Girl of the Week: Katie Rose Clarke

Katherine “Katie” Mary Rose Clarke was born in August 25, 1984. Katie is an American musical theater actress. Originally from Friendswood, Texas, she first came to national attention for her portrayal of Clara Johnson in the Broadway production, the live PBS broadcast, and the national tour of The Light in the Piazza. She made her Broadway debut in The Light in the Piazzaon December 9, 2005, at the age of 21, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in New York City under the name “Katie Clarke”.Clarke replaced Kelli O’Hara in the part of Clara Johnson, after O’Hara had left the show to play Babe Williams opposite Harry Connick, Jr. in The Pajama Game.

She got her start acting at the United Methodist Church. Clarke is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. Her other theater credits include Craig Lucas’ 2007 play Prayer for my Enemy at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven,Connecticut and the Deborah Abramson/William Finn musical revue “Travels With My Discontent” at the Barrington Stage Company. She also performed in the regional production of TUTS Houston Anything Goes in the ensemble. She was profiled in The New York Times in January 2006.

Katie recently portrayed the role of Glinda in 1st National Touring production of the musical Wicked. Her first performance was on November 6, 2007 replacing Christina DeCicco. She starred alongside Carmen Cusack and later Donna Vivino as Elphaba. She left the tour on August 16, 2009 and was replaced by Chandra Lee Schwartz. Now she is to be returning to her role to replace Erin Mackey -this time in Broadway- as from mid January.


Girl of the Week: Brandi Burkhardt

Brandi Lynn Burkhardt was born June 25, 1982. Brandi is an American vocalist, actress and beauty queen. She grew up in Pasadena, Maryland but currently lives in New York City.

She toured the country in the musical Jekyll & Hyde, in the Jekyll and Hyde-Ressurection Tour. Her Broadway debut came when she was cast as Lucie Manette in the Broadway musicaladaptation of A Tale of Two Cities which opened for previews on August 19, 2008 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New Yorkand had an official opening of September 18, 2008. The production announced on November 4 that it would be closing on November 16, but the producers announced on November 7 that due to poor ticket sales the following week, the production would close on November 9, 2008. She was connected to Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure by Frank Wildhorn, and sang the role of Alice on one of the demos, but is no longer connected to the production.

She had recently played Sophie Sheridan in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia. She began her run on January 27, 2009 replacing Allison Case. Burkhardt played her final performance on September 20, 2009 and was succeeded by Alyse Alan Louis.

After touring the country in the musical Jekyll and Hyde, with the Ressurection Cast in concert form, Burkhardt joined the cast of the NBC daytime drama Passions as the mysterious Siren, a mermaid now living on land. She is also seen in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic, as a “Sample Sales Woman.” She was persauded by co-star James Stacy Barbour to audition for A Tale of Two Cities. The two knew each other from an unreleased commercial concept album of Frank Wildhorn’s Dracula, the musical.

Secret Wish: That she had saved her Mamma -Mia wedding dress for us!

Girl of the Week: Zooey Deschanel

ooey Claire Deschanel is an American actress, musician and singer-songwriter. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford and soon became known for her deadpan supporting roles in films such as Almost Famous (2000) and The New Guy (2002). She then began playing lead roles in films, including All the Real Girls (2003), Eulogy (2004),Winter Passing (2005), Tin Man (2007), Flakes (2007), Yes Man (2008), (500) Days of Summer (2009), and Gigantic (2009).

Since 2001, Deschanel has performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies with fellow actress Samantha Shelton. She plays keyboards, percussion, banjo and ukulele. She has sung in several of her films, and her debut album Volume One (recorded withM. Ward under the moniker She & Him) was released on March 18, 2008.

Deschanel appeared in a guest role on the television series Veronica’s Closet before making her film debut in Lawrence Kasdan’s 1999 comedyMumford, and later in the year she appeared in the music video for The Offspring’s single “She’s Got Issues”. In her second film, director Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical Almost Famous (2000), Deschanel played Anita Miller, the protagonist’s rebellious older sister. The film received critical praise,but was not a box office success. Deschanel continued to sing, and in 2001 formed If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies, a jazz cabaret act with fellow actress Samantha Shelton.The pair performed around Los Angeles. Deschanel played supporting roles in a series of films that includedManic (2001), with Don Cheadle and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Big Trouble (2002), with Tim Allen and Rene Russo Abandon (2002) alongside Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt and Melanie Lynskey, and The Good Girl (2002) alongside Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. In late 2002, The New York Times reported that Deschanel was “one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young stars,”and the Los Angeles Times wrote in early 2003 that Deschanel had become a recognizable type, due to “her deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing [film] performances” as the protagonist’s best friend. Deschanel objected to her typecasting, arguing, “A lot of these roles are just a formula idea of somebody’s best friend, and it’s like, I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time, so I don’t know how I’m everybody’s best friend now.”

