“I just started pounding the pavement,” she said.
Now that she has earned Tony nominations for starring roles in “The Will Rogers Follies,” “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public” and “Footloose,” Hoty admits that her hard work has paid off.
She has also starred on Broadway and in eight major U.S. cities in “Mamma Mia,” and most recently appeared in a revival of “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.
“I’ve made a living in the theater,” she said. “It’s a minor miracle.”
But none of it has been easy, and she has no illusions that things could have turned out differently.
“I always thought you could have it all,” Hoty said. “But I was never sure you could have it all at the same time. It’s a hard balance.”
Hoty thinks the theater world is even more competitive now than in the 1970s, and tougher on young people trying to make a career.
“I think they are so much better prepared than we were,” she said. “There’s some wonderful talent out there, but just being good isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to work. There are plenty of talented people answering phones and waiting tables.”
“The business has changed,” she continued. “People don’t just go to the theater anymore; there are so many choices for your entertainment dollar.”
Hoty thinks the version of “9 to 5” at North Shore Music Theatre, which she first toured with in 2010, is better than the one that first appeared on Broadway.
“In the Broadway show, my sense was they were more literally trying to put the movie onstage,” she said. “They had the money and the hydraulics. There was too much going on.”
The touring version stripped the excesses out of the production, in terms of both the play and the props, and in doing so allowed the show’s message to shine.