Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kudos to our crew

This is closing weekend for Hell's Belles at HA Comedy Club, and I want to pay tribute to your awesome crew.

Paul Bourgeois is our wonderful stage manager.

He took over for the excellent Ernie Fimbres who guided us through rehearsals before leaving for a tour with Seussical the musical.

Debbi Hobson is our calm, cool and collected wardrobe assistant (to costume designer Gail Cooper-Hecht), and she has been able to make quick costume adjustments on the fly. Before I went on the other night, she tightened up my loose tuxedo vest which I wear for Alice B. Toklas. Seriously, Debbi is amazing with a pair of scissors, needle and thread! :)

Molly Cohen is the production assistant and my fabulous dresser. She helps me make the tough transition from Lady Godiva to every other character I play.

Literally, there are seconds in which I have to go from one character to another, and I would be lost without Molly. She does all these great "finishing touches," like making me new Joan Crawford eyebrows every night and helping keep Godiva's wig straight. She also puts on my Judy wings. :)

David Flora is our Box Office Manager - wonderful guy! Lindi Dunn is our divine Head Devilette Usher, and Lauren Kairalla is the technical director (on staff at HA!).

Thanks to all these wonderful people, and to our creative team: John Znisdarsic (top left), our delightful director; Mary Feinsinger (right), our fabulous musical director and accompanist; producers, Eileen (below with Omri Schein) and Sharon Weiss; Bryan D. Leys, who wrote the book and lyrics; and Steve Liebman who composed the show.

Thanks to everyone, for a fun ride! 2 more shows to go! Let's raise the roof!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2 more performances ofHell's Belles

2 more performances for Hell's Belles the musical: next weekend Oct. 1-2 at 5 PM at HA Comedy Club's Midtown Theatre 163 West 46th St. near Times Square.

It's a very fun show about a nightclub in hell where famous women from history and pop culture perform (some of my incarnations are in the postcard above). It's a joy to share the stage with 3 talented performers who transform nightly as well.

Oakley Boycott is energy incarnate as a pop star who finds herself in hell.

Her portrayals of Medea, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Di and Evita are electric! I am constantly inspired by her.

Kristen Mengelkoch also rocks my world as Eleanor Roosevelt, Ma Barker, Eva Braun, Gertrude Stein, Lizzie Borden and Bette Davis.

Omri Schein is our marvelous Master of Ceremonies, aka Lester. He is such a wonderfully witty performer, and I love hearing him bring down the house with his song, "My Little Black Book."

Mary Feinsinger keeps us all grooving along as Delilah, our fabulous musical director and accompanist.

It's a great cast, a great crew, and I am so honored to be working with them all.

Hope to see you there! Friends and Family DISCOUNT for final weekend: $30 - USE CODE: FAF

More info at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Secret Identity

Do you ever feel like a superhero? I hope so!

Most of us juggle more than one job, and definitely play more than one role 
in our day-to-day lives.

I've felt a little bit like a superhero lately. By day, I work at an online advertising 
agency which is very flexible with my acting schedule. Its a great company 
and I am very aware of the particular role I play there.  
Then at night (and most days too), I fling off my glasses and become 
Actor Laura. This is a fulltime job too, made up of performances and 
all the work that goes into getting onstage including auditions, classes, 
homework, research, and constant practice, or rehearsal. Its a great gig 
and I love it! 

Sometimes I feel like Diana Prince, sneaking off to a hidden spot to twirl and become Wonder Woman. :) Both roles serve their purpose, and I enjoy the transformation. That's why I'm an actor in the first place.
Every weekend, through Oct. 2, I transform into 7 famous women from history and pop culture for the musical "Hell's Belles." Its a very fulfilling gig at HA Comedy Club's Midtown Theatre, and I love the people I work with. I am constantly refining my characterizations. Judy Garland in particular has been fascinating to research, and I'm so thankful for all the great YouTube clips of her work. There's a ton of great stuff online!  
But back to superheroes.
My husband is definitely one. All my friends and family are amazing, 
and I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so much love and support. 

