Many of you know that Beautiful is one of my favorite shows on Broadway, so when I was offered a chance to interview Anika Larsen (Cynthia Weil) I jumped on it! Anika and I talked about working with the amazing Jarrod Spector, her new album and more.
Catch her in the show before she leaves for bigger and better things! Her last appearance in Beautiful will be April 24th.
I have seen the show Beautiful a couple of times and I love it! can you tell me what it’s like to sing Carol king and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil iconic songs and what’s i like working with Jarrod Spector (my broadway crush)
Jarrod Spector is absolutely worthy of being your Broadway crush. He is not only wildly talented, but he is the smartest, coolest, kindest cat I’ve ever had the luck to fall in love with 8 times a week.
Singing these iconic songs is wonderful because the reason they’re iconic is because they’re so good. This stuff is tried and true and terrific.
What inspired you to record Sing You to Sleep, do you have a favorite track?
When Dan Watt, the producer of SING YOU TO SLEEP, first approached me after a show about doing a CD, I was flattered but said absolutely not, but then I started thinking about my nieces and nephews and all the little ones I’ve ever babysat and nannied for inspired me to do this album. I’ve been singing songs to lull kiddos to sleep for years. Not just lullabies, but any pretty song I could think of that might be nice to think about as you drift off.
I don’t have a favorite track, but “Baby Mine” is the song I sang to my baby boy when they placed him on my chest seconds after he was born, and it stopped him crying. The most special moment of my life.
If you can sing a duet with anyone else in the world who would it be?
My husband, Freddie. He’s a trumpet player and he plays on three tracks on the album. It’s hard to find a piece for voice and trumpet. But “Summertime,” the first song on the album, is very much like a duet between the two of us, which makes me happy.
Do you feel like you and Cynthia Weil have similarities, what drew you to want to play her?
Cynthia and I are both very verbal people. I love words. I love messing with them, rhyming, crosswords. So I understand why someone would want to be a lyricist. And why wouldn’t I want to play Cynthia? She’s smart, stylish, supremely competent and talented, hilarious, and chock full of moxie.
Is it more difficult portraying the role of someone who was actually alive and is a real person compared to portraying the role of a fictional character?
It might be hard if I was trying to be Cynthia, but I play the Cynthia Weil that’s on the page, the essence of her that is distilled into this show, which isn’t much different than playing a fictional character.
What was your best experience so far about being in Beautiful on Broadway?
My dresser set me up on a date with the man who is now my husband, so meeting and falling in love with him and creating a family together has been the best thing about Beautiful.
If you had to pick a different profession, what would it be?
Favorite Cast Album
Once on This Island
Best Day Off Activity
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Food
Levain Bakery cookies
Hidden Quirky Talent
I’m an amazing eye-crosser.
Favorite thing about NYC
the many different kinds of diversity
Favorite Dance Move