Schworer must have felt some schadenfreude when Huffman came down with the flu just as the first understudy was out of town. “In all those months, I did the show 6-point-5 times on Broadway.” (The “point-5” refers to a performance where Huffman started the show but was too ill to complete it.) Director Susan Stroman and Mel Brooks saw Schworer seize the role, and invited her to star in the touring production.
The tour took her right to her hometown, Cincinnati, where her performance, and Mel Brooks’ praises of it, vindicated her life to a skeptical family. “When they found out how much money I made, they got off my back,” she says.
“I always say, this will be the last show — what am I going to do to top this? I don’t know. There’s a part of me that’s happy to be healthy and alive, and still being able to do a backwalkover on the desk and settle into a split.”