Hope you're feeling "super" today too. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum

Last week, I had the pleasure of performing in Dana Lorge's Wednesday Night Cabaret at The Iguana. I sang "Let's Sing 'em All," the Judy Garland song from Hell's Belles, the show I'm doing every Saturday and Sunday night at HA! Comedy Club. One of my producers, Eileen Weiss, captured this clip.

Dana Lorge hosted the evening and she was a delight! Such a funny lady!

There was a fabulous woman named Rita  who sang "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" She was phenomenal! And then there was Cassie Hohn, who previewed some of the songs from her show, Bathing in Bette. She pays tribute to Bette Midler and her early material, but does it with her own sense of style and sass. Cassie absolutely rocked the joint!

She's performing 9/30 at Don't Tell Mama's, and I wish I could catch her, but I'll be in rehearsals for another gig. My plate is filling up! :)

And it makes me realize that you have to sing and dance and play while you can. "Life is a cabaret, old chum. Come to the cabaret! Come taste the wine, come hear the band! Come blow your horn, start celebrating! Right this way! Your table's waiting." :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Judy at The Iguana

This past weekend, we opened Hell's Belles the musical at HA Comedy Club's Midtown Theatre, and we were packed with fabulous audiences!

The show is about a nightclub in hell, run by a devilish master of ceremonies, and famous women from history and pop culture take the stage. I have the honor of playing Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Lady Godiva and countless others!

It is a thrill to play these iconic women, especially Judy, because people have such a personal response to her. It's absolutely awe-inspiring, and I am so grateful that people have embraced my performance as her.

Tonight, I'll be performing as Judy in a cabaret at The Iguana which is on 240 West 54th Street. There are a ton of incredible acts, and I'm delighted to be a part of it.

It's called Wednesday Night at The Dana Lorge, listed under Special Events.

Reservations are a must! Call 212-765-5454. Doors open at 7:30 PM and the show starts at 8. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Fearlessly Funny

This Saturday, September 10, is opening night for the musical Hell's Belles. This is the third time I've performed in an incarnation of this show, and I'm having a blast! It's wonderful to be part of a show's growth, to see and hear changes in music, musicality, and story-telling. John Znidarsic is our fearless director, and the hilariously talented Mary Feinsinger is our musical director. Both have been angels in guiding us through this musical.

I love going to work on this show each day, because I've fallen in love with my castmates, who are off-the-charts talented, fearless and funny! They have all brought something unique to the table, and its a joy to work with them.

(Me, Omri Schein, Oakley Boycott, Kristen Mengelkoch - all photos by Mark Krieger)
The show is about a nightclub in hell, run by a devilish master of ceremonies named Lester, played with great comic heart by Omri Schein.

Infamous women from history and pop culture command the stage, and I'm honored to play Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Lady Godiva, Salome, Guenevere, Alice B. Toklas, and Joan Crawford.

Oakley Boycott plays a pop star akin to Lady Gaga, and she also takes on such legends as Marilyn Monroe, Medea, Evita and Princess Di, who's visiting from heaven. :)

Each time Oakley takes the stage, she has such high voltage energy! It is a pleasure to watch her, and a thrill to share the stage with her. We get to rock out a few times, and it such a blast! Boom, baby!

Last but not least is the uber-talented Kristen Mengelkoch, who plays Eleanor Roosevelt, Ma Barker, Eva Braun, Gertrude Stein, Lizzie Borden and Bette Davis.

I love watching Kristen's face, because her faces are so distinctive per character and she is outlandishly funny. Her voice is HUGE! It's no surprise to me that she's wowed audiences in Forbidden Broadway.

We have dress and tech rehearsals this week, and then we're LIVE at HA Comedy Club this Saturday and Sunday at 5 PM.

The show runs every weekend from September 10 - October 2nd. Click Here for Tickets. If you'd like a discount code, send me a ping. :) Hope to see you there!