Archive for March, 2007

end of the week


Today I’m shooting a part in Amy Neswald’s (our hair dept. head at JB) new film. I will play a mom in the 60′ s giving birth, and than another scene when he’s a toddler. Amy also cast Erica Piccinnini as the ingenue in it and Kris Coleman…and some of our cast’s apartments are being used too. Amy is a talented writer and does mean work on our hairstyles..It should be fun..She and Michael Clarkston (our stage mgr) are pulling double duty..shooting from 4 am till late afternoon than doing the show at night.

Last night Kyrsten Green did a walk on in the show , pairing up with Peter Gregus in a scene. Her family contributed a significant donation to Bway Cares ..she did a great job. She’s a broadcasting major and a dance minor..and I think the next Mary Hart..beautiful..Her family was so excited when she came out at the end to bow.

I also briefly saw John and Noreen from West Point..the cutest couple who’ve been married for over 35 years..who stood in line for hours to get tickets..and ended up in the 5th row. they were kind enough to ask me to dessert but a surprise friend of mine Sarah Zimmerman, who I did The Full Monty with, flew in and got a SRO ticket and saw the show. She actually is in town to see the marathon Coast of Utopia production…she’s an amazing actress and friend who lives on the West Coast now..anyway off to film land…

Oh did I say we spotted a gorgeous Selma Hayek in the audience last week..and I mean gorgeous…and I think pregnant.?

A day off

Well, unfortunately Aretha Franklin didn’t make it to the matinĂ©e…we were disappointed but still had a great audience. Rick Elice, Roger Rees, Marshall Brickman, were present before the show. And that always delights my heart. They have finished the casting of the 3rd Company of Jersey Boys…cast tba…how exciting..this company takes over the San Fran companies spot and then goes to Chicago in the fall..Des McAnuff came on Friday to give us notes on shows he had observed this past week. He couldn’t have been happier and said he was shocked when the end of both acts came…and he has watched this show in many incarnations, over and over. SO that was a great testament to our stage mgrs, dance captain, and us as a group. I think when you love what you’re doing, and respect the material, it’s easy and a privilege to maintain its integrity.

I also got to finally meet Kathryn Hanson and her dad from Atlanta..they’ve been fans of the show and this was the first time they got to see it, and Beverly brought her daughter and her husband on Sunday…I got beautiful lilies from Dorian, and saw a lot of other fans ..Thank you so much..have a great week…off to two auditions today on my day off…yee ha!

Spring is here!

Yes..spring has sprung. Even though it was 42 degrees yesterday I walked to work with a smile because it was the first day of Spring…I love spring..full of hope, new beginnings…sunshine, flowers..and a 3rd Company of Jersey Boys!!!!! I was thinking what a great day it must have been yesterday for a number of people. The creative staff and casting directors put out their calls to their choices for the next Jersey Boys company. I remember how excited I was.

I was actually working at Miceli’s, an Italian singing restaurant..across the street from Universal Studios. I loved the singing part, but hated refilling peoples drinks…Bad waitress…and upset when my tips were bad after I had sung my heart out…Anyway I overheard one of the young waitresses, Janine, say she had a callback for Jersey Boys in La Jolla…and I thought I didn’t even get an audition. So I called my agent, he called the casting people in LA, who didn’t know me, they faxed all the girls scenes (which were different than now) and asked me to choose any of the girls parts and prepare it. Some how Mary Delgado resonated with me…Which is ironic considering I have Catholic children’s videos out there…but that’s what “acting” is all about…So I went in, sang my song and did the scenes. They couldn’t have been sweeter and said “Do exactly what you just did and come back at 5pm for Des and Ron Melrose..”

Well I did Big River with Des years before and I had met Ron before. I came back and they were so warm. That’s the thing about Des, he sets up such a welcoming, playground to play in and just is smiling and open to what you’re doing up there. We chatted a bit after and I left. An hour later I get a call to come back at 10 am the next day for the same crew and Frankie Valli. He was awesome too.. It had to be the easiest audition, in that there was no time for worrying or over-preparing…just jumping in. They said they had to return to NY one more time…but within a week I heard that phone ring saying I had the role. I was actually in Barnes and Nobles in the theatre section in Pasadena sipping my decaf. I cried.