Deschanel turned down several supporting roles and played her first lead role in All the Real Girls (2003). Deschanel’s performance as Noel, a sexually curious 18-year-old virgin who has a life-changing romance with an aimless 22-year-old, received critical praise, and she received an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Actress. Later in 2003, Deschanel played a deadpan department store worker opposite Will Ferrell in the comedy Elf, which became a box office hit.

Deschanel appeared in Frasier, starring as Roz’s out of control cousin, Jen.

In 2002, Deschanel appeared in The New Guy as Nora, the guitar player in the lead character’s band, Suburban Funk. The New Guy was the first of Deschanel’s films in which she sang onscreen; in Elf she duetted with Ferrell in the bathroom shower scene on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, and was also heard singing it on the soundtrack with Leon Redbone. Subsequently, Deschanel has sung in Winter Passing (“My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean”), the 2005 television musical Once Upon a Mattress (“An Opening For a Princess,” “In a Little While,” “Normandy,” and “Yesterday I Loved You”), an old cabaret song in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and the 2007 short film Raving (“Hello, Dolly!”). Her piano composition “Bittersuite” was used thematically in the dark, off-beat 2004 dramedy Winter Passing, in which she starred alongside Ferrell and Ed Harris.

In 2004, Deschanel starred in Eulogy, and in 2005 as Trillian in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams’ science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Deschanel then playedSarah Jessica Parker’s neurotic roommate in Failure to Launch (2006), and appeared on four episodes of the Showtime television series Weeds from 2006 to 2007, playing Andy Botwin’s quirky ex-girlfriend, Kat. In September 2006, Variety announced that Deschanel would play 1960s singer Janis Joplin in the film The Gospel According to Janis, to be co-written and directed by Penelope Spheeris. Deschanel planned to sing all of Joplin’s songs, and took four months of singing lessons “to approximate Joplin’s gritty vocals.” The film, scheduled to begin shooting on November 13, 2006, was postponed indefinitely.

In 2007, Deschanel appeared in two children’s films, Bridge to Terabithia and the animated film Surf’s Up, in which she voiced a penguin named Lani Aliikai. In December 2007, she played DG, the lead in the new Sci Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man, a re-imagined science fiction version of L. Frank Baum’s children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

In March 2007, Deschanel contributed vocals to two songs “Slowly” and “Ask Her To Dance” on the album Nighttiming by Jason Schwartzman’s bandCoconut Records. In May 2007, singer/songwriter M. Ward, who had previously performed with Deschanel onstage, said that he was “just finishing work” on her debut album, which will feature songs written by Deschanel and produced by Ward. Fox reported that Deschanel and Ward were recording under the moniker She & Him, and that the album, titled Volume One, would be released by Merge Records on March 18, 2008.

On April 27, 2008, she appeared on The Simpsons, playing the role of Mary, Cletus’s daughter.

In June 2008, Deschanel starred opposite Mark Wahlberg in M. Night Shyamalan’s environmental thriller The Happening.

In December 2008, Deschanel starred in the comedy film Yes Man, opposite Jim Carrey. She sings several songs featured in the film and is shown singing Uh-Huh and Sweet Ballad alongside San Franciscan all-girl electro soul-punk group Von Iva in a band called Munchausen by Proxy.

Deschanel currently stars as the title character in the popular romantic-comedy (500) Days of Summer, opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt (for a second time after Manic). The film is directed by long-time commercial and music video director Marc Webb.Deschanel will guest star in an upcoming Christmas episode of Bones as Brennan’s never-before-seen cousin. In the first-ever on-screen pairing of the Deschanel sisters, Zooey will play Margaret Whitesell, a distant relative of Emily’s Dr. Temperance Brennan. Brennan’s father, Max Keenan (guest starRyan O’Neal), invites Margaret to spend Christmas with him and his daughter. In 2010, Deschanel will play Belladonna in the upcoming fantasy comedy film, Your Highness.

Deschanel became engaged to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie on December 28, 2008. They married in September 2009.


Girl of the Week: Malin Akerman

Malin Maria Åkerman was born May 12, 1978. Ms. Akerman is a Swedish film actress and model. She has appeared in such films as The Heartbreak Kid,27 DressesWatchmen, and Couples Retreat.

