Interview of the Month: Stefanie Brown


Today, we are glad to bring you another exclusive interview of  Broadway is Wicked. This time we have the honor to have Ms. Stefanie Brown. This amazing performer is now playing  Nessarose in the First National Tour of Wicked.

BroadwayisWicked (BW): Who is really Stefanie Brown? (beyond Wicked)

Stefanie Brown (SB): I am a very kind, loving person who always wants to see the best in people. I love animals, specifically dogs, and would not be able to live without them. I have a very fun, positive personality, and I love to keep busy. I hate just sitting around, I always have to have something to do. I am very organized, my daily planner is my life, it is a little scary. I am very neat and do not like messes. I am a very good friend who can keep a secret. I love desserts and I absolutely love mexican food. I love to try new restaurants, and I love to shop! I love new clothes! I like to think of myself as fun to be around and I love just sitting at home and hanging with my friends. I can sometimes be awkward in certain situations. I am very easy going, which sometimes causes me not speak my mind, which can get me into trouble. I do care about my physical appearance, except I hate going to the gym. I am a huge romantic and I love movies and music. I love to perform, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I think that pretty much sums it up.

BW: When did you know that your career was going to be acting?

SB: Honestly, I do not really know. When I was 3 years old, I just started to perform for everyone all the time. Whether it was dancing to music at family get togethers or singing for the camera, I just had this incredible passion for performing. My parents are not quite sure on where I get it from. I knew I wanted to make a career out of it when I was about 8, and got to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at school. That is when I knew, I had to do this for the rest of my life.

BW: How did you feel the first time you performed in front of an audience?

SB: It is so exhilarating!! Nerve racking, and exciting all at the same time. The very first time I ever performed for a big audience was when I was 3. My family and I were at a big vacation resort in California, and they were having a big band night. During the bands set, I escaped my mothers arms and ran up onstage and asked the lead singer if I could sing. He agreed, gave me the mic, and I began my rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. That is the exact moment where I caught the bug for performing. I have never been able to stop. The sound of laughter and applause is so addicting!

BW: We know about the Middle-of-Penn-Station call but, how did you come to audition for “Wicked” and what was the audition process like?

SB: It is a very long story, but I will try to make it as brief as possible. After my senior showcase in college, I got involved with my current agent, who called me about the audition for the Glinda u/s in the Wicked National Tour, while I was doing Hair in Arizona. Telsey and Co. (who casts Wicked) also cast Hair, and one of their casting directors was coming to our opening night, and would also give me a pre screen audition while in AZ. My first audition for the show, was at my college, in a studio I knew very well, with my college accompanist. Things seemed to be in my favor, and because I was so at ease, my audition went great! I was then sent to New York, for the final callback, and received the call an hour later saying “I got it!”.

BW: You must have been a lovely Belle and a wonderful member of the Tribe but, how is “Wicked” different from what you’ve done before?

SB: I think it’s different mostly in the way the music is written. The score of Wicked is written almost like a movie, there is a ton of underscoring and that is unlike any other musical I have ever been in. It is also a lot more powerhouse contemporary pop singing than any other show I have been in. The only other difference I can think of, is that it is a “prequel” to a familiar movie/musical, Wizard of Oz. Everyone who sees it already has pre conceived ideas about the characters.

BW: Do you have a favorite moment in Wicked? A favorite song or scene? (As Nessa or /and Glinda)

SB: My favorite scene/song as Nessarose is the “Wicked Witch of the East” scene in Act 2. I love the whole scene, and it fun to be a little bit evil 🙂 My favorite thing to sing is the whole “Well, we’ll see about that…” – It is so dramatic, I LOVE it! My favorite scene when I was Glinda, was always the “Popular” bedroom scene, and the cat fight scene in Act 2. My favorite song to sing when Glinda, was always the Opening, and Thank Goodness!

BW: Who do you prefer to portray, Glinda or Nessa?

SB: That is such a hard question! I love them both for different reasons. I love the drama involved with Nessa, and I love the laughs associated with Glinda. I love playing Glinda’s journey more, but I think its more fun, as an actress, to play Nessa. Does that kind of answer that question?

BW: How did you feel during yours first “put-in” rehearsal?

SB: SO freaking’ nervous!!! I remember for my ensemble put in, I was breathing so hard at the end of every number. My brain was working on overload, to make sure I was doing everything right and in the right place. My put in for Glinda, was a whirlwind, I don’t think I even moved in the opening in the bubble. Funny thing is, I have never had an official put in for Nessa, so my first time in front of an audience was my first time in those costumes, so that was super nerve racking.

