Hey Broadway World readers! Happy Fall!
Fall is my favorite season hands down, but before we are filled to the brim with candy corn, apples, pumpkin lattes and (in my case) birthday cake (Oct 9th is my bday!) I figured I would take this entry to reflect on what an outrageously special and exciting summer it's been!
So right at the top of summer, on May 24th, I made my Broadway debut in "Nice Work if You Can Get It". It was a really special night to say the least. My parents, boyfriend, best friend, and her mom were all in the audience to share it with me. Luckily, Sully (Chris Sullivan who plays Duke in the show) snapped a shot of me minutes before the curtain went up. I look like a muppet in the picture, but I'm so glad to have that moment captured. It was a wonderful night filled with flowers, cards, hugs and joyful tears.
Moving along, June 10th was the TONY Awards. We found out Michael McGrath won Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for our show while we were being bussed to the Beacon Theater for our performance. We were screaming and jumping up and down the second someone shouted out the results. He stopped by the waiting area/tent to visit us with his new award before our performance. The performance went by so quickly I don't even remember much from it except for how incredibly thrilling it was. They piled us back on the bus directly after the performance, and as we were waiting to pull out, the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical category was being announced. The bus happened to be parked next to a bar with big front windows, and thankfully, they were watching the TONYs . We all sat glued to the bus windows, looking into the bar and saw Judy Kaye start walking up to the stage! Instantly we started cheering and pounding the windows of the bus! It was so exciting to see performances from the ground up, to work with those people everyday and think "Wow, that is absolutely brilliant" and then for them to be rewarded on that scale. Aside from being an absolutely electric night due to performances and wins, the TONYs felt so special because I felt such a strong feeling of community amongst all the performers. As we stood in the waiting area we mingled while cheering for other shows' performances and actors nominated for various categories. It felt like we were all on the same team, celebrating and sharing our art form.
Also in June, the cast spent some time at Kaufman Astoria Studios and recorded the cast album; Just another thing to add to my list of "firsts" this summer! I just have to say that the musicians that work on our show are absolutely astounding, and David Chase, our music supervisor, is a genius. They have all worked so hard to create an authentic 1920s sound while making those Gershwin tunes sound fresh and new at the same time. I remember listening to playback and tearing up. As a kid, my first exposure to Broadway shows was cast albums, and to be making one felt very full circle. Anyway it comes out September 25th! It's going to be glorious.
Skipping ahead to August 16th: because I understudy the amazing Kelli O'Hara, I was lucky enough to sing "Someone to Watch Over Me' at Broadway in Bryant Park. That was some exciting (and scary) stuff for sure. We did the sound check for about 200 people and I thought "cool, I got this" but later when I stepped on stage to sing for the real event I looked out to see over 1,000 people there! I was shaking in my boots (or summer wedges more like), but it really was a very fun experience and once again I was lucky to have my parents, boyfriend and friends there!
At the tail end of summer, our Kim Faure, who plays Dottie in the show, got hitched! To send her off properly we through a surprise shower in the girls' dressing room! We had an elaborate plan to get her into work early for the surprise. Our dance captain, Jason DePinto, called Kim early in the morning with news of a severely cut show and a rehearsal before the matinee to learn new choreography and changes. She bought it hook, line and sinker. She walked into the girls' dressing room to balloons, streamers, bagels, Levain Bakery cookies (yum) and most of the women in the company. We pulled it all off quite successfully if I do say so myself.
Show Biz people and events aside this summer was filled with time with my wonderful boyfriend, friends and family! My Best friend, Francesca, got married, my other best friend Julie Kotarides (an amazing musical theater performer) got engaged… some more friends got engaged, married, pregnant and had babies. I'm in that phase of life where every other day I get one of those announcements. It's all beautiful, exciting news! So in a nutshell that was my summer! I look forward to the fall being just as exciting! Cheers!