Meet Broadway Wiz Bright Star, Sarah from NYC!
Sarah is a slightly obsessed with The Book of Mormon and she is also a talented doll maker!
On average, how many Broadway or Off-Broadway shows do you see a year?
Now that I have a job, almost 100. (I go for all of the discounts, and that includes repeat viewings.)
Favorite Broadway show:
The Book Of Mormon
All-time favorite performer:
Ooh, tough question, can I have a minute to think abou–ANDREW RANNELLS!!! <3 And literally the entire original cast of BOM. (But mostly him…see what I did?)
Songs you like to belt in the shower:
“I Believe,” “You’ll Be Back,” “Over The Moon,” “Changing My Major,” “You And Me (But Mostly Me),” “Comedy Tonight,” “The More You Ruv Someone,” “Diva’s Lament,” “Vanilla Ice Cream” (okay, that last one’s not belting, but STILL).
Favorite piece of theater memorabilia you own:
A few months ago I won the Twitter lottery for BOM and got to take my friend Jenna as a belated birthday present. My seventh time, her first. She had wanted to see it for years and the fact that I rarely shut up about it probably didn’t help. Our seats were in the front row, but on opposite sides of the stage, so we met up at intermission and at the stage door. After the show, she grabbed a small piece of something from the stage and we ripped in half so we could each take some home. This counts as having a piece of the set. Thanks, Jenna!
Most memorable performance you’ve ever seen:
Ugh, I could never pick just one, so here are a few:
*Everything I’ve seen Andrew [Rannells] do, obviously, but especially Hedwig. I was at his second performance and I had just seen Neil Patrick Harris (who was also AMAZING) in the role a few months prior, and he added a vulnerability to the performance that really stuck with me. Neil was angrier about everything while Andrew was more hurt by everything, and both portrayals were super effective. Even his “Exquisite Corpse” was heartbreaking, and don’t get me started on “Midnight Radio.” I went back and saw him four more times, including his final performance.
*Since I brought it up, Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig. I had been a fan of his for a long time, but this was my first time seeing him in person, so that was a huge deal for me. I knew he was talented, but WOW! That performance made me an even bigger fan of his than I already was. I went with my mom, who is very difficult to impress and assumed she would only get joy out of watching me watch him, but she loved it too and now she’s a big fan of his as well.
*Seeing The Book Of Mormon for the first time, not knowing what to expect, and immediately falling in love. I’m tempted to single Andrew out again, but every single one of them gave amazing performances, so it wouldn’t be fair. (Although, he was the only one to stage door that day because it was a matinee, and he was incredibly sweet to everyone, which is ultimately what won me over. Guess I singled him out anyway. Whoops.)
*Lilli Cooper in Spring Awakening, Tommy Bracco in Newsies, and Emily Skeggs in Fun Home. I had the honor of going to high school with them, and it was great getting to see them doing what they love and being wonderful at it. Especially Tommy, because we had done a bunch of shows/scenes together, so I was the closest to him out of the three.
*Kristin Chenoweth in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. I’d pretty much always known that I wanted to pursue a career in acting, but her performance is what solidified it.
*Rob McClure in Chaplin. My mom and I were at the final performance, and now we always make sure to see a show if he’s in it. We’re still mad that he didn’t win the Tony that year. (Sorry, Billy Porter. You are also fantastic. Rob said so too.)
*Alice Ripley in Next To Normal. Need I say more?
Best interaction you have had with another theater fan:
The first time I ever waited at a stage door was when my friend and I saw the final performance of The Producers. (Hi, Billy!) We didn’t know that the stage door was a thing, but he knew the actress playing Hold Me, Touch Me, so we wanted to congratulate her. One by one, other cast members were coming out and people were asking them to sign programs. We were not prepared for this, but a girl standing near us offered to share her Sharpies, and now our programs are full of autographs. We chatted with her in between stage door sightings and the three of us are all still in touch. (Hi, Ariel!)
The Disgraced stage door was also special because I finally met someone who loves Andrew Rannells as much as I do! Even after all the actors left, we stood outside the theatre for about an hour and talked about him. We’re still in touch too. (Hi, Deanna!)
Why do you love theater?
I had to. My real answer is that it’s fun. It’s a way to distract yourself from your own problems and focus on fictional characters’ problems instead. It’s new and familiar at the same time.
I tell everyone that my dream role is Maureen Johnson in Rent, but my actual dream role is Elder Price in BOM. Others include Hedwig, Kate Monster in Avenue Q, Amalia in She Loves Me, Little Red Riding Hood or the Witch in Into The Woods (I played Granny in college), Portia in Something Rotten!, and Umbridge in A Very Potter Sequel.
Best stagedoor or backstage experience?
Every post-show interaction with both Andrew Rannells and Nikki M. James. I’ve met both of them enough times for them to recognize me, and they’re so, so sweet.
I mentioned seeing Andrew’s second performance in Hedwig. I had met him by chance about a week before, but that stage door was super crowded (as I expected) and I wasn’t expecting anything more than an autograph and a quick photo, if that. But as soon as he got to me, he asked how I was and said it was great to see me again. He had just begun performances and had a huge crowd to deal with, and yet he still remembered my face.
Favorite spots in NYC:
The Eugene O’Neill Theatre (of course), Schmackary’s (why do I have a feeling everyone is going to say that?), Molly’s Cupcakes, the Disney store, brgr on 79th and Broadway (shameless plug because I work there, but the food and milkshakes are also delicious), and 54 Below.
If you could sing a duet or perform a scene with any Broadway star, who would it be?
I know you’re all expecting me to say Andrew Rannells, but as much as I would love that, I would not be able to get through the performance without crying (maybe some day…probably not, though). So I’m going to say Nikki M. James or Matt Doyle, because I love them too. I’d also love to perform with Tommy Bracco again.
Did you ever fangirl when you met an actor/performer?:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA every time I see Andrew. I legitimately have trouble speaking when he’s nearby. I saw him at Birdland in June and had a great conversation with him, but I had to force myself to get the words out and it took way, WAY more effort than it should take anyone who has learned how to speak. My most memorable fangirl lines are, “You’re my favorite,” “You make me dizzy” (he responded, “Oh, that’s not good,” and then I said, “No, in a good way.”), “Can I…photo?” and blurting out, “You’re perfect!” as he was walking away. Fan problems. I have them.
What would your super power be?
Something fan-related, I’m sure. I’d also love the ability to fly.
Besides theater, what are some of your other passions or hobbies?
I love knitting and crocheting (check out my Etsy store), and I make a lot of Broadway-themed things. I also take acting classes once a week, and I enjoy eating and hanging out with friends. A combination of these things is ideal.
Anything else you would like to share? Funny stories, weird facts about yourself, cool talents?
I’ve seen BOM a total of 7 times, which is the most I’ve ever seen a Broadway show. As I mentioned earlier, I love knitting and crocheting, and I’ve been making dolls of my favorite Broadway characters since 2013. A few BOM cast members have dolls of the characters they portrayed. And I was interviewed for a Washington Post article about the things people are willing to do (and have done) to see Hamilton.
Finally, I will never be satisfied (see what I did?) until Josh Gad plays Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
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