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 next edition, we caught up with NaTasha Yvette Williams, who is starring as 'Mariah' in THE GERSHWINS' PORGY & BESS- currently playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre!
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
The first Broadway show I ever saw was SWEET CHARITY and I have no memories of it- other than Debbie Allen. I fell in love with her. The first show I saw after moving to New York that really impacted me was RAGTIME. At intermission I went down into the lobby and called my mom, and I was crying telling her that I was so glad I moved to New York to do this theatre thing. It was the most spiritual experience that I’ve ever had outside of church.
What is your most unique pre-show ritual?
Well I don’t know how unique it is, but I really like to center myself in my dressing room for about an hour. I have little marked parts of the script, and I just recall all of the emotions that I’m feeling and attach them to a ‘NaTasha moment.’ Like if I’m feeling sad, I think about a time when NaTasha was sad as opposed to Mariah being sad. I also like to sleep before the show and wake up with a Pepsi!
What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?
This moment just happened in PORGY AND BESS! Our stage is made out of a finished wood, and pieces of it come off at different times- caught in people’s clothes and all that kind of stuff. There’s a scene where Audra [McDonald] falls unconscious and we have to drag her away. She somehow ended up with a 6-inch piece of wood in her foot!
So I’m a big-chested woman and my bras have these wires in them, and that night my wire poked up. So I’m holding Audra, and she was crying, and I thought my bra wire had stabbed her in the ear! So I’m freaking out, and running around saying "I think I stabbed Audra!" Then we found out it was her foot, but she finished the second act. After the show, she went to the emergency room and had to get stitches. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone work with that kind of injury.
What is the one role you want to play before you die?
It’s not even a show yet, but hopefully it will be one day. I’d like to play Abilene from ‘The Help.’ I’d also like to be in FENCES- I played that in college. I’d love to do more straight plays.
Who is your Broadway crush?
I have a many, but Norm Lewis is certainly one of them!
Where can people stalk you on the web?
I just had a meeting yesterday to commit to my twitter! You can find me @tatastar411. I also have a website: http://natashayvettewilliams.com/