"Let me entertain you", they scream! Our April 2016 production of Gypsy features two alternating casts of "Baby's", both with tremendous talent and sparkle! Today we are thrilled to give you a sneak peek behind-the-scenes and an opportunity to get to know the four young ladies who will take on these iconic roles later this month.
Our upcoming production of Guys and Dolls is quickly approaching, and our two Sky Masterson’s are excitedly awaiting opening night! These two men have, for the past few months, put their heart and souls into developing their portrayal of the confident, charming gambler! Here’s what they have to say about their experience:
How would you describe Sky Masterson? Matt: “Sky is a confident and independent person who came from very little and has become the best at what he does. The very definition of the self-made man. But for all his swagger, he knows there is something missing. And when it (in the form of Sarah Brown) finally finds him, he finds himself in the unexpected and unusual position of not knowing what to do for probably the first time in his life.”
What is the most difficult part about becoming Sky? Matt: “Matching the bravado that defines him without it appearing hollow or phoney. Sky's confidence is not a facade to cover up insecurity. It's the essence of who he is.” Adam: “When I first started playing Sky I was trying too hard to be cool and suave and controlling. The definition of being suave is to be confident, and to not try hard: Sky may ask Sarah to dinner, but you know that it doesn't matter if she says no - it's all the same to him (or at least he'll have you believe!). The banter with Sarah is also as much about what's not said as it is about the lines. It was difficult, but incredibly rewarding to work with Justine on how to work in that flirtation with those seemingly-innocuous lines, followed by a knowing wink.”
What is the most interesting part about portraying this particular role? Adam: “How truly complex he really is. Sky is not a bad person, but he's no saint either: he's a man of God who can quote scripture, but only because he believes God works on his terms; he's a legend with the NYC gambling crowd, but he was in fact raised from nothing; he coerces Sarah to Havana on a bet, but he nearly ruins his reputation with the gamblers to save her mission from closing. On a more personal note, the scene/song of "My Time of Day" is a favourite moment of mine where we get to see Sky pull back the curtain a bit and explain to Sarah just a little bit of how his world works... and what his real name is (but you'll have to see the show to find that out!).”
How does Sky grow as a person throughout the show? Matt: “Sky learns that he can still be himself but also make room for something more. Sacrificing something, even a big part of your life, is not necessarily the same thing as compromising your true self. And corny as it sounds, love conquers all.”
What is your favourite part of the show? Matt: “I love all the great comic bits of the show- the hilarious scenes with the gamblers, the relationship of Nathan and Adelaide, etc...but I have to admit that selfishly, my favourite part of the show has to be Luck Be a Lady. The chance to sing one of the iconic tunes of the musical theatre repertoire has to be any actor's dream come true.” Adam: “I think it's a tie between "Guys and Dolls" and "If I Were a Bell". "Guys and Dolls" is such a juicy sardonic number: from the very get-go we have this rapid-fire patter of Nicely Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet as they almost try to outdo each other with anecdotes about how women have changed the world for "smart businessmen" like themselves. We find it funny because these characters aren't the sharpest tools in the shed and I love how Loesser uses that character trait to turn the meaning of their words against them. As for "If I Were a Bell", this song is genius because you get a huge amount of Sky's character developed by him not singing and being a listener - we finally get to see a moment here where Sky doesn't have a witty retort planned, and by the end he's speechless about what he realizes is happening between him and Sarah. Also, it's probably my favourite melody in the play, so I'm sure that helps.”
