It’s been 12 years since Erin Dilly and Anne L. Nathan met during the out-of-town tryout of Thoroughly Modern Millie, but these two ladies have built a friendship for the ages…and one that’s perfect for our Broadway Besties feature! Now both gals are starring on Broadway—one block from each other, no less—portraying strong-willed mothers in two hit musicals. As Dilly lifts spirits in A Christmas Story, The Musical, and Nathan pulls double duty as actress and musician in Once, both heavenly performers found time to do what they do best: shop! Broadway.com photographer Jenny Anderson followed Dilly and Nathan as they checked off their Christmas lists at the shops at Columbus Circle.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of Erin and Anne!
How and when did you meet your BFF?
Erin: In the cast of the out-of-town tryout for Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Anne: La Jolla Playhouse—out-of-town tryout for Thoroughly Modern Millie.
What was your first impression of each other?
Erin: She cracked me up.
Anne: God I loved her—her ability to make everything funny and truthful in the room was staggering.
What was the moment you knew it was BFF material?
Erin: The minute I met her.
Anne: There was this strange thing that we came up with in the rehearsal room between Millie and Miss Flannery. In the film Big Business, there is a scene between Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin when they finally see their twins in the mirror. We found a way to sort of re-create that, and it was so terribly odd and insane—love at first sight.
Name three adjectives to describe your BFF.
Erin: Strong, loyal, real.
Anne: Compassionate, brave, joyful.
What do you call each other?
Erin: I call her Annie.
Anne: Erin…occasionally, just plain Dilly.
If you formed a band together, what would its name be?
Erin: Deal With It.
Anne: What Did I Eat.
What is the best gift your BFF ever got you?
Erin: We don’t give gifts. Too practical.
Anne: When I was having surgery, she came over to my apartment and brought me a huge pile of trashy magazines.
What should the title of your BFF’s memoir be?
Erin: I Just Can’t. It’s Too Hot.
Anne: How to Burn the Candle at All Ends and Still Look Fabulous.
If you could be in any show together, what would it be?
Erin: To make us laugh, Side Show.
Anne: A Flea In Her Ear. That would be amazing. Nothing that involves singing so we can drink lots of wine and scream and laugh.
What annoying habits do you find adorable in your BFF?
Erin: Her inability to lie about what she really feels.
Anne: Gosh… I swear, she just doesn’t have one—not kidding.
What trait do you admire most about each other?
Erin: Her inability to lie about what she really feels. And her crazy, stoic loyalty, always. She’s just there when I reach. Always.
Anne: Definitely how understanding and compassionate she is to…pretty much all humans…as well as dogs.
Who is your friend’s celebrity equivalent and why?
Erin: She’s her own celebrity. Anne Nathan.
Anne: She is a combo platter of Jennifer Aniston and Julie Andrews.
What about your BFF makes you jealous?
Erin: Her perfect skin and ability to sing her face off on any given day.
Anne: Her ridiculous body and her ability to make everything she does seem effortless and perfect.
I can always count on my BFF to…
Erin: Be there. And to tell me the truth. And then, to make me laugh!!!
Anne: Drop everything and be there in a pinch. And (side bar) help me with my audition sides. Nobody is wiser.
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