Marla Maples may be best known as the ex-wife of celebrity businessman Donald Trump, but she is also a Broadway vet, having appeared in the hit musical The Will Rogers Follies. After spending more than a decade in Los Angeles raising daughter Tiffany Trump, Maples has returned to the New York stage as a summer cast member in off-Broadway's fashion-centric hit, Love Loss and What I Wore. Broadway.com recently caught up with the Georgia native to chat about her return to the theater, her budding music career and her soon-to-be life as an empty-nester as Tiffany preps for college.
Welcome back to the New York stage. How’s the show going?
I’m loving it so much. It’s just like heaven being back in the Broadway community. I’ve missed it so much.
Did you have any fashion memories of your own to contribute to the show?
I had a favorite pair of cut-off faded denim shorts from my junior year in high school that were given to me by one of my very first boyfriends. I kept them until I was painting the house I have in Los Angeles. I have pictures of me outside in the same shorts, doing some touch-ups on my garage. Years later I looked at those shorts and said, "Are those really happy memories?" He was a little bit of an abusive boyfriend. I decided you know what? You might like those shorts, but let’s not hold on to anything negative in your life. Let it go! So those shorts are on someone else’s hiney now.
You looked very glamorous at the show’s opening night.
Well, you do what the role calls for [laughs]. I’m actually a bit of a tomboy. I’m more comfortable in a pair of cowboy boots, and I live most of my life very casually. I come from a small town in Georgia and was always the kid playing every sport, so I love being comfortable more than anything. You’ll see me running around the city in tank tops and cargo pants and fun, comfy shoes so I can walk and never have to think about grabbing a cab.
Are you enjoying being back in New York?
My daughter [Tiffany Trump] is with me, and she’s going to be interning at Vogue. We’re both getting back into the workplace now. She’s 17, so this is going to be a real adventure for her. I’m so excited for her.
I saw on your Twitter page that she recently attended her first prom.
It was so much fun. Boy, do they dress up! I’ve been prepping myself for five years for when she goes off to college, so every one of these steps is huge in the discovery of how we both are going to live without each other...especially me without her! She has one more year left at home, so this show and being in New York is really a part of me working to let her go off on her own.
How’s her college search going?
It’s an adventure. Truthfully, it makes me want to go back so bad, I can't see straight [laughs]. That’s totally weird, though—the mom and daughter have to separate! She’s having such a good time in New York and misses being on the east coast, so that’s the way we’re leaning now.
Do you have any summer plans of your own?
I just finished up an album called Vision of Eternity with different spiritual teachers like Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama, so my other line of business is to look for a distributor and how to market it. I love just writing music, putting it in a form people can meditate and dance to and help raise their consciousness at the same time.
What was your inspiration for the album?
It just came naturally. I meditate a lot and always try to tap into something bigger than our physical selves, and in doing so, ideas start flowing through. I was introduced to a fantastic composer, we just started playing, and the next thing we knew we had 10 songs and shot a music video. I was born very spiritual, always wanting to know more about what life is all about and how people connect to God. I think we need to be very fluid with our ideas. Sometimes they’re not ours and come from a higher place, so they’re meant to be shared. Songwriting is such a great way to do that.
Your ex-husband has had huge success with TV’s The Apprentice. Is reality TV something you would ever consider?
I’ve been asked constantly since the onset of reality TV shows, but I really want to work as an actor. Being back in New York makes that even more clear. I love the creative arts, and I want to be able to express myself through those mediums. The industry has changed so much, though, so if there was an opportunity that felt in sync with my passions, I might have to say yes. So far I haven’t.