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Posts Tagged ‘“The Light In The Piazza”’

When three time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara sings, people listen! People listen so intently they are taken away from their daily lives to another world, a world of extraordinary talent, beauty and passion. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kelli after her triumphant opening night of her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” at Feinstein’s at the Regency (click here for my review).

From Oklahoma to New York City, Kelli O’Hara moved here to pursue her dream of becoming a performer and a performer she has become, in every sense of the word! Kelli made her Broadway debut in “Jekyll & Hyde” then going on to star in “Follies,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” and “Dracula.” Kelli earned her three Tony Award nominations in a row: her first nomination was for her performance in “The Light in the Piazza” co-starring Matthew Morrison, she received her second nomination for her performance in “The Pajama Game” co-starring Harry Connick Jr, and her third nomination was for her performance in “South Pacific,” co-starring Paulo Szot and Matthew Morrison.

In between “The Pajama Game” & “South Pacific,” Kelli made her Carnegie Hall debut in the NY Philharmonic production of “My Fair Lady” and released her debut album “Wonder in the World.” Kelli then went on to perform solo concerts at some of the biggest halls in New York and DC including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Cooper Union, Joe’s Pub, and Cafe Carlyle.

Off-Broadway and regionally, Kelli has been seen in “Sunday in the Park with George” (Reprise) “My Life With Albertine” (Playwright’s Horizons), and “Beauty” (La Jolla Playhouse). In addition to theatre, Kelli’s film and television credits include “The Dying Gaul,” “Alexander Hamilton,” “NUMB3RS,” “All My Children,” and the upcoming animated series “Car Talk.”

There are two chances now to catch Kelli live on stage: Now through October 30 at Feinstein’s at the Regency in her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” and then November 18-21 in “Bells Are Ringing” at Encores! For more on Kelli, be sure to visit http://www.kelliohara.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My voice teacher Florence Birdwell in Oklahoma. She’s pretty amazing. She was my mentor and inspired me to come here and do what I’m doing.

2. What’s the highest and lowest note you can sing? Well, I sang a high F above high C in “Magic Flute,” an opera. The lowest note I sing is probably F below middle C.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mmmm…Hugh Jackman because I almost have worked with him a few times and it just hasn’t worked out yet. I would also love to work with Megan Mullally.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I would be a teacher. I love teaching. I teach, but not full time, just when I can. What do you teach? I teach musical theatre master classes.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? No one’s me. So I’m the only one who can do things the way I do them.  So be proud of it and sell it.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Jogging.

7. Favorite skin care product? Clinique Exfoliating scrub.

8. Favorite store to shop in? Anthropology for sure.

9. Favorite website? Etsy.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My husband, Greg Naughton.

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can imitate people’s walks almost perfectly.

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There are many performers with talented and powerful voices, but then there are those with exceptional ones like Kelli O’Hara, a three-time Tony Award Nominee. When Kelli sings, a hush comes over the room so you can not only hear her pristine voice, but feel it throughout your soul and that is exactly how I felt while watching Kelli O’Hara sing at Feinstein’s at the Regency in NYC on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 in her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue.”

Singing some of the greatest songs written as well as new ones, Kelli knows how to hit each note with the perfect amount of energy, vocal power, and most of all heart! Grateful, personable, and delightful are just some of the ways to describe Kelli’s personality in between songs (and when I got to interview her after the show, which will be posting soon). She really has worked hard to get to where she is and deserves all the success she has had!

Her set list ranged from showtunes to standards to new music as well as taking songs written for men and singing them as if they were written for women.  “Somebody, Somewhere” by Frank Loesser, “The Beauty Is” by Adam Guettel from “The Light in the Piazza,” “This Nearly Was Mine” from “South Pacific,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” really showcased her high vocals to everyone’s delight! Kelli’s fun/comedic side was displayed perfectly during “Just In Time” (a beautiful song about finding your true love) by Jule Styne/Betty Comden & Aldoph Green, and “Opera Country” (a song about a country singer who wants to sing opera) by Dan Lipton/David Rossmer, and “You’re Always Here” written by Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey for Kelli in the style of a Stephen Sondheim song which she also sang as part of Sondheim’s 80th Birthday celebration. Other shining moments came when Kelli sang the Frank Sinatra hit “All The Way” by Jimmy Van Heusen/Sammy Cahn, “Finishing The Hat” by Stephen Sondheim, “Tomorrow Lies In The Cradle” by The Weavers, and “Somewhere” by Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim.

Kelli will be at Feinstein’s at the Regency until October 30! If you never seen Kelli O’Hara live, now would be a great time to go see her! Her voice will leave you wanting more…

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As a 2010 Sir John Gielgud Fellow finalist and 2010 Mark Ockrent Fellowship nominee, Troy Miller is a director on the rise. In his senior year of high school, everything clicked for Troy when he directed his senior class production of Neil Simon’s “Lost In Yonkers.” After high school and college, Troy decided to attend Trinity Rep Conservatory to earn his Masters of Fine Arts in Directing where he got to direct a production of Craig Lucas’ “The Dying Gaul” which prompted then Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis to introduce Troy to Lucas. Shortly after, Troy joined the artistic team for the Tony Award winning Lincoln Center Production of “The Light In The Piazza” working closely with Craig Lucas as his assistant.

Troy’s other directing credits include “Horatio” at the 2007 NYC Fringe Festival, “Noises Off” with Festival 56, “Blithe Spirit” at Barnstormers, assistant director to Marion McClinton on “Roar” at The New Group, “Postcards From A Dead Dog” and “Our Lady Of The Sea” at Emerging Artists. Currently, Troy is directing “Together This Time” in the New York City Fringe Festival. Playing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, showtimes are August 18 at 9:30pm, August 19 at 8:15pm, August 22 at 12pm, August 23 at 1pm, August 26 at 4:30pm. Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door. For much more on Troy and his happenings, be sure to visit http://www.troymiller.org.

1. Who inspired you to become a director? I don’t know if it was a person specifically, but the idea of telling a story was something that always appealed to me. The running joke in my family was after I saw a movie they could expect me directing the neighborhood production within a few hours starring the neighborhood kids. I loved acting and dancing but when I was directing there were no words to describe what I was feeling.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I would very much like to work with Jane Krakowski. I adored her on Alley McBeal, on stage and the few times I have had the opportunity to speak with her. I think she is immensely talented and seems like she would be amazingly fun to work with.

3. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? As odd as this may sound, it would be being in rehearsal with James Dean and a young Marlon Brando. I have always admired their work and their style as performers. The idea of having a conversation with the two of them about the craft, their life and everything in between would be amazing.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Trust. Trust the work that you have done. Trust that you have found the truth and let go.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Well, I can fold my legs into a pretzel without using my hands and walk on my knees.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Depends on the purpose. Sitting and talking? Then Starbucks with a Vanilla Latte. Just grab and go, much prefer Dunkin’ Donuts regular coffee.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? A combination of yoga and/or a long walk along the west side of Manhattan. Low impact.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs. (American Apparel)

9. Favorite website? My own of course! Seriously though, playbill.com and texts from last night.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? The Man of Steel!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite ride at an amusement park? Don’t know the name of any of them, but I really enjoy the ones that spin you around in every possible direction. Roller coasters are also right up there.

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? What’s a day off? I don’t believe I am familiar with that concept.

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