What makes this production unique? Matt: “Of course, every production is unique in at least small ways. But in this case, having 2 casts with different actors playing 3 of the 4 leads makes for a fascinating dynamic. Watching Adam's version of Sky has taught me a lot about the character, but saying that, I know it's a Sky that I'm not capable of portraying. We are different people, and our interpretation of the same words is therefore very different. The Sarah's and Adelaide's have a similar process, so we've ended up with what are really 2 completely different versions of this great show. So really, the savvy audience member has only choice- come see the show twice! (at least).” Adam: “Sadly, Guys and Dolls has an entirely undeserved reputation - even in theatre circles - as being trivial, the characters one dimensional, and the songs inserted for hum-value only. Of course, none of these things are true, but I think that it's enduring mega-hit popularity has given rise to a lot of bad productions in the last 60 years that have missed the subtleties of Swerling and Burrows' book, as well as the natural way which Loesser's songs roll off the tongue and this has left audiences with this idea that Guys and Dolls is a fluff musical comedy. Wavestage is different because we didn't start at a place trying to copy the glamourized version of the New York gansters and showgirls, but we began with simple people and how different worlds and classes collided, and then dressed them in the robes of Runyonland. Wavestages' Sky Masterson, Miss Adelaide, or Nicely Nicely Johnson could be just as recognizable in 2014 New York as they are in the 1940's, there's none of this hokey gangsterism that I think a lot of people assume when they see the words "Guys and Dolls". It's just people.”
Don’t miss seeing these gentlemen on stage from November 6-9, 2014 at Newmarket Theatre. Tickets are available online at www.newtix.ca or by calling the box office at 905-953-5122. Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the box office before the show.
For the past few months, actresses Justine Turl (pictured right) and Lauren Lazar (pictured left) have been eagerly preparing for their role as “Sarah Brown” in our upcoming production of Guys and Dolls! We had a chance to ask our leading ladies about their experience playing the prim, proper and determined leader of the Save a Soul Mission! Read on to see what they had to say.
What sparked your interest in musical theatre? Justine: My love of musical theatre started at a very young age. One of my earliest memories that began my love affair with the theatre, was when my mom took my sister and I to see “The Beauty and the Beast” in Toronto. I was very small at the time but my mom said I sat mesmerized through the entire show, even asking to do it again as soon as it finished. Ever since then I dreamed of being on the stage. I probably have an unhealthy addiction to show tunes! My XM radio in my car is set to the Broadway station on the regular and every other song on my iPod is from a musical. Lauren: It's hard to pinpoint the igniting spark, as I don't remember a time when I didn't love singing, performing, and being on stage! I recall childhood memories of singing and making up dance routines, alongside my best friend, to a beloved Phantom of the Opera cassette tape; vying furiously for the only singing solo in our grade 5 school musical (I didn't get it! It was my first lesson in rejection as an actor); and falling asleep every night listening to the soundtrack of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
What is the most challenging part about performing Sarah Brown? Lauren: “For me, the most challenging part of finding Sarah Brown is looking for the moments of nuance. It's easy to find the two most obvious extremes of her character: i.e. the headstrong Sarah Brown who is rooted in tradition and acts solidly based on her morals, juxtaposed with the Sarah Brown who is softened by love, and follows her heart. What's more difficult is finding the moments in between, where she is experiencing that struggle between head and heart, especially since the text seems to transition very quickly from one to the other and back again. As an actor, it's my job to pinpoint the in-between moments when Sarah begins to let down her guard, question what causes this change, and to attempt the find the honesty in the seemingly rapid transitions/growth that she makes as a character.” Justine: “The most challenging part of performing Sarah Brown for me is probably getting in tune with her physicality. She’s a strong, confident character but she’s not brash. She has some demure characteristics but is nothing close to weak. She’s graceful but hasn’t had years of dance training. Aiming for that perfect balance has definitely been a challenge for me.”
