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Posts Tagged ‘“Bye Bye Birdie”’

Megan Reinking is another of Broadway’s rising performers who will be entertaining us for years to come! Along with the rest of the “The Tribe,” Megan shined brightly in “Hair” first at Shakespeare in the Park, then on Broadway, and then in London’s West End. Her other Broadway credits include “Lestat” and “Dracula the Musical.” She was also seen at City Center Encores! in “Bye, Bye Birdie” and performed to a sold-out crowd at Birdland in “On-Fire: Kate Pazakis and Megan Reinking.” Regionally, Megan has delighted audiences in “Lestat,” “Footloose,” and “The Three Musketeers.” On Television, Megan was seen in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” as “Annabelle.”

On February 13, Megan can be seen belting her beautiful vocals in “Spread The Love: The Songs of Rob Rokicki & Friends” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Ave) and this April, Megan will once again be seen on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s “The People In The Picture” at Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street between 7th & 8th Ave) along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Chip Zien, as well as Donna Murphy, Alexander Gemignani, Christopher Innvar, Nicole Parker, Rachel Resheff, Hal Robinson, Lewis J. Stadlen, Brad Bradley, Rachel Bress, Jeremy Davis, Emilee Dupre, Maya Goldman, Louis Hobson, Shannon Lewis, Jessica Lea Patty, Jeffrey Schecter, Paul Anthony Stewart, and Stuart Zagnit.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I am inspired by many people, but I don’t remember any one specific person inspiring me to perform. Maybe that’s not an answer you are looking for, but it’s true. The first play I ever saw was at the Paul Bunyan Theatre in Minnesota. It was ELEEMOSYNARY. I was transfixed and spent the whole vacation spelling things like the girl in the play does.

People, though: My parents. Debra Brooks, who taught my 4th grade music class and pulled me aside one day and asked if I’d like to take private lessons. John Ryal, my middle school choir director. My high school show choir, and everyone involved with that..and would take forever to name. Broadway Theatre Project, the faculty at the University of Michigan, Anthony Vincent Bova and Bob Krakower here in NY who changed my life as an actor, my agents that I was blessed to find when I moved here 7 years ago, my incredible friends, and most recently, my beautiful family in HAIR…they are some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met..and MUSIC. All kinds. Music inspires everything.

And film. Don’t get me started on film..

2. What’s the highest and lowest note you can sing? I’m always stretching myself, so I don’t like to define this. And it’s all circumstantial sometimes. My lowest note is lower if I’m sick or just woke up..ha. All I know is I can’t sing “I’m Not That Girl” from WICKED.. Highest…in legit soprano, usually a high C or D if it’s a good day…belting or mixing, in the F/G range.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? You. 🙂 Seriously, one person? There are countless.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I’d probably teach history. Or write fiction. I may still do those things yet in life 🙂

5. Do you have any rituals that you  must do before a show? How do you decompress after a show? I used to listen to “Peace Frog” by The Doors. It got me excited. I don’t know when I stopped doing that. Now I like to listen to Bach. But right before going on stage is usually when I do last minute stretching or review lines that tie me up sometimes..so I’m not thinking about it on stage. Afterward, an occasional drink with friends, but I usually head home and watch whatever television I DVR’d during the show or write. I know…I’m an old lady at heart..

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? I’ve actually just started getting really serious about this. I get to the gym 5-6 times a week for 60-90 minute sessions, but I really try to mix up what I do there so I don’t get bored – and it’s good for your body to not get stuck always doing the same thing. If it’s a cardio day, I’ll stay on one machine if I’m in a zone…usually an elliptical or the treadmill. If I’m having an ADD day I will divide my cardio time between the two machines, and sometimes a stationary bike. The rest of my time there I focus on a different body-area with weight training or pilates. I do make myself take a day or two to rest each week, though. I think that is just as important. I also try to fit in a pilates class during the week if I can. I really want to add Bikram Yoga to what I’m doing…but I’m still a little intimidated by that. I’ll get over it soon, I’m sure.

7. Favorite skin care product? L’Occitane – Fresh Face Water, Ultra Comforting Mask, and Gentle Face Buff.

8. Favorite store to shop in? Barnes & Noble/Borders, Bed Bath & Beyond, Victoria’s Secret, and…once upon a time…Virgin Megastore. They had an excellent variety of music t-shirts. I get most of my summer dresses at this place called Backwoods on 57th between 8th & 9th…great inexpensive dresses. Also, for boots…I love The Rose. Also on 57th.

