Friday, July 25, 2008

High as a Kite!

2 gigs in 2 weeks! Actually 3 gigs! I can hardly keep track! LOL

I remember when I first moved to the city and I would be thrilled to book a big gig once a year. Then it became once every few months, then once a month... Now, it's like every week! :) I dig it!

Got the offer yesterday to play Barbara Webster in the 1940s comedy Johnny On A Spot at The Theatre at St. Clements. I am thrilled! She's a wickedly wonderful character - think Scarlet O'Hara's naughty little sister. Very fun!

And I'm deep into rehearsals for Kaboom! We're running Act One tonight off book, so I've checked into Memorizing Land.

This weekend I have to work on music for the recording of the new musical, Vienna. I'm in the studio for that next week, reprising my role as Mrs. Sigmund Freud, as well as singing some other pieces for the show.

Lots to do! Zoom!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I'm in full swing with rehearsals for Kaboom! having a blast with the cast and crew, led by our marvelous director BT McNicholl. BT is also working on Billy Elliott during the day, and still he comes to our rehearsals full of energy and clear direction. Absolutely inspiring!

Made a fun discovery in that our awesome associate director, Penny Ayn Maas, went to school with one of my best friends, Carl Einbeck. Never ceases to amaze me how "small" this showbiz world can be. Astounding!

Penny and Kaboom's writer, Michael Small, helmed the photoshoot we had on Friday, which was a lot of fun. So here's a small taste of this crazy comedy about 7 people trying to get what they want in San Francisco via sex, drugs, and a little rock n roll.

I play Kandy Broadsky, a bike messenger, who is supposed to make a delivery to the Lithuanian "Mick Jagger of the Kazoo," played by John DiDomenico.

The comedy centers around a con man played by Ray Wills (center) who inadvertently brings everyone together in an Alan Ayckbournesque bed-hopping mistaken identity farce.

The top-notch cast is shown above: (L-R) Fred Rose, Kristen Cerelli, John DiDomenico, Ray Wills, me, and Jim Barry. Tyler Hollinger completes our troupe.

Theatremania has more info at

Rock on!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Got the gig!!!

OMG I am bouncing off the walls! :)

I booked the new comedy playing next month at the New York International Fringe Festival: Kaboom!!!!

Written by Michael Small and directed by BT McNicholl, Kaboom! merges "hipster satire with old-school farce" and sounds like wicked fun! The cast of characters is absolutely zany. I play Kandy Broadsky, a bike messenger who wants to be Madonna's back-up dancer, and has the duty of delivering a magical kazoo.

Can't wait to dive in!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Clarity, Cut, Color, and Character

It has been a wild couple of weeks. I feel like I'm still on Cloud 9. I was called in for 2 cool comedies, just got back from vacation, and best of all my sweetheart proposed!!!

I had just come home from seeing A Catered Affair (my friend Kristine Zbornik is performing in the show) and Rob had returned from a business trip. I was feeling so dreamy, thinking of the show and how unique it was, appreciating the heroine and her desire to keep her wedding simple... overwhelmed by the parents who carried such pain with them (kudos to Tom Wopat and Faith Prince who absolutely had me in tears) as they tried to give their only daughter something special... thinking of my parents and their weddings, friends and family who have come together for so many occasions... And there was my guy, asking if I wanted to take a walk on a hot July evening to the MET.

It's one of our favorite places with the Opera all lit up and the circular fountain, but it was my sad duty to tell him that the MET was under construction, so he said, "Well, let me unpack then." I went into our bedroom to help him and before I knew it, he bounced beside me on the bed with a box in his hand, asking, "Will you marry me?"


What an incredible feeling! And then getting to share the good news, the buoyancy of it all. Wonderful!

Then we went on vacation to a lake house in the Poconos, which ironically was only an hour away from the store he had bought the ring. He wanted me to pick out my diamond so we went diamond shopping. Can you imagine? It was just... wow!