What is your favourite song in the production? Justine: “My favourite song in the production is the duet between Sky and Sarah “I’ve Never Been In Love Before”. Not only is it a stunning ballad, but I truly see it as the ‘ah ha’ moment for both characters. It comes at a time in the show where they both are finally seeing how much their lives have changed since the other has become part of it. It comes as a complete surprise to both of them. Sarah brings out a softer side of Sky that we haven’t seen before, nor has he experienced himself. And Sky has completely swept Sarah off her feet and shown her a part of the world and of herself that she has never seen. It’s during this song that they finally are able to profess their affections to each other.” Lauren: “I think my favourite song is "I'll Know." Besides just having a beautiful, swelling melody, it is an example of one of the things that I think makes a great musical theatre song: one where the characters grow and express that which cannot be put into words alone. At the beginning of the song, Sarah is so sure of herself and what she wants; by the end, her world has been turned upside down as she begins to fall for Sky and questions everything she firmly believed up to that point. By the time that Sarah sings her reprise only moments later, though it retains the same lyrics and melody as the first time it is sung, it suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.”
How would you describe Sarah Brown? Lauren: “Sarah Brown is a fun character to play because she is seemingly a blend of contradictions. The push and pull between tradition and impulse are always at play with her character. She is grounded in conservative morals, yet she is feisty/fiery, and anything but reserved. Though she holds on strongly to her roots and fights for what she believes in, she is flexible enough to be open to change when it comes her way. Complex characters are always so much more fun to play than one-dimensional ones.”
What is the best part about performing in this Wavestage Production? Justine: “My favourite thing about Wavestage is not only that it produces professional, top quality musical theatre, but that it’s a family. Throughout my many years of being a part of the company, I have created some of the most important and closest relationships in my life. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the experiences and people Wavestage has brought to my life. I truly feel blessed to be a part of something 'bigger' and could only hope that more people could experience the heart-warming experience that is Wavestage.” Lauren: “This is the first production I have done in a long time where I didn't know almost anybody going in. It has been great getting to know so many new people, and the Wavestage group has been extremely welcoming!”
What do you like about performing as Sarah? Justine: “The thing I love about performing the character of Sarah is that she is so diverse. She has so many different sides and facets to her. She goes from a wholesome, prim and proper lady, to a woman letting loose in Havana. She then becomes a woman who is madly in love with a man who has completely changed her life but becomes angry when she comes to the realization that a sinner might not be able to change. She is able to joke around in a bosom buddy moment with Adelaide but then comes to her senses about Sky. I truly have enjoyed every single moment of becoming Sarah Brown and hope to take some of her with me forever.”
Don't miss seeing these ladies on stage from November 6-9, 2014 at Newmarket Theatre. Tickets are available online at www.newtix.ca or by calling the box office at 905-953-5122. Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the box office before the show.
Enjoy reading Wavestage Parent Tracy Smith's reflection on her daughter's first season as a Showbiz Academy student and Wavestage performer.
I first found out about Wavestage while at another production at Newmarket Theatre with my daughter Heather. We were looking to change theatre companies for several reasons and immediately contacted Sarah to find out more information about Wavestage. I was really impressed. I scheduled an audition time for Heather the following week. Sarah was very helpful in answering all my questions to help Heather prepare for her audition. When we went for the audition Heather was greeted by Sarah who was very warm and welcoming, immediately putting Heather at ease. Heather completed her audition and spent some time talking to Sarah casually about Wavestage and the productions for their 19th season.
When I picked Heather up she was so excited about the new opportunity. For days she eagerly awaited her contract proposal for her roles. She was thrilled to be cast in 3 productions: Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof and A Little Princess. Sarah felt that with her previous theatre experience she would cast her in 2 lead roles and Heather was so happy to know about her roles so far in advance. We rented the movies for each of the productions and listened to the music on her iPod and in the car. I think my family and I knew the songs by heart too as we sang the songs wherever we drove.
Heather waited eagerly during the summer until her first Showbiz class in September. Before her first class we were provided with the member’s password to the website to keep track of all the rehearsals and important information and we were also included in the Facebook members only group. I found it so helpful to be able to have information available at my fingertips anytime. It really helped for scheduling other events or activities for the rest of our family to know the expectations and schedule, well in advance.