9. Favorite website? www.loc.gov. Yes, that’s the Library of Congress. They have amazing digital collections..I’m a nerd.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Why do I only have options from DC Comics? I was always a Marvel girl.. 🙂 My favorite was always Phoenix. The Phoenix Saga was the best..until they ruined it in the X-Men 3 movie. Or Rogue. I loved Rogue, too.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Professional: The casting directors don’t necessarily know what they are looking for. I was told by a director I worked with that the second I walked through the door, he sat up and said…”That’s what I want. If she can sing, she’s got the job…” It was that simple. It has taken the pressure of auditioning away for me since hearing that, and left me more able to just do my work. Personal: “In the absence of information, never create a negative scenario.”

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? That no one knows about? No. If I have a cool unusual talent, I’m sharing it with everyone. I do this thing people call the “doll eye”. I can close either eye without moving another muscle in my face. It’s a little creepy, but OH so fun to do to people on stage sometimes 🙂

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Chita Rivera is a living legend and I’m thrilled and honored to have her as part of “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to see Chita on Broadway in “Nine” and “Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life.”  Both experiences were special for different reasons. “Nine” was my very first time getting to see Chita live on stage and “Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life” allowed me to really learn about her life, which I found thrilling. I feel very fortunate to now have the opportunity to interview the one and only Chita Rivera!

An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received seven additional Tony nominations. She recently starred in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC in December, 2002, and is the first Hispanic ever chosen to receive this award.

On October 13, 2009, Chita released a new solo studio CD entitled AND NOW I SWING (Yellow Sound label), which pays homage to her stage legacy while also displaying her passion for jazz. From classic theater songs to jazz standards, all tracks featured on this new album have received new arrangements recorded by New York’s finest musicians, reimagining some of Chita’s favorite tunes.

This past Spring, Chita recreated her starring role in The Visit, the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, which originally premiered at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago in 2001. Her more recent stage appearances include starring roles in the revival of the musical Nine with Antonio Banderas on Broadway; The House of Bernarda Alba at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; Venecia, a new Argentinean play directed by Arthur Laurents at the George Street Playhouse; Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes at Paper Mill Playhouse. She also starred in the London, Las Vegas and Toronto productions of Chicago-The Musical.

For her starring role in Kiss of the Spider Woman on Broadway, Chita received the 1993 Tony Award as Best Leading Actress in a Musical, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Achievement as an Actress in a Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Actress in a Musical, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and The Astaire Award honoring outstanding achievement in Broadway Dance. Chita first played the role of the Spider Woman in the Toronto production of the show in 1992, receiving unanimous acclaim.  She then repeated her triumph in the fall of 1992 in the London production of Spider Woman, which won The Evening Standard Award as Best Musical of the Year. This was followed by the Broadway and touring productions.

Chita’s performing aspirations began with ballet training at the age of 11 in her native Washington, DC. Five years later, Chita moved to New York, where she auditioned for legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Balanchine of course recognized Chita’s talent and gave her a scholarship to the American School of Ballet, where she began taking classes at the same time as the dancers Edward Villella, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent and Maria Tallchief.

As an aspiring 17 year-old ballerina, Chita decided to accompany a friend to an audition for the chorus of Call Me Madam. Although she had no serious intention of pursuing a part in the show, Chita was cast as a principal dancer, and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. The ballet world’s loss was Broadway’s gain — a future legend’s theater career was born.

After completing a cross-country tour of Call Me Madam, Chita returned to New York to replace Onna White as a principal dancer in Guys and Dolls. Following Guys and Dolls, Chita joined the cast of the original Broadway company of Can-Can, in which her future co-star, Gwen Verdon, first achieved stardom.

Chita then went Off-Broadway to prove that she could do more than dance, doing so to great acclaim with her amazing performance in Ben Bagley’s Shoestring Revue, in which she did the very first Marilyn Monroe impersonation. Her co-stars in The Shoestring Revue included Beatrice Arthur and Arte Johnson.

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan

Chita then returned to Broadway as a featured performer in Seventh Heaven, choreographed by Peter Gennaro; and Mr. Wonderful, starring Sammy Davis, Jr.

