What is your favorite part of the 1970's?
My parents met and got married in the 70's so I suppose, to me, that's the most special thing that happened. I like the idea of realizing my character is roughly the same age as my mother would have been at the same time - it helps me feel even more connected to her. And another connection - my parents were both music majors at the college where they met. My dad says he used to walk past the practice rooms where Mom was practicing, trying to catch some stealth glimpses of her without being too creepy. 39 years and 5 kids later, here we all are!
If (we) really knew (you), we would know that your favorite place to eat in Chicago is...
Wildberry's for brunch, Fleming's for fancy dinners... does it still count if those are in the burbs?
Speaking of They're Playing Our Song... what is YOUR song, or the song that describes you best?
Born to Entertain, from Ruthless. The first time I heard that song, even though it was sung by a kid, I knew I had to have it. I know it's not age appropriate, but I refuse to release it from my audition book because IT IS SO ME! And because of that, it seems to always work
What about this production is special to you?
Well, professionally speaking, this is my first lead role in a musical in the Chicago area so it's a major moment for me. I left a teaching career two years ago to pursue theater full time and I have definite goals I'm working towards - this tells me I'm getting there and I can keep going. Along those lines, I certainly understand Sonia's Skepticism of her own abilities even as she's in the very moment of being given the greatest opportunity of her life! I understand the Passion that drives her through those doubts, and the Ego that tries to kept it all in check.
It's been very special to get to know more about Carole Bayer Sager through this process. I've known her name ever since her song "The Prayer" came out almost 20 years ago. I fell in love with it immediately because it was both contemporary and classical at the same time, a powerful ballad about true love and faith that could be universally applicable, and featured the amazing voice talents of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli doing some of their best work. It immediately became a part of my repertoire and I've sung it countless times, often in duet with my sister, for weddings, funerals, concerts of all kinds. However, I'm a bit embarrassed to say I didn't know much more about Carole's other work. As I started researching her during the audition process, I was thrilled to discover not only a prolific and talented artist, but a fascinating, sincere woman who had faced so many personal insecurities to which I could relate. I immensely admired how she had grown into a more confident, assertive person by being honest with herself and others - this was something I had specifically been working on in recent years. Her admonishment to "never judge your insides against someone else's outsides" struck a deep chord with me. I remember thinking to myself, "Well, even if I don't get cast in this show, I'm really glad I got to know to this person." It's an honor to play a character inspired by this woman...and I even wrote her a fan letter recently telling her so! *nervous giggle* I hope she reads it. It's a privilege to be able to connect with her even from a distance, especially since Neil and Marvin are no longer with us.
*Bonus: I also discovered we are both petite brunettes with green eyes who started our careers as teachers.
**Double bonus: I invited her to the show. I know she gets tagged in all of our social media but I invited her anyway :P I would die if she actually came. I fully don't expect it. But I'd love to meet her. Omg, I never fan-girl and I'm fan-girling.
***Double Double bonus: I think I've found a knew kindred spirit in Danny Spags. It's True.
They're Playing Our Song runs from July 28 - August 20 at Rivendell Theatre (5779 N. Ridge Ave, Chicago, IL, 60660).
Click the link below to reserve your tickets for previews, opening weekend, or the regular run of the show!
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.