Welcome to THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As With Your Favorite Broadway Stars. Want to know what hooked them to a career in the theater? Their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Read on!
In this week's edition, we caught up with Clarke Thorell, who is starring as 'Rooster Hannigan' in Annie- currently playing at the Palace Theatre.
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
Well, I saw the 1st national tours of ANNIE & A CHORUS LINE (sitting on The Edge of my seat thinking, "I don't know how but I want to do SOMETHING like that"). Then I saw my best friend in the LA company of EVITA - we were 12 years old - it was hugely inspiring & was the first time that I fully realized the power of communicating a story in this truly unique way. The first actual Broadway show I saw was SOPHISTICATED LADIES at the Lunt-Fontanne -- I was totally blown away by the Ellington score & SICK talent & showmanship of Gregory Hines & Hinton Battle.
What is your most unique pre-show ritual?
At some point before every show, after the half-hour call, I sit on the stage for a few minutes & just listen to the audience. And I always try to work some yodeling into my vocal warm up.
What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?
During the "invited dress" performance of HAIRSPRAY in my first scene with the Councilettes, on "The Corny Collins Show", the chord on my handheld microphone fell off & plopped onto the podium. It was just a prop but I had to act as though it had been really amplifying my voice so I kept moving my mouth as though I were continuing to speak to the "TV Audience" but didn't make any noise - I kept my eyes on the "TV camera", fumbled around with my hand, found the end of the chord, reattached it to the microphone & continued talking again, with sound. It was one of those reactions that was completely instinctual (even though I left my body for a sec) & normally it wouldn't have been acknowledged by the audience that strongly, if at all - but because the audience was made up of industry friends & family the response was crazy deafening.
What is the one role you want to play before you die?
Oof -- Either Wesley or Inigo Montoya in, the still yet to be penned, THE PRINCESS BRIDE musical.
Who is your Broadway crush?
HAHAAA - Well, my first was Deborah Rush in NOISES OFF, based on how simultaneously hilarious & sexy she was (and I got to tell her that when we recently worked together in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES). Now I have a bunch of ‘em -- I can't help but be all googly-eyed when women pour their hearts into their work and communicate so beautifully with huge talent, sense of humor, beautiful spirit, etc. -- gosh... Jessica Molaskey, Kelli O'Hara, Elizabeth Stanley, Chita Rivera, Megan Hilty, Sunny and Casey (the rescue pooches who play Sandy in our show) to name a few.
Where can people stalk you online?
Just recently found fun & inspiration on the Twitter, but for now I read more than I write -- @ClarkeThorell. Tune in for Annie #SIPs