BW: You first left and then came back to Wicked. How is the second experience in Wicked coming for you?

SB: It is amazing, I always tell people I felt like I was on summer break (those three months) and then it was time for school again but you know how you are always so excited to start school again? That is how I felt. Plus I got lucky all my close friends are still here, so I get to be back with them. Although half the company is different so it is hard for me to get to know everyone new, because they are always onstage when I am not, but they all are so supportive and wonderful. I thought it was going to be hard to remember everything but surprisingly it came right back to me!

BW: Do you have any dream roles?

SB: My dream roles include, Christine in Phantom of the Opera, any role in Les Miserables, Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

BW: Which do you think are the key things to succeed in musical theatre?

SB: First and foremost you have to have a very tough skin, and you must have an incredible passion for it, and could not see yourself doing anything else! This business is hard and competitive but I truly believe that if it’s meant to happen, it will happen! You also must be good with other people, and get well with others. This business is very small and everyone knows everyone, so be kind to others, word travels! The last thing I will say is to always try to strengthen your weaknesses and really focus on your strengths! And take as many classes as you can!

BW: Which what do you feel more identify with? Why? – Acting, singing or dancing?

SB: If I had to put them in an order according to me it would go, Acting, Singing, and Dancing. I don’t ever really get nervous when acting, but I do get nervous when I have to sing, and I don’t consider myself a “dancer” but a “mover plus!”.

BW: What would say to upcoming performers?

SB: You will get so many different answers from different people, but the most valuable piece of advice I have picked up along the way is, “BE YOURSELF!” You are the only thing making you different than anyone else, and that is important to remember. Also, believe in yourself, because there will be people in your life that will tell you, “You can’t”, and as long as you know you can do it, then you can and will. The last piece of advice I will give you is to really learn as much as you can. Soak any information and training you receive, it will help you along the path of this competitive industry.

THANK YOU STEPHANIE FOR A WONDERFUL INTERVIEW

Performer of the Week: Stefanie Brown


With the recent launch of her new Blog “One OZsome Blog” we wanted to do Stefanie’s profile. I will only make some edits from her bio on her site because I think it’s awesome!

Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Stefanie knew she wanted to be a performer by the age of three. With the support of her parents, Stefanie began voice and dance lessons. At the age of eight, Stefanie made her stage debut as Dorothy in her school play of “The Wizard of Oz”.

Throughout her teenage years, Stefanie continued all lessons and fought the stress of trying to balance both theatre and sports. By the end of her senior year, Stefanie made the decision she wanted to pursue a degree in theatre. After auditioning for theatre schools, Stefanie decided to attend the University of Arizona. Throughout college Stefanie would star in such productions; Juliet in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Cunegonde in “Candide”(Mac Award Nomination), and Hope Cladwell in “Urinetown”. In the spring of May 2008, Stefanie received her BFA in Musical Theatre.

After graduation, Stefanie spent the summer in Tennessee, doing summer stock. In the month of September, Stefanie made the big move to New York City. She lived in the city for about two months before she received the call telling her she was cast in the regional production of “Hair” at Arizona Theatre Company and would be earning her equity card. Stefanie would soon return to AZ and begin to rehearse with her new tribe. During the rehearsal process, Stefanie was called to come audition for the Glinda understudy for the national tour of Wicked. During a day off, Stefanie flew back to NY for the audition. On her way back to the airport, in the middle of Penn Station, she got the call saying she had booked it! As she recalls, one of the happiest moments in her life.

Stefanie is currently touring around the country with the first national tour of Wicked. Stephanie is now portraying Nessarose in the First National Tour of Wicked.

Stefanie’s Twitter – Follow her @somethingstef

Stefanie Brown Official Web Site

Girl of the Week: Jackie Burns


Jackie Burns is  currently playing Elphaba in WICKED First National Tour. Mrs Burns has recently replace Donna Vivino.

Burns was most recently seen in the original cast of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Hair, where she was part of the ‘Black Boys’ trio and understudied and performed the role of Sheila. Off-Broadway she was part of the original company of Rock of Ages and the award-winning Unlock’d for NYMF.

West End Live 2010


2010 marks the 6th Anniversary of West End LIVE Westminster City Council’s annual entertainment festival held in  Leicester Square

Free for all the family West End Live offers visitors a spectacular event including showcase performances from top West End shows and musical acts and experience a wonderful array of interactive exhibits from many of London’s top museums, galleries and cultural institutions.