When Heather went to her first class she was so happy with the format and the people and the class itself. She has learned many new theatrical skills, not necessarily specific to any one show, and met some great friends too. Sarah teaches the classes with the help of older experienced Wavestage members. Heather looks forward to each and every class or rehearsal. At rehearsals, the entire cast is together. The rehearsal times seemed long at first glance but each rehearsal is broken down into scenes so that only the actors performing in a scene need to be there for it. Heather really liked this because there wasn’t a lot of standing around. She was always busy at rehearsal, either acting or singing or updating her script with notes for her parts. She has been given so much guidance from the teen or adult cast members. Everyone is so nice.
During the performances held at Newmarket Theatre I was so happy to volunteer as a backstage parent. The experience was much different from my past backstage experience. It was so organized and well run, down to smallest of details. Each cast member has their own individual costume(s), some rented, some borrowed - but no sharing with other casts! Each cast member is responsible to make sure their costume is clean and ready for dress rehearsals and showtimes. Heather was accustomed to sharing her costume with at least 2 or 3 other casts between her shows. I was able to volunteer for all 3 shows that Heather participated in and I looked forward to it each time. It was a great learning experience for both of us. Heather has been cast in 3 productions for Wavestage’s 20th season - Guys and Dolls, Aristocats Jr. and Peter Pan. She can’t wait to get started when classes and rehearsals begin again in September!
- Tracy Smith
Melissa Lemme has been busy in rehearsals getting “Whipped into Shape” to play fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham in our July production of Legally Blonde! We had a chance to ask Melissa about her intense preparations for her role and her thoughts on our production. Read on to find out what Melissa had to say: Did you have a special exercise regime in the lead up to and during the rehearsal process? “I’ve always loved to run, just not for terribly long periods of time. However, once I was cast as Brooke I thought it might be time to improve my cardio. Since April, I’ve pretty much been running anywhere from seven to ten kilometers about 3 -5 times a week, normally ending my run with a skipping routine that included practicing the choreography along to the song as well as just regular skipping for three, five minute sets. I also tried incorporating eating only healthy things, but that didn’t last long; chips and chocolate are just too good!”
Have you always been a fitness fanatic or was this role a bit of a shock for you? “I would never call myself a “fitness fanatic” although I also wouldn’t say the role was a shock. I’m fairly active and athletic and have been my whole life. I love sports, specifically soccer, although I’m pretty much always game to try any team sport. While I don’t think I was at the “Brooke Wyndham Fitness Queen” level, I do think I was at a half way point which helped me when it came down to combining singing and working out.”
What have you learned so far through out the rehearsal process? “I’ve learned that stamina is everything, especially in a show like this with such heavy dance numbers. I always found it interesting when fellow cast members would say they were amazed I could skip and sing at the same time, because I was always amazed they could nail all the complicated choreography and sing and the same time! I have so much respect for everyone involved, and the talent in this show continues to blow my mind!”
What is your favourite part of the show? Why? “This is way to hard of a question! There are so many amazing musical numbers and even more quick one-liners that have me laughing regardless of how many times I’ve heard them! If I had to answer, I think I’d have to say my favourite part of the show is the people. Like I said, everyone is incredibly talented and even more dedicated! It’s so amazing to get to be a part of a show where everyone involved is always so happy because they are doing what they love! There’s always such a raw, amazing, positive energy in rehearsals because we are all there to be a part of something that’s more than any one person and we’re all so passionate about that.”
What are audiences going to love about this production of Legally Blonde? “I mean, we have the cutest dogs ever! So that’s a plus! But in addition, I think audiences will love the energy every person involves brings to the stage. I truly think that you could enter that theatre in the worst of moods and it would be impossible to leave after the show without a smile from ear to ear! It’s such a fun a show and I think our production has added and done so much to really bring that out! I think audiences will love being uncontrollably positive and happy for the two hours of the show, and well past it’s end.”