But it was not until September 26, 1957 that Chita made the transition from accomplished Broadway performer to a toast of the town Broadway star with her electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story. Chita then took some time off for the birth of her daughter, Lisa. Chita had met and married Lisa’s father, dancer Tony Mordente, during the run of West Side Story.

Chita then went on to star in the London production of West Side Story, which had been postponed until Chita was ready to perform after Lisa’s birth. Chita’s New York success was repeated in London, and she stayed with the show there for a year. She then returned to Broadway to star as Rosie with Dick Van Dyke in the new musical, Bye Bye Birdie, in which she led the show-stopping number “Shriner’s Ballet.” Her rousing performance earned a Tony nomination as Best Actress. Chita then reprised her role in the London production of Bye Bye Birdie at Her Majesty’s Theatre, where she first achieved London stardom in West Side Story.

Back in the US, her triumphant performance as Jenny in the national tour of The Threepenny Opera, was soon followed by the title role in the national tour of Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity. Chita was also cast in the film version of Sweet Charity, in which she played Nicky opposite Shirley MacLaine. During the filming of Sweet Charity, Chita fell in love with Los Angeles and decided to make it her home for the next seven years.

But touring theatre successes often took her from home. She played Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday and Serafina in The Rose Tattoo; she toured opposite John Raitt in Zorba; and she extended her range in such productions as Kiss Me Kate, opposite Hal Linden,  Jacques Brel.…, and Oliver Hailey’s Father’s Day. All of these productions and other projects had kept Chita away from Broadway for eight years, far too long according to her friends and colleagues Fred Ebb, John Kander, and Bob Fosse. So they lured Chita back to New York to star as Velma Kelly, opposite Gwen Verdon, in their new musical, Chicago.

Photo by Walter McBride

But as soon as she arrived in New York, Chita discovered that Chicago‘s rehearsals had been postponed because director/choreographer Fosse was ill. It was then that Fred Ebb, who had written a highly-successful nightclub act for  Chita in the 60’s, went to work on another for her until Fosse recovered. She opened to rave reviews and capacity crowds.

Chicago opened to glorious reviews and Chita and Gwen Verdon were the toast of Broadway (1975). Both received Tony nominations as Best Actress. During the run of Chicago, Chita co-starred with Liza Minnelli for the first time, when Ms. Minnelli subbed for five weeks for an ailing Gwen Verdon.

Chita’s fourth and fifth Tony nominations as Best Actress came in the early 80’s with her performances opposite Donald O’Connor in Bring Back Birdie and then as the Evil Queen in Merlin, opposite Doug Henning. But it was not until 1984, when she re-united with Liza Minnelli in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s new musical, The Rink, that Chita finally won her Tony as Best Actress, along with the Drama Desk Award. Chita returned to Broadway again shortly after The Rink in Jerry’s Girls, co-starring with Leslie Uggams and Dorothy Loudon. In 1988, Chita toured the country (and Japan) in Can-Can, co-starring the Radio City Musical Hall Rockettes. In 2003 she received her sixth Tony nomination for Nine.

Chita’s critically-acclaimed concert dates continued to play to ovations from packed houses around the world in such cities as New York, London, Monte Carlo, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Toronto, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Cannes, Chicago and San Juan among many others.

Chita has been seen regularly on television, beginning with early appearances on every major show emanating from New York including Dinah Shore, Garry Moore, Judy Garland, Carol Burnett and Ed Sullivan. Other television credits include Will & Grace, Pippin (Showtime), Kennedy Center Tonight, Broadway Plays Washington, her own Chita Plus Three (HBO), The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Live From Wolftrap. Chita is also particularly proud of her participation in the National Theater of the Deaf’s presentation of The Road to Cordoba.

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan

Chita, who now lives in Westchester County, New York, names her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer, Lisa Mordente, as her most treasured production.

On Thursday, February 17, you can catch Chita live on stage in a special edition of “Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” at Town Hall in New York City (123 West 43rd Street) as a special benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS along with Christopher Sieber, Sally Mayes, Marilyn Maye, YouTube sensation “Miranda Sings,” jazz singer Hilary Kole, R&B tenor William Blake, jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein, Natalie Douglas, Klea Blackhurst, acrobat and comedian Rudi Macaggi, and the Dueling Fiddlers. For tickets, click here!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My mother Katherine.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Carlos Santana.

3. What do you get from performing in a concert that you don’t get from performing in a Broadway show? A more personal intimate relationship with the audience.

