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Mo’Nique sheds weight – stress, too By Randy Cordova The Republic · azcentral.com
Thanks to an emotionally raw performance as an abusive mother in 2009’s “Precious,” Mo’Nique emerged with an Oscar for best supporting actress. But that’s only one aspect of her career, which has included a BET talk show, sitcoms and a successful series of stand-up gigs. The 46-year-old Mo’Nique called from her Los Angeles home to plug her upcoming show at Wild Horse Pass and talk about recent weight loss. Question: What can people expect at your show? Answer: I always tell people
if you ever want to get to know me, you don’t have to read all about me. All you gotta do is come to the show, and that will introduce you to who I am. Q: A lot has been written about your weight loss. How much have you lost? A: I’ve lost close to 100
pounds. I have an amazing husband, and one day was standing in the bathroom and he asked me how much did I weigh. I froze! I said 262 pounds, but I knew it was much closer to 300 pounds, but I could not say those words. But even as I told him 262 pounds, he looked at me with the sweetest look ever and said, “I want you for a lifetime.” That’s what prompted me. Q: Has the weight loss changed the way you look at yourself? A: Shedding this weight has
helped me shed a lot of issues. I didn’t realize there were so many issues that went undealt with! As I began to lose the weight and I really began to take care of myself, there were so many things I had to change my mind about. Q: Do you mean self-esteem? A: My self-esteem is not com-
ing from the way I look. Mine is coming from what’s happening on the inside.
Q: What about how other people relate to you? A: Here’s what’s beautiful.
I’m still a big woman. By no means am I trying to be a small woman. My bones are too big. My head is too big. I will always be a big woman. Some people came up to me and said, ‘Mo’Nique, I thought you said big was beautiful.’ I still believe that, but I want to be big, healthy and beautiful. Q: Do you discuss the weight See MO’NIQUE, Page AE2
IF YOU GO
MO’NIQUE When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 5. Where: Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, 5040 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Gila River Reservation. Admission: $60-$150. 800-9464452, wingilariver.com
The immortal Muses (above and below) sing and skate while helping Sonny Malone (Dane Stokinger, center below) open a disco rink, in “Xanadu.” PHOTOS BY MARK KITAOKA AND TRACY MARTIN
Disco-era déjà vu
“The early ’80s were a time of big emotional gestures. Hair was large, clothes were large, everything was large before we got to the ’90s.” DAVID IRA GOLDSTEIN, “Xanadu” director
By Kerry Lengel The Republic · azcentral.com
“Xanadu” wasn’t exactly the biggest flop in Hollywood history. There’s plenty of competition for that title. But the discoera travesty — which starred Olivia Newton-John as a singing, roller-skating Greek goddess — does have the distinction of having helped inspire the annual Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst performances in filmdom. You’d think that would make the 1980 movie musical an unlikely candidate to be adapted into a Broadway show. And in fact, playwright Douglas Carter Beane (best known for the Tony Award-nominated “The Little Dog Laughed” as well as the screenplay for the drag flick “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”) reportedly turned down the project … nine times. But finally he said yes and transformed a laughably earnest fantasy into a tongue-in-cheek celebration of pop-culture cheese. The stage version was a surprise hit in New York in 2007, and now it’s skating into the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix in a new production from Arizona Theatre Company. “There are a lot of jokes in the show about the death of artSee ‘XANADU’, Page AE2
IF YOU GO
‘XANADU’ Who: Arizona Theatre Company When: Tuesday, April 1, through Sunday, April 20. Where: Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Admission: $44-$67 ($71$87 New Year’s Eve). Details: 602256-6995, arizonatheatre. org.
VIDEO Watch the wife-and-husband stars of “Xanadu,” Jessica Skerritt and Dane Stokinger, talk about their roles at arts. azcentral.com.