What is the most rewarding part about playing fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham? “I’ve loved trying to get to Brooke’s level of fitness, sass, and fun! She’s such an interesting mix and I think her different personalities have the potential to really shine in this show. It’s been such an incredible experience and I’m so happy to have been able to do it all under Brooke’s persona! She’s such a strong female role, which has been amazing to embody!”
See Melissa get "whipped" from July 10-13 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available online at www.rhcentre.ca or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.
23-year-old Chris Vergara is thrilled to be seen on stage this summer as the quirky and hilarious Emmet Forrest in the Wavestage's 20th Season production of Legally Blonde, the Musical! This is Chris’ first production with Wavestage, however, he is no stranger to the stage. He could not be more excited to perform alongside such an enthusiastic and talented cast! Not even a car accident at the beginning of the rehearsal process can slow this guy down. Here’s what Chris had to say about his work in the production of the summer: What part of being in this Wavestage production are you most looking forward to? "Having performed in Toronto over the past two years, and in Hamilton throughout my academic career beforehand, I am most excited about joining this entirely new theatre community. Everybody has been so welcoming; there's a great sense of camaraderie that continues to grow as we approach opening night."
What do you think the biggest challenge will be portraying such an identifiable character? "Taking on a character that so many people are familiar with, I feel my biggest challenge will be portraying Emmet in a recognizable way that fans of the original movie will appreciate, but still making him accessible to new audiences while adding my own individual mark on the role."
What sparked your interest in musical theatre? "I grew up in a family that loved the arts, from taking piano lessons to singing at parties to seeing live theatre. The very first professional production I ever saw was with my family, seeing Les Miserables in Toronto in 1998. The production starred original Broadway cast member Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, who hadn't played the part since leaving the Broadway Company almost ten years before. The experience was revolutionary, and after seeing that incredible show I knew I needed musical theatre in my life."
Do you relate to the character of Emmet Forrest at all? "Like Emmet, I've had to face the hard work and stress that comes with completing school, and have also had to deal with living up to the expectations of accomplishing something great. We both strive for the best, and know the importance of determination and dedication to get things done."
What do you think makes this production of Legally Blonde unique? "It's very easy for the characters in this show to stray into broad characterizations, the ditzy blonde, the bookish nerd, which is something that the story is trying to defy. The vision for this particular production is very focused on fleshing out the reality of the characters, finding moments to make them deeper and more complex. Hopefully this will allow the audience to become more invested in them and their journey."
What kind of training and experiences helped develop you into the performer that you are today? "I actually have no formal training in theatre; I never went to theatre school but instead have my bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental sciences. However, I have been very fortunate to have learned so much from all the theatre I did in my spare time, and now do professionally. With each new show, with each new company, I learn from my fellow actors and production team, and I continue to grow as a performer today."
Don’t miss this spectacular summer production at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13! Tickets are available at www.rhcentre.ca or by calling 905.787.8811.
Markham’s Carlo Bianchini is looking forward to taking to the stage as Warner Huntington III in our July production of Legally Blonde. He has put some “serious” preparation into this show and we had a chance to ask him about his experience playing the man who inspired Elle's journey to Harvard! What’s it like to play the “jerk boyfriend” of the show? "Warner is a rewarding character to play as I have never had the opportunity to play the "jerk" before. I have to say it was a bit of a struggle because I don't like to think like a jerk that often. But with his well dressed appearance and "I’m fabulous" attitude I found that it almost became too much fun during rehearsals. Warner and I are complete opposites, but he's very comedic."
What's your favourite number in Legally Blonde? "My absolute favourite song in the show is "There, Right There". I have to try and not crack up every time I sing it. The choreography is challenging but the number is altogether really fun!"
How does Warner evolve as a character through out the show? "Warner is looking for someone more serious to guide him through his journey to become a lawyer. When he realizes what he had all along, he regrets his decision of leaving Elle. Although it is too late by the end of the show to become the lawyer Warner set out to be, I like to think that he had a successful modelling career that perhaps led him to make better choices later on in life".