4. What’s your proudest moment? Receiving the Presidential Medal Of Freedom from President Barrack Obama, it was thrilling just to meet them.

5. Was there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what career would you have chosen? No, but if so, working with children around the world.

6. Favorite place to rehearse/practice for a show/concert on your own? Ripley Greer, 35th and 8th Ave.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Take class, and exercise with a fellow dancer.

8. Favorite skin care product? Leaf and Rusher skin care.

9. Favorite website? Don’t use a computer.

10.What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? ” Stay in your own lane, focus and enjoy your work, given by my dearest friend Fred Ebb.

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Stage presence, comedic timing, and a smile to light up the room, Amy Rutberg is a performer to go see! From television to film to theatre, Amy has conquered them all!

She has delighted theatre audiences in New York as well as regionally throughout the US. NY credits include “Perfect Harmony,” “The Jazz Age,” “Our Leading Lady,” “Ostrovsky,” “The Civil War,” “The Night They Raided Minsky’s,” “Bat Boy The Musical,” “The Grave White Way,” and the current Off-Broadway smash hit “The Divine Sister” (click here for my review). Regionally, Amy has lit up the stage in “Dracula,” “Dracula The Musical,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Man of La Mancha,” “My Fair Lady,” “Porkbroker’s Daughter,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “The Pajama Game,” “Into The Woods,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Lysistrata,” “Evita,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Two Gentleman of Verona,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”

In Film and Television, Amy has been seen in HBO’s “Recount,” “Inside Out,” “Camp Summer Stage,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Unusuals,” “As The World Turns,” “Everwood,” “Broken Record,” “Pacific Blue,” “Fourteenth,” and “Emma & Lorraine.”

Amy’s comedic strengths have been showcased in “Gravid Water” with Upright Citizen’s Brigade and “Don’t Quit Your Night Job” at HA! Comedy club and are currently being featured in Charles Busch’s “The Divine Sister” at the SoHo Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street, between Varick Street & 6th Ave), where she is making audiences laugh out loud hysterically 8 times a week!

For much more on Amy, be sure to visit http://www.amyrutberg.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? There was never a moment when I thought “I want to be a performer” I just WAS a performer. I had no fear as a child. If there was anything that resembled a stage in my proximity I was climbing onto it and singing. I would come home from school and tell my mother that I had a class assignment where I was supposed to dress up as a character from a book. She knew this wasn’t true but would indulge in my fantasy. She would help me put together a costume and then I would come to class dressed up as “Romona the Pest” and insist on singing “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles in front of everyone…dressed as Romona the Pest. I think everyone else knew I would be a performer way before I did. I was lucky to have encouraging parents and teachers. Well, maybe not always encouraging but at least tolerant.

2. Who is the one  person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with some more fabulous theatre directors like Jack O’Brien or David Cromer. I love their work.

3. What is your most embarrassing on-stage moment? This is an easy one! I did a play called “Perfect Harmony” Off-Broadway last year and I accidentally called an actress by her real name in a scene. That was humiliating. Not sure anyone noticed but she sure did!

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Running a Hedge Fund.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Better to Loose the battle and win the war” and “Look at your career as a marathon not a race.” They probably came from the same person.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I have a big time sweet tooth and I love coffee, so both make me happy. Not crazy about the donuts at Dunkin. I’m from Southern California. Nothing beats a Winchell’s donut. I like that banana coffee cake thing at Starbucks.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Oy. I like the classes at “Crunch,” it’s motivating. I also like biking. Anything to avoid cutting out sweets.

8. Favorite skin care product? Kihels “Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid.” It’s so refreshing after I take of the lbs of makeup I wear for “Divine Sister.” I have a fab dermatologist Dr. Geyer. He gives me free samples and laughs at my jokes. I love him!!

9. Favorite website? www.travelandleisure.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Charles Busch.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Dr. Geyer- I mean, um.. world peace!

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’m really good at brain teasers and games of skill like card games. Backstage I’m often playing word games with my brother on my iphone between scenes.  Also, I once discovered I have an unusual affinity to Bocce ball. Wonder how that can be monetized? I love to gamble. Acting is really the perfect profession for me.