For those of you who werent able to attend or for those who want to see it again here is an excellent video coverage of the performances via elizabethtoni

Wicked

The Lion King

Legally Blonde

Into the Woods

Avenue Q

Sister Act

Mamma Mia

Grease

Sweet Charity

Jersey Boys

Hair

Chicago

Billy Elliot

We Will Rock You

Burn The Floor

Dirty Dancing

BroadwaySpace Tony Party hosted by Annaleigh Ashford


BroadwaySpace is hosting a party for the Tony Awards in NYC.

Time: June 13, 2010 at 7pm to June 14, 2010 at 1am
Location: Blondie’s
Street: 212 West 79th Street (Between Broadway & Amsterdam)

What better way to watch the Tonys than with the Broadway community? Not only will tons of Broadway theater fans be attending, but also RSVPing are some of your favorite Broadway performers!

And HAIR stars Annaleigh Ashford (former Glinda in Wicked) and Kyle Riabko will be there hosting the event!

There will be TV’s everywhere so you won’t miss a moment and a quiet room available for people who want a more intimate Tony watching experience.

Booking and more info here

Hair on Broadway sets new Tribe by announcing new cast


New Broadway cast of HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical was announced today.

The new Tribe will debut on Tuesday, March 9, at the Al HirschfeldTheatre (302 West 45th Street, NYC).

As previously announced, the original Broadway cast will be moving to the West End to open at London?s Gilegud Theatre. Previews begin on April 1, 2010 with Opening Night set for April 14.
The complete new Tribe of HAIR is as follows (in alphabetical order):

Annaleigh Ashford (Jeanie)
Jeannette Bayardelle (Dionne)
Diana DeGarmo (Sheila)
Vanessa Ray (Crissy)
Kyle Riabko (Claude)
Wallace Smith (Hud)
Jason Wooten (Woof)
Ace Young (Berger)

Justin Badger (Tribe)
Nicholas Belton (Swing)
Larkin Bogan (Tribe)
Natalie Bradshaw (Tribe)
Catherine Brookman (Tribe)
Briana Carlson-Goodman (Swing)
Antwayn Hopper (Tribe)
Jay Armstrong Johnson (Swing)
Rachel Bay Jones (Mom)
Mykal Kilgore (Tribe)
Josh Lamon (Margaret Mead/Dad)
Nicole Lewis (Tribe)
Anastacia McClesky (Tribe)
Paris Remillard (Tribe)
Arbender Robinson (Swing)
Kate Rockwell (Tribe)
Cailan Rose (Tribe)
Rashidra Scott (Tribe)
Jen Sese (Tribe)
Lawrence Stallings (Tribe)
Terrance Thomas (Tribe)
Emma Zaks (Swing)
Lee Zarrett (Tribe)

via BBW

Misbehavin’, Hair, 9 to 5, Shrek and West Side Story Nominated for the Grammy


Nominations for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced Dec. 2.

For Best Musical Show Album category this are the nominees: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Hair, 9 to 5 The Musical, Shrek The Musical and West Side Story.

The complete list of nominees in the Best Musical Show Album category follow:

Ain’t Misbehavin’ Robert Sher, producer (Various, composer; Various, lyricist) (30th Anniversary Cast Recording With Ruben Studdard, Frenchie Davis & Others) [Rhino] Hair Noah Cornman, Kurt Deutsch, Joel Moss & Steve Norman, producers (Galt MacDermot, composer; James Rado & Gerome Ragni, lyricists) (New Broadway Cast With Sasha Allen, Gavin Creel & Others) [Razor & Tie Entertainment/Ghostlight Records]

9 To 5 The Musical Frank Filipetti, Stephen Oremus and Dolly Parton, producers; Dolly Parton, composer; Dolly Parton, lyricist (Original Broadway Cast With Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, Megan Hilty & Others) [Dolly Records/Artist2Market Distribution]

Shrek The Musical Peter Hylenski & Jeanine Tesori, producers; Jeanine Tesori, composer; David Lindsay-Abaire, lyricist (Original Broadway Cast With Brian d’Arcy James, Sutton Foster & Others) [Decca Broadway]

West Side Story David Caddick & David Lai, producers (Leonard Bernstein, composer; Stephen Sondheim, lyricist) (New Broadway Cast with Matt Cavenaugh, Josefina Scaglione & Others) [Masterworks Broadway]

CBS will broadcast the event live from 8-11:30 PM ET. For a complete list of Grammy nominees, visit www.grammy.com.