What is special about this production of Legally Blonde? "This entire show is just filled with incredible singing, dancing and excitement for the audience. Wavestage has turned Legally Blonde into a show that everyone can love."
See Carlo on stage at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13. Get tickets to Legally Blonde here or by calling 905-787-8811.
Toronto’s Gord Peters is delighted to portray the tough-as-nails Harvard Professor, Callahan, in the our 20th Season production of Legally Blonde! Read on for this inside look at the man behind this particularly challenging character: What has been the most challenging part of the rehearsal process so far? "Definitely just becoming familiar and comfortable with the music. While I was familiar with the film, I’d only ever seen the musical once and really didn’t know the songs at all! So just keeping up with the rest of the cast who were so into the soundtrack was definitely a challenge. The music is really fun. It’s quirky and clever, and Callahan has some great moments, so the challenge has definitely been worth it!"
What have you learned from this experience? "This experience has just re-affirmed for me how essential it is to make the time to do what you love. I have a pretty hectic day job and every time I do one of these shows it’s always a stretch – both emotionally and physically – to fulfill my professional responsibilities, as well as my responsibilities to the production and myself. Yet somehow, it always comes together, and while there may be the occasional stressful moment, once the curtain goes up and the lights hit the stage, everything else melts away and it’s always all worth it."
What previous experiences have you had in musical theatre? "I’ve been very fortunate to have had a chance to play many great and varied roles over the past number of years. My all-time favourite experience was playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof just this past year. Max Bialistock from The Producers was also great fun, as was Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror. I’ve been in over 25 productions over the past 15 years, but those three would have to be the ones of which I am most proud."
What is it like to portray such a pretentious, bloodthirsty character? "How could you not love playing this guy? It’s actually one of the things I love so much about acting – getting the chance to become someone completely different from yourself and immersing yourself in that character so completely – it’s awesome! Callahan doesn’t back down from anything. He oozes self-confidence, even when he is being out-maneuvered and he knows it. I think we all could stand to learn a little of that for ourselves. Of course, I do need to make sure I turn him off when I leave rehearsal – otherwise no one would talk to me!"
What is the best part about being a part of this particular cast of Legally Blonde? "Every time I do another show, I always take something away from the process, and it’s always the same thing. It’s the people we perform with and the relationships we make during the rehearsal and production time that stay and grow long after the show has closed that are the best take-away for me. I am sure that this production with Wavestage will be no different. I can honestly say that each and every one of my closest friends today are people that I first met when we were doing a play together."
See Gord on the RHCPA stage from July 10-13! Get your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.
OMIGOD YOU GUYS! The sassy sorority sisters of Delta Nu have been in intense preparations for our July production of Legally Blonde. The talented ladies that will join Elle in her journey of self-discovery include Kyla Whetham, Bianca Bouchard, Jamie Schouten, Catherine Zanon, Rachel Anderson, Emily Powell, Sam Robinson, and Mary Askwith. As the fearless leaders of the sorority, Lauren Wolanski, Naomi Melvin and Holly Bryant will take on the roles of Margot, Serena, and Pilar! Here's what they had to say about their experience developing these comedic characters in Legally Blonde. 23-year-old Naomi Melvin will be seen as the always fierce and dynamic Serena! Naomi is thrilled that she gets to embrace Serena’s sassy cheerleader persona while, at the same time, hone in on the many honest moments during Elle’s journey. “Serena takes charge in times of need (for example, Positive and Bend and Snap) and says exactly what is on her mind. As we [come] closer to the show, I am finding it so exciting to tap more and more into her personality,” says Melvin, who is in her first production with Wavestage.