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On Saturday, November 27, 2010, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing cellist Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf, direct from the pit of “A Little Night Music.” What makes this interview so special to me is that I’ve known Mairi since I was 15, when we met at Buck’s Rock Camp in New Milford, CT, at which time her kindness and friendship meant a lot to a boy trying to find his way. It was quite exciting for me when we reconnected in 2002 as I saw her exit the stage door at “The Boy From Oz.” And now to be able add this kind of dynamic to our friendship is a real treat for me. Mairi has been a fixture in Broadway orchestra pits since her debut in “The Boy From Oz.” She has played in the orchestra pits of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “LoveMusik,” “Sunday In The Park With George,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and currently “A Little Night Music” which is running through January 9 at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street, between Broadway & 8th Ave).

On Sunday, December 19 at 8:30pm at Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Corneila Street, Greenwich Village, NYC) you can catch Mairi playing cello in “Joni and Johannes” (the music of Joni Mitchell and Johannes Brahms) along with Simon Mulligan on piano, and Randy Landau on bass with special guest vocalists Jessica Molaskey (“A Man of No Importance,” “Parade,” “Tommy,” “Crazy For You,” “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” “Sunday In The Park With George,” etc) and Mary Beth Peil (“The Good Wife,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Nine,” “Sunday In The Park With George,” “Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”). For just $15 + one drink minimum, you will get a real opportunity to see accomplished musicians and performers live up close and personal! For reservations call 212-989-9319.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a cellist? It was my cello teacher in high school, Nancy Green, who I also went on to study with in college. I went to a music boarding high school, so I was away from home and lonely, and her style of teaching was so expressive. She taught us about the connection to every note, the vibrato, the tone, what you were trying to say, what the emotion was, what part of your body the note came from – were you trying to sound like an alto voice or a tenor? With all the different types of tones and voices, I often came up with a storyline to go with what I was playing. Discovering what I could do by holding one note on the cello was exciting, and cathartic. I often think about that time in my life when I play “Miller’s Son” here at “A Little Night Music” because that first “B” that you hold for a long time is like yeah, this is what I dug about cello when I was fifteen. I moved to the US for graduate school and had another phenomenal teacher, Judith Glyde, who gave me the confidence to go out and actually work. Then I started playing shows and it all made sense…that emotional story telling feel.

There’s a masterclass of Sondheim teaching “Later” that was filmed at my undergraduate school (some time in the 80s, I think). It’s odd to know that so many years after being there, I’d be trying to express the quality he’s talking to the singer about in “Later” and I’d be trying to bring that to “A Little Night Music.”

1a. What was your first Broadway show that you played here in NYC? “The Boy From Oz” although I moved here to play “The Last Five Years,” which I had played first in Chicago. Me: I had no idea that you played that show, I saw it quite a few times, but it was “Boy From Oz” that I saw you at the stage door and we reconnected. Mairi: Yeah, it’s an amazing community that we are in because we see each other again and again, even though it’s nerve-racking when the shows keep closing… but the energy keeps going!

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Joni Mitchell, although even saying her name makes me a little breathless so I couldn’t imagine working with her! But that would be incredible. Me: You never know…whenever I ask this question I always put the person’s name in the tag so you never know who from Joni’s team might see this. Mairi: During that time in undergrad it was the music of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Sting that I listened to when I wasn’t practicing. It was such an aggressively competitive classical environment, that I spent my downtime listening to their music. I actually worked with Sting recently and got to tell him that without “Soul Cages” I don’t know that I would be a musician.

3. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? That’s hard because I really like this. I guess I’ve thought about law every now and then. I was in graduate school for a really, really, really long time and at some point in that process I realized I could have gotten a law degree…hahaha.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? So much…There was a line in “Cast Away,” which I thought was in the movie, “You never know what the tide is going to wash up tomorrow,” although I’m not sure he ever actually said that! The idea is that you’ve just got to have faith that something good is going to wash up tomorrow. This gig, “A Little Night Music” is a spectacular job and it’s hard not to get depressed that we have only 6 more weeks – to believe that there will be something just as great. You see where we are and how much space we have. It’s such an incredible environment, not to mention playing for Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch every day. I have a little TV screen on my stand so that I can follow Hunter (Ryan Herdlicka) when he’s playing the cello on stage. Plus it’s run for over a year and I’ve never had a show run that long. You just gotta hope that there will be something else!

