It has been more than 30 years since Broadway audiences last got to appreciate Tommy Tune, the beloved long, tall Texan, in “My One and Only.”
For that show, Tune won a Tony Award, one of nine for directing, choreographing or performing in such unpredictably original, exuberantly stylish hits as “Seesaw,” “Nine” and “Grand Hotel” from 1974 to 1991. He also received a lifetime achievement Tony last year.
Tune, still leading-man handsome and chorus-boy charming at 77, spoke recently about his future, the changing Broadway and his autobiographical showcase “Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales,” which he brings to Landmark on Main Street Friday.
Is this show the same delightful one you performed at Café Carlyle in Manhattan two years ago?
This is an expansion of that show. The arc of the book is the same. It’s still my story. I’ve added “Fascinating Rhythm” and “Little Jazz Bird,” the two Gershwin songs from “Lady Be Good.”
When you performed them last year at the Encores! revival at New York City Center, people were obviously so happy to see you in a theater for the first time in so long. Were you surprised?
It was surprising. And it felt so good to be up there, to be back onstage dancing with the chorus. That’s where I started, in the chorus.
Did the experience whet your appetite for doing a show again?
My appetite is always there. That is just a part of me — always has been since I was little. When friends came to my house, we didn’t play cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. They came to put on a show. We called it the Patio Revue. And, naturally, I was very bossy.
What has kept you from creating more Broadway shows?
I’ve lost my entire creative team over the years. . . . Also, people would rather produce a revival of . . . anything, than try out something new. But that’s not what I think I’m here for. My job is to come up with something original.
And Broadway has changed. We used to have one producer. Now you have a whole table full of producers and no one agrees with anyone else. It’s very disruptive to original ideas, which are fragile at the start, like a baby seed that you plant and water and grow into a show.
But I read that you have a new agent, someone who really wants a new Tommy Tune musical on Broadway. How is that going?
I had an amazing meeting with him and three very, very creative men who have been working on a piece for like seven years. I’m trying to figure out how to do something with it. And I have another piece I’ve been working on.
Can you talk about either project?
I can’t talk about them. You know when you have a brown paper bag full of sand? Somebody asks, “What’s in it?” You make a little pinhole in the bottom of the bag and the sand starts draining out. Before long, the bag’s empty. That’s what it’s like when you try to pitch an idea that’s just a flicker in your eye.