INTERVIEW WITH…………………………………….RONNIE MARMO
What made you tell Bruce’s story?
I’ve always been fascinated by Lenny Bruce and his story. I was introduced to him through the works of other people. I became obsessed and dove head first into researching this incredible man who suddenly became such a huge part of my life. Through researching him I found that most people who tell his story leave out crucial elements. I wanted to tell the WHOLE story of Lenny. The good, the bad and everything in between. I feel like in this play, we did that.
Did you find anything surprising in your research?
The most surprising thing I found was how much we have in common. Our love for our mothers. Getting full custody of our daughters at the same age. Battling addiction. But the difference is, I’m winning that battle and Lenny, sadly, did not. That’s just to name a few.
How would you define Lenny Bruce the comedian and the man?
I think Lenny was the first person to tell the truth on stage. The first person to not have a set routine. He didn’t get on stage with a bunch of memorized jokes set on making people laugh. Instead he talked about his family, his life, his wife. Sometimes he was funny and sometimes we wasn’t. But what he was, was telling the truth. And the best part about this question is, there wasn’t a difference between the comedian and the man. He was the same person on-stage as he was off.
Why do you think his story is relevant today?
Lenny Bruce is relevant today because our country is in the toilet and we need a voice of reason. Most people are afraid to speak up and tell the truth, to make observations and have their own thoughts. Lenny would shake things up. He would have you look at all of the hypocrisy around us. He would pick them apart until we saw all sides of everything. He told it like it was, he didn’t fit into anyone’s box and he spoke truthfully regardless of the consequences.
If he were alive, what would you ask him?
Nothing. I would just sit with him for a while and see what happens.