Girl of the Week: Jemma Rix


Jemma grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, and it was here during her early childhood that her love for performing and entertaining was developed. At 21 she moved to Melbourne to enhance and develop her skills and opportunities as a Musical Theatre performer.

After a number of commercial engagements, Jemma left Australia and headed to Universal Studios Japan where she was initially cast as the Bride of Frankenstein in the Monster Rock and Roll Show. She was then cast as Elphaba in a world first staged adaptation of WICKED. Later, Jemma was thrilled to be a part of the Australian premiere of WICKED in Melbourne. This led to numerous opportunities including performing at the 2008 Carols by Candlelight, WICKED cast performances at Melbourne’s Federation Square and Town Hall, Special Guest Performer at the 2009 Australian Ethnic Business Awards and the 2009 QANTAS Business Awards, AFL pre-match entertainment performances, Singing at the ANZ Rob Guest Endowment Fund Concert and appearing on Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s morning TV show.

Jemma Rix Appreciation Society on Facebook

Girl of the Week: Laura Michelle Kelly


Laura Michelle Kelly was born March 4th 1981.  She  an Award-winning English actress and singer who achieved critical acclaim in the role ofMary Poppins in the musical of the same name.

Kelly’s West End musical credits include Beauty and the Beast, Whistle Down The Wind as Swallow (2000), Les Misérables as Eponine at The Palace Theatre (2001), Mamma Mia! as Sophie at Prince Edward Theatre (2002), and My Fair Lady as Eliza at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (2003).She made her Broadway debut in a revival of Fiddler on the Roof as Hodel (2004).

Mary Poppins premiered in September 2004 at the Bristol Hippodrome, followed, in December, with its arrival in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre. For her role as Mary Poppins, Kelly earned rave reviews. At the 2005 Olivier Awards, she won the award for Best Actress in a Musical. She left Mary Poppins on 29 October 2005 after more than 400 performances and was succeeded by Scarlett Strallen. Kelly then went to Singapore to star in a revival of A Twist of Fate produced by the Singapore Repertory Company. It also starred Anthony Drewe (who co-wrote the music with Singaporean composer Dick Lee).

In 2006 she returned to the London stage performing in A Tribute to Dirty Dancing at Kenwood House and Marble Hill. Kelly and Michael Ball performed at the Hackney Empire on Thursday 1 August 2006 to celebrate Anthony Newley for BBC Radio Two which was broadcast on 29 September 2006. Kelly was the Special Guest for Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra on tour during December 2006. On 27 August 2007, Kelly made her BBC Proms debut, performing “The Prayer” from the film Quest for Camelot alongside Michael Ball.

From May 2007 until 4 February 2008, Kelly played the role of Galadriel in the London stage production of The Lord of the Rings at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane to critical acclaim.

She plays the dual role of a nun and former Coronation Street actor Johnny Briggs’s trophy wife in an ITV1 production of Agatha Christie’s Nemesis. and made her film debut as Lucy Barker in the Tim Burton/DreamWorks film Sweeney Todd.

Kelly appeared alongside Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in David Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow at London’s Old Vic theatre from 1 February to 26 April 2008 and at the Ruhrfestspiele inRecklinghausen, Germany, in May 2008.

Since 12 October 2009, Kelly is reprising the role of Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway, replacing Scarlett Strallen.

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: 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

Girl of the Week: Teal Wicks


Teal Wicks was born in Sacramento, California. Teal is an American singer and stage actress best known for playing Elphaba in Wicked.

Teal attended UC Irvine and graduated with a degree in Drama and honors in Musical Theatre. She was also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

She starred as Catherine in the National Tour of Pippin, a role that she later reprised at the Goodspeed Opera House. She also starred in New York City Center Encores production of Stairway to Paradise which was directed by Jerry Zaks.

She also starred in the New York Premiere of Fahrenheit 451, and the world premiere of Turandot: The Rumble for the Ring at the Bay Street Theatre, New York.

On January 1, 2008 Teal was cast as the standby for Elphaba in the Los Angeles production of the musical Wicked. She served as standby to Caissie Levy until May 13, 2008, when she was promoted to principal Elphaba because of Caissie Levy’s departure, due to health problems. Marcie Dodd took over as standby.

As principal she starred alongside Megan Hilty, Erin Mackey and Emily Rozek as Glinda. She departed the show on October 29, 2008, and was replaced by Eden Espinosa, who returned to close the production which played its final performance January 11, 2009.

Teal is currently originating the role of Elphaba in the San Francisco production of Wicked, which began previews January 27, 2009 and opened February 6. She stars alongside Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda.

Through out her run in Wicked she has gone on with many different Glindas, including: Megan Hilty, Emily Rozek, Laura Woyasz, Erin Mackey, Kendra Kassebaum, Natalie Daradich, and Alexa Green.

Girl of the Week: Blake Lively


Blake Christina Lively was born August 25, 1987. Blake is an American actress and she stars in the book-based TV series Gossip Girl as Serena van der Woodsen. She has also appeared in several films including Accepted and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as well as its sequel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

Lively was born in Los Angeles to actors Ernie and Elaine Lively. She was raised as a Southern Baptist. The youngest of five siblings, Lively has a brother, Eric, two half-sisters, Lori and Robin, and a half-brother, Jason. Both of her parents and all of her siblings are, or have been, in the entertainment industry. “My mom and dad always taught acting, so instead of getting me babysitters, they would just bring me to class,” Lively recalls.

As a child, Lively was homeschooled. Lively attended Burbank High School in Burbank where she participated in Burbank High School’s show choir, In Sync, and was a cheerleader. Lively stated in an interview for the August 2008 Seventeen that she attended 13 schools. She wanted to attend Stanford University. Lively was not at all interested in acting but during the summer between her junior and senior year, her brother, Eric, made his agent send her out on a few auditions. Of the two auditions, she got the role of Bridget for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Lively reportedly had a nose job after filming 2006’s Accepted. In January 2008, OK! caught up with Lively at Wednesday night’s Chanel Fine Jewelry’s Night of Diamonds held at The Plaza in NYC, and asked her about the rumor. “I don’t know,” Lively told OK! “It’s the way you address any rumor. People want to talk. They want to create negative things about you and your life, make up things. You can’t look at it. You can’t let them affect you.”

Blake Lively dated actor Kelly Blatz from 2004 to 2007; the two had been friends since childhood. In late 2007, rumors circulated that Lively was dating her Gossip Girl co-star and former childhood classmate Penn Badgley. In May 2008, People magazine published photos of the two kissing while on vacation in Mexico. Lively and Badgley have since become more open about their relationship, which has made it a favorite topic of the tabloids. They have been dating since December 2007. Lively was placed #33 on the Maxim Hot 100 List in 2009.

Secret Wish: She is just breath taking…perhaps she can give us mouth to mouth resuscitation.