Åkerman was born in Stockholm, Sweden to a model mother and an insurance broker father.Her family moved to Toronto, Canada when she was two years old. After her parents’ divorce, her father returned to Sweden, and Åkerman stayed in Canada with her mother. She lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario for a short while, attending Parliament Oak Primary School, then Niagara District Secondary School until Grade 11, and then graduating at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. She also attended Dante Alighieri Academy and North Toronto Collegiate Institute in Toronto for her OAC year before moving on to attend York University for a year.

At the age of 17, Åkerman won the Ford Supermodel of Canada search. She appeared in several television commercials, including one forNoxzema skin care. After a career in modeling, she turned to acting and moved to California. She has had roles in several films, includingThe Utopian Society (2003) with Sam Doumit and Austin Nichols and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004). Akerman has made several TV guest appearances and, in 2005, was cast as Juna in the HBO series The Comeback. She has also appeared on The Showbiz Show with David Spade as a correspondent and in the third season of HBO series Entourage.

Åkerman starred in the 2007 Farrelly Brothers movie The Heartbreak Kid and in the 2008 film 27 Dresses. She played Silk Spectre in the2009 film adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen. In 2009, Åkerman co-starred in Couples Retreat, opposite Vince Vaughn, and The Proposal.

Åkerman sings for the band the Petalstones, known previously as Ozono.

Åkerman married Italian musician Roberto Zincone on June 20, 2007. She still speaks Swedish fluently, but admits that she is “thinking in English, and has to translate to Swedish.”

Secret Wish: That she propose to us!

Girl of the Week: Emma Stone

Emily Jean “Emma” Stone was born November 6th, 1988. Emma is an American actress, born and raised in Scottsdale, Stone relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 15. She broke into television and landed a starring role in the short-lived series Drive in 2007. She made her feature film debut that year in the comedy Superbad playing Jules. She next appeared in the comedies The Rocker (2008), The House Bunny (2008), and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009). She stars in the horror/comedy Zombieland (2009), alongside Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, and Jesse Eisenberg.

Stone launched a career in television after winning the role of Laurie Partridge on In Search of the New Partridge Family (2004), a VH1 talent competitionreality show. The resulting show, The New Partridge Family (2005), only produced a pilot episode. Stone next appeared in the television series MediumMalcolm in the Middle and Lucky Louie. In 2007, Stone had a regular role on the Fox television drama series Drive until its cancellation. She made her feature film debut in the teen comedy Superbad, playing Jules, the love interest of lead character Seth (Jonah Hill).

In 2008, Stone appeared in the comedy films The Rocker, with Rainn Wilson, and The House Bunny, starring Anna Faris. In The Rocker, Stone played Amelia, the bassist in a band featuring Teddy Geiger; a role for which she learned to play the bass. She sang on the single, “I Know What Boys Like”, from The House Bunny with Katharine McPhee and Rumer Willis, a cover version of the 1982 single by The Waitresses. In the film, Stone played the president of a sorority; Colin Hanks also appeared in the film.

In 2009, Stone appeared in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, a romantic comedy directed by Mark Waters, the director of Mean Girls (2004), and starringMatthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. Stone played “The Ghost of Girlfriends Past”, a takeoff of the Ghost of Christmas Past from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. She also stars in the horror/comedy Zombieland, along with Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg. The project, her third comedy for Columbia Pictures, began shooting in Atlanta in February 2009. Stone plays Wichita, a survivor/con artist from Wichita, Kansas, traveling across the U.S. with her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).

Stone will star in the comedy Paper Man, starring Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds and Lisa Kudrow, and directed by Kieran and Michele Mulroney. Stone began filming on Veterans Day, November 11, 2008, in Montauk, New York, using well-known local locations. Stone will star as a high school student in Easy A with Amanda Bynes, a comedy directed by Will Gluck. Stone’s character divides the strictly moral students and teachers against the liberals in her school after a false rumor circulates that she’s sexually promiscuous. The script contrasts the novel The Scarlet Letter and its heroine,Hester Prynne, to the life of the protagonist in the film.

Stone has stated that she would eventually like to venture into film production, producing her own films, and would like to appear on Saturday Night Live.

Stone was living on her own in Los Angeles in 2007. She moved to Greenwich Village, New York City in 2009. She has stated that she is skilled inHTML and has web design as a hobby. Stone was romantically linked to singer-songwriter and actor Teddy Geiger, her co-star in The Rocker, at the time the film was being promoted in July 2008. Although known as a redhead, Stone was a brunette when film producer Judd Apatow had her change the color for her role in Superbad. She is naturally a blonde.

Secret Wish: That she punish us for being a superbad boy