18-year-old University of Toronto Mississauga student, Lauren Wolanski, could not be more excited to take to the stage as the larger than life - and let’s be honest, quite ditsy - Margot! “The best part about playing this role is that I have the liberty to go above and beyond in everything that I do. Margot is a high-energy character, so I have enjoyed fueling my performance on big smiles and sassy skipping!” says Wolanski, who is in her first production with Wavestage. Lauren has enjoyed her time preparing with her fellow sorority sisters! “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a sorority because of the community, trust and friendship it fosters. Being a Delta Nu has not only given me the opportunity to be member of a sorority on stage, but experience the benefits of it all off stage.”.
Lastly, Barrie's Holly Bryant is thrilled to be playing the feisty character of Pilar! At the age of 16, Holly is in her fourth season with Wavestage after years spent in our triple threat training programs, and is no stranger to the stage! “It is really fun to crump and sing ridiculous lyrics that you don't usually get to do in a lot of classic musicals. Pilar is the most aggressive out of the Delta Nu's which I'm not like at all so it's fun to completely transform myself into a new character” says Bryant.
All of the Delta Nu’s have had some serious bonding time while working hard on some of the most fun and upbeat numbers of the show. “We all bring a mutual understanding of the situations and roadblocks this story puts forward. At the same time, each one of us is unique and is bringing new life to our roles. I can say with confidence that we are injecting so much fun into this show and are having so much fun all along the way,” asserts Melvin. Bryant agrees, stating that “being a Delta Nu in this show is like being in a big family. It’s basically "Girl Power!" all the time! It's very high energy with a whole lot of laughing. Never a dull moment with this group of girls!”
Come see these bubbly ladies on the RHCPA stage from July 10-13! Get your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.
Mandy McDonald is ready to “Bend and Snap” her way to the stage this summer as Paulette Buonofonte in our summer production of Legally Blonde! We had a chance to talk to Mandy and ask her about her experience developing this eccentric and iconic character. Check out what she had to say: What is it like playing a stand out comedic character in the musical rather than the softer, less bold version of Paulette seen in the movie? Mandy: "I really enjoy getting to play Paulette in the over the top way they portrayed her in the Musical. I think the movie version is great as well, and the lovely thing about Paulette is how open and honest she is about her hopes and dreams, even if they may seem silly to others. That to me is what really makes her such a comical character."
Is there anyone that inspired you or that you modeled your character after? Mandy: "Orfeh of course is a giant inspiration because she did such an amazing job as Paulette in the Broadway production, and she is by far my favourite interpretation of Paulette. I have also pulled from Jennifer Coolidge's interpretation in the movie. Also, my mom is a hairdresser, so I thought a lot about her gift for chatting with folks in the chair when I was working on Paulette."
How have you prepared for your role as Paulette? Mandy: "Preparing for the role of Paulette has been fun. Like any comedic role, I try to find the honesty in the character. I looked at Paulette's past with men, the way she acts towards other characters, and her dreams, and used that to form an idea of her personality."
What is your training and/or background in dance, musical, or theatrical works? Mandy: "I have been performing since I was 5, in talent shows, drama camps, dance recitals, and musicals. I have danced all my life, mainly Tap, and I have taken singing lessons for about 12 years. I also just recently graduated from college for Music Theatre Performance."
When did you catch the theater bug? Mandy: "I was always trying to sing and dance for my parents as long as I can remember. I really caught the theatre bug when I was about 5 or 6, and my mom showed me the VHS of Annie for the first time. Like I had mentions I really loved to sing and dance, and up until that point because of disney I sorta figured I would have to be a Disney Princess when I grew up if I wanted to do that.. but when I saw Annie, not only was she REAL she was young like me. I knew then that I wanted to "Do whatever Annie does" (For a long time I didn't know the term Musical Theatre so I would just say I wanted to "Be like Annie" when I grew up)."
What are the biggest challenges that come with this role? Mandy: "One of the biggest challenges I had with this role was getting a consistent accent!"
See Mandy on the RHCPA stage from July 10-13! Get your tickets online today or by calling the box office at 905-787-8811.