly does “handle” it all, be it on stage trumping all performances of ‘Maggie’ to-date (including the late Elizabeth Taylor and Scarlett Johansson), or producing one of the funniest shows I have ever seen in the East Village, Ms. Handley continues to keep me awestruck in all the work she lays her hands upon…in short, she has the Midas touch.

handley_eleanor4879RTPeople always talk about how ‘hard’ it is to work in the theater. All the uncertainty, the rejection, not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from…  And of course it’s all true. But it leaves out one part; it’s also the greatest job in the world. As an actor, you get to have many lives in one life…. and that… well that’s almost as intoxicating as that great glass of wineEleanor Handley

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christina carathanassis

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