I have never originated a role. And than to be brought back to NY where my schooling at NYU Grad Acting Program sprung…record the CD two weeks into the rehearsal process, perform on all the TV shows, and the Tony’s, win the Tony, win the Grammy…just to be a part of this. I know I’m blessed and consider it a miracle each time I get cast…So I feel the excitement of this new cast and the joy the San Fran company felt as they got to perform on Jay Leno Monday night. Congratulations to all of you..and thank you for everyone who pays such hard earned money to keep us doing what we love to do…

And another thing…I hate to know who’s in the audience till at least Act 2…but as I was making my entrance at the start of the show…I see Des bringing in Martin Scorsese through the back way…and Des says “Now there’s a real director!” and last night Susan Stroman came to our show…and I had the pleasure of meeting her too. She is a doll…so generous and full of life…and joy.

Good News

From what I found out, the gentleman from a few weeks ago experienced a seizure not a heart attack and is doing alright. Thank God…see prayers help.

The Pirate Queen Final Dress Rehearsal

All of the cast had the opportunity to see the final dress of the Pirate Queen last night. The final dress rehearsals are the best theatre moments because it’s usually on a dark night (Monday) so all of the Bway performers can see and support their peers in a new show. The Pirate Queen is by Alain Boubil and Claude Michael Schoenberg..who wrote the fantastic Les Miserables (which I happened to be in for 2 glorious years of my life).

The Hilton Theatre is huge and beautiful and it was abuzz with every Bway performer you could think of sitting out in the house, catching up with old colleagues. I ran into (or was introduced to or so from afar in the womens bathroom line) Dee Hoty, Christianne Noll, Julia Murney, Megan Lawrence, Julie Foldesi, Chuck LaPointe (who created our wigs) Troy Johnson,Heather Ferguson and Ericca Piccinnini from JB. Richard Maltby was opposite us taking notes during the show.

Suffice it to say..Stephanie Block is amazing ..Her voice is like Celine Dion/Linda Eder/Streisand…no it’s like Stephanie Block. I never had seen her perform before because of our conflicting schedules. I don’t imagine there is a note she cannot sing..belting, soprano, all while sword fighting, giving birth, climbing the ships mast…she’s definitely lined up for a Tony nod.

The only drawback of attending on a final dress is that they don’t hand out playbills. The men were fantastic too ..the voices superb…the dancing (from the creators of Riverdance) guy in particular had so much joy…it was contagious..Good luck to this great cast ..may you sail into a long run..

3rd annual broadway purim shpiel

What fun I had last night. Right after our last show I got ready as fast as I could and rode in style in Daniel Reichard’s private car to the Hudson Theatre to perform in the Third Annual Broadway Purim Shpiel. It was hosted, directed and musically directed by the fabulous Seth Rudetsky. He knows everyone and everything about Broadway,and hosts so many benefits, used to write for the Rosie O’Donnel show, has a book out “The Q Guide to Broadway”, has played piano in so many bway shows (including Grease, Les Miz w/me) and is a deejay on Sirius Satellite Radio…check his site out at

Anyway both the first show and the 2nd at the JCC (Jewish Cultural Center) were fundraisers for the Jewish Community and he basically took the story of Queen Esther from the Old testament…and told it using bway songs to jazz it up and allow laughter. The line up of talent was great. Daniel Reichard, Tituss Burgess , Constantine Maroulis, Christine Pedi, Anika Larsen, Jose Llana, Paul Castree, Marya Grandy, Drew Geraci..and our song “I’m A Woman” Nina Hennessey, Kate Pazakis and Jaclyn Huberman…and many more.
Constantine Maroulis, Nina Hennessey, Kate Pazakis and myself

Tituss Burgess and Jennifer Naimo

Tituss Burgess, Jennifer Naimo and Daniel Reichard

Seth kept it rolling along and it was so much fun to sing again…Seth said we need to get you singing more too much acting. In fact when he introduced me he would ask how many of you have seen Jersey Boys? (thunderous applause) well she plays Frankie Valli’s know the drinking, smoking, swearing tough one…” how funny…here’s a photo of me with Constantine and 2 of the girls in our number, Nina Hennessey and Kate Pazakis..Tonite we got free tickets to see the Pirate Queen…I’ll let you know …

Photos of Tituss Burgess, Jennifer Naimo, and Daniel Reichard courtesy of Michael Findling. For more photos from Broadway Purim Shpiel 2007, please visit Findling Fotos.