5. What’s your proudest moment? Anytime I get to play with my husband. He’s a saxophone doubler. Me: Have you ever played a job together? Mairi: Yeah, he’s played here at “Night Music”. We haven’t had a show together, but we’ve played shows together when one of us has been subbing. Outside of shows, we’ve done various gigs together. It’s fun, ’cause he works in the ‘other side’ of the orchestra (reeds/brass), so I’ve gotten to know a lot of those guys through him.

6. Favorite place to rehearse on your own? Somewhere that is cushiony with carpeting and tons of pillows. Anything that soaks up the sounds so I can hear everything, so when I go and play, I won’t be surprised by any little sound. To be honest I don’t like to practice. It’s a necessary evil. There are some people who want to practice every day, but I never felt that way.

7. Favorite way to spend your day off? At home, sleeping, watching TV, knitting, eating, and hanging with my husband.

8. Favorite skin care product? Cetaphil and Shea Butter (in the winter). I sadly don’t use any of those fancy skin care items.

9. Favorite website? Facebook. I’m hooked on it. At this point I have friends all over the world and it’s pretty cool to be able to keep in touch with them so easily and see what they are up to.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman of course!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can be an archer (you know with a bow and arrow). Me: Like Geena Davis. Mairi: Sure, but I don’t know that I have her strength. Those bows are heavy and super tension-filled, and my elbow sticks out a bit so it’s tricky when the string comes back after you release the arrow…

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Dreaming at all would be great. Last night I watched the PBS Sondheim Gala before I went to sleep and oh my gosh, they had those six incredible women come on stage in those stunning bright red gowns: Elaine Stritch, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, etc. One after another they stood up and sang and after watching that special I was wide awake until 5:30am. I’m looking at 2 shows today on 4 hours of sleep…haha

13. When one of the cast members are out during a show, how does that affect you as a musician in the show? It depends. Sometimes if there’s a different key, we’ll pull out a different part depending on their range, but as to the timing, it’s all up to the conductor because they are the ones leading and making those choices. The great thing about this show, particularly with Elaine Stritch, is that you get a different theatrical performance each time and I love that.

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Bridie Carroll is an award winning performer to be heard! She can belt the roof off a building and has the personality and stage presence to keep you captivated! Bridie has traveled the country regionally in North Shore Music Theatre’s “Disney’s High School Musical” and “Hairspray” (for which she won the Irne Award), Arundel Barn Playhouse’s “I Love A Piano,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “42nd Street,” The Boston Conservatory’s “City of Angels” and “The Rivals,” New London Barn Playhouse’s “The Music Man,” “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” “A Chorus Line,” “Annie,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers,” Aurora Theater’s “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Godspell,” Mercyhurst College’s “The Apple Tree,” “Assassins,” and “The Fantastics,” and Conventry Conservatory’s “Anything Goes” and “Oklahoma.” Bridie has also been a soloist with the Boston Pops and currently she can been seen in the First National Tour of “Grease” as “Jan” alongside American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks through May 23. For more on Bridie, be sure to visit www.bridiecarroll.com!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Every musical I listened to as a little girl! I never really knew who anyone was I was just attracted to the music and the lyrics! I lived in Hong Kong so wasn’t around to know who and what was popular. It was just the thrill of performing! Today it’s Audra McDonald, Marin Maize, Christiane Noll, Lisa Howard, Laura Osnes, Lauren Kennedy, Christine Ebersole, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Quentin Earl Darrington, Brad Bass, Adam Armstrong, Jon Gealt, Ben Roseberry, Alice Ripley, Debra Monk, Bernadette Peters, lets be honest my list could go on and on and on.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I think a low E flat to a high E flat… but not sure it sounds good! Currently I sing to a high E flat in the show.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Just my silly Minnesotan accent, which I think everyone knows about 🙂

4. What is the best advice you’ve given, but not taken for yourself? Oh gosh…well if you ask my friends I give a lot of advice! And I should practice what I preach! We all deserve the best and to be patient because everyone has their own journey in life. Everyone’s individual path is unique and special and we should stay focused on our own journey and not wish we were on someone else’s.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Well it used to be Starbucks! But I am no longer allowed coffee or caffeine! So I am now a tea drinker, and I love TeaVana!

6. Books or Magazines? Books.

7. Favorite TV Show? Currently…..LOST and The Biggest Loser.

8. Favorite play/musical? “Follies,” “Man of LaMancha,” “Aida,” The Deaf West Theater’s production of “Big River!,” “August: Osage County.”