Now since I'm a novice at this whole jewelry game (my grandmother would have remedied that if she were still alive - she always had gorgeous gems on her fingers), we had a lovely "diamond guide" named Mary Celeste who guided us through the "4 c's" of color, cut, clarity and carat. It was such an educational process but in the end I picked the one that sparkled the most, which turned out to be "grade: excellent" across the board. :)

The ring is being resized and diamond is being placed, otherwise I'd have a picture to share with you. Soon! :)

When we got back to the lake house, I received a callback for the comedy, Kaboom! Luckily we were only a few hours away from Manhattan so I could get back to the city with ease. My guy was all for it: "Go get em!" he said. So I came back to Manhattan for this callback and immersed myself in this wildly comic world.

Kaboom is a BIG comedy and it was a blast to do my scene. The director, BT McNicholl, was AWESOME and helped me fine-tune some moments, making them laser sharp. It ironically reminded me of the whole diamond-delving experience. The character was colorful to say the least (she made me think of bubblegum), the comedy zinged (cut), the director gave me great clarity, and the carat (weight)... well, that's me, baby!

Next up: getting ready for the 1940s comedy Johnny on a Spot and figuring out the when's and where's of my own simple wedding affair.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

For Mama

With Patti Lupone winning the Tony for the ultimate stage mother, Mama Rose in Gypsy, I had to salute my Mom, Kathy, who celebrated a birthday yesterday. My Mom is not a stage mother, though she always encourages me to Live Out Loud. That was one of the most important messages she told me as a kid, "Live each day!"

Now before you start thinking I was reared by Auntie Mame, let me tell you, my Mom's a smalltown southern CA girl who lived in Austria when she was a child. Her Dad was a pilot and was stationed there. Her mom, my grandmother, said he was a spy and all us grandkids got a kick out that, thinking our grandfather, who passed away when I wasn't quite 2 years old, was like James Bond.

My Mom always speaks very fondly of her time in Austria and I'd love to go there with her some day. For now, she's in Hemet, CA, and I'm here in the Big Apple.

She came to visit me 2 years ago to see me in The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, and I'm hoping she'll be out here again soon. The city fascinates her, though she prefers the hubbub of the small desert town she calls home. I miss her like crazy and spent most of yesterday on the phone with her, celebrating her birthday with phone calls throughout the day. At her office, her coworkers brought in cake and ice cream, and my little brother Sean took her out for pizza and a movie. She even got some long-stemmed red roses from an admirer and had an absolutely joyous day.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Vienna Part 2 or "How to put a show together in 10 hours or less!"

Staged readings are such an interesting phenomenon. I've done a few of them this year and they've ranged from big staged affairs to small intimate gatherings, and they've all been great learning experiences. It's almost like watching a rehearsal, because all of the actors still have their scripts in hand and the movement about the stage is very simple. In some cases, its even done with the actors seated at a table like a board meeting. But it all comes down to simply telling the story, or singing it in musical cases, so that the audience/directors/producers can get an idea of how the piece might work.

In most cases, rehearsal time before a staged reading can be very limited, which was the case with the piece I performed in last night: a new musical called Vienna. This was quite an undertaking because Vienna is a huge ensemble piece a la Ragtime or even Into the Woods. But we all met when we could and the director patiently rehearsed around everyone's scheduling conflicts. After a total of 10 hours in 2 days, the show was performed last night at the New Yiddish Rep Theater in the East Village.

There is something so artsy and timeless about the East Village. You can go from grafitti-land to tree-lined streets to skyscraperville... It was one of the first places I ran around when I first moved to New York, and I daresay its that way for any artist! Just check out some of the buildings:So there I was last night in a synagogue in the East Village, singing about turn of the Century Vienna, surrounded by characters like Prince Rudolf, Hugo Wolf, Johann Strauss II, Anton Bruckner, Arthur Schnitzler, the great actress Sarah Berhardt, and "my husband" Sigmund Freud (played by the delightful Richard Binder), all embodied by tremendously talented actors. There was something almost transporting about it, and I think this musical has great potential. It's a work-in-progress, as are most pieces of art, and it was really cool to be a part of something that is still being shaped.