9. Favorite website? Facebook.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? um…..the perfect man? Whoever that is? Does that even exist….maybe just in my dreams!

12. Who do you consider to be your hero? My parents.

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Justin Stein is one of our next generation performers to keep your eye on! At 19, he has already released his debut album “Justin Stein” and has opened for some of the biggest names in music today such as Corbin Bleu, Jesse McCartney, Jordin Sparks, and Raven-Symone. In addition to music, Justin is an actor on the rise…he’s was in the New York Philharmonic’s production of “Camelot” with Gabriel Byrne, Christopher Lloyd, and Fran Drescher, starred with Tony Award Winner Patti LuPone in the Ravinia Festival’s production of “Gypsy” as well Porchlight Theatre’s production of “The Secret Garden,” and The Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire’s production of “Bye, Bye Birdie.” Most recently, Justin starred in fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” parrticipant Bobby Cronin’s industry reading of “The Beaten Path.” For more on Justin be sure to visit: http://www.justinstein.com

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Hmn, im not exactly sure… It has always just been a part of me. My mom brought me up on show tunes and i actually attended phantom of the opera in my moms stomach… so i guess it started then? haha. I have just always loved performing.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Highest, belt… B on a good day… C on a crazy good day. Im a Bari/tenor.

3. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best experience: To be honest, i have loved working on The Beaten Path. It has been an amazing experience to create the character of Cody and watch how the character i created influences the script throughout the process of rewriting. I hope i am given opportunities to originate characters in the future. I have also enjoyed working with Patti Lupone and Lonny Price on Gypsy. Watching them work was truly a learning experience. Worst experience: When i was younger I went to a theatre/arts camp and was cast as Joe in Damn Yankees. I had just turned nine and had no idea what i was doing… Basically, i didnt learn my lines in time and because of me they had to turn the show into a musical review. I felt terrible. But it taught me never to be unprepared cause you will disappoint a lot of people… including yourself.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can do the wave with my eyebrows.

5. Who do you consider to be your hero? My parents… Especially my mom. I was a handful as a kid, haha!

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? eating healthy… although im eating a crumbs cupcake as i write this.. so… so much for that! 🙂 i try to go to the gym but seem to have a difficult time dragging myself there….

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.

8. Favorite play/musical? Play: “Augst Osage County”…hands down. Musical: Proabably “Les Miserables.”

9. Favorite website? Hulu.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman..cause he can do basically everything.

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Actor, director, and playwright, Jeff Seabaugh, travels across many aspects of theatre. Acting since the 2nd grade, Jeff has starred in such productions as “Oliver!,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Enrico IV,” “The Cenci,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and most recently “The Producers.” He is one of the founders of the Off-Off-Broadway theatre company Native Aliens Theatre Collective in which Jeff both performed and directed many of their productions as well as wrote his first play as a playwright, “In My Dreams.” His performing credits with Native Aliens include: “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Ticket to Ride,” “Harvey Milk Holiday Pageant,” “Butch It Up!,” “Butch It Up: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” “Butch It Up: Behind Bars,” and “Young Stowaways in Space” while his directing credits include: “In My Dreams,” “Swing Out Bernadette,” “Furious,” “Civilized,” “A Loss of Color,” “Vieux Carre,” “Vessels,” “My Father’s Son,” “Songs from the Third Floor,” and “Pillow Talk.” He has also directed several productions at the Hackmatack Playhouse in Berwick, Maine including: “All Shook Up,” “Oliver!,” “Seussical,” “The Music Man,” and “Bye Bye Birdie.” Jeff’s most recent play “How to Make An American Family” was featured in the 2009 Midtown International Theatre Festvial, starring Jeff. For more on Jeff, be sure to check out his website: http://www.jeffseabaugh.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Carol Burnett.

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a performer? I was in a school play in 2nd grade and I knew I had the bug! I was “the ringmaster” at a Circus.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I like to flare my nostrils to the beat of a good song.

4. What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you? Say your words loud and don’t fall off the stage. -Josie Helming, Professor, The University of Memphis

5. Who do you consider to be your hero? My partner, Randy.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Bavarian Creme Donut and oh, maybe a medium coffee with H/H & sugar.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

8. Favorite website? http://www.huffingtonpost.com.

9. Books or magazines? Both.

10. “Ellen” or “Seinfeld”? Ellen.

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