The new Broadway production of Spring Awakening takes the idea of communication to a whole new level. This show features deaf actors who sign ASL, their speaking/singing counterparts and some who do both. I had a chance to chat with Kathryn Gallagher, who is making her Broadway debut. Kathryn is the voice of Martha and WOW, can she sing. She is also the sweetest person ever and extremely friendly to all her fans at the stage door.
What was your first exposure to Broadway and musical theatre, and how did it influence you?
I grew up with my father [Peter Gallagher] being a theatre actor, so I was raised in this community and with a huge respect for Broadway and theatre in general. I also, as an individual, grew up always listening to musical theatre and in dance classes, so really it’s been my whole life. I can’t remember a time without theatre in my life. I dressed up as Annie for my preschool class picture. (And every other day).
What was the first Broadway show you saw?
The first Broadway show I saw was The Lion King!
Have you seen any of the current shows on Broadway? If so, what’s your favorite right now?
Yes! I saw Fun Home and I LOVED it!! I saw Andy [Mientus] in Les Mis last year which I loved as well. I’ve seen pretty much all of the longer running shows but the newer shows I haven’t seen as much of! I have a long list of things I want to see.
Most hilarious or embarrassing moment onstage?
Hmmmm… I have a lot… I’m a mess, I fall a ton and I am always tripping. There’s really too many to name… There’s a tally in my dressing room for how many times I’ve fallen during the show. Like that’s where we’re at with me.
Who would you like to work with?
My friends. This might be a lame answer but honestly, nothing is better than working with your friends. I’m so lucky right now doing my first Broadway show with my best friends in the world, I want it to always be like this.
But, for the answer you’re probably looking for… I would really love to write or do a record with Jack Antonoff or Matty Healy and George Daniel. They’re musicians who right now I really respect and think are doing really cool things with Pop music.
Which show would you revive?
I want to do Hair… I think that would be really fun.
What’s it like being dance captain?
It’s remarkably difficult. It’s a lot of work on my own time learning everyone’s choreography, making the dance bible, getting prepared for understudy rehearsals and put-ins. I’m always at the gym practicing the choreography…. one time I ran into Spencer [Liff] while I was in the gym running the “Touch Me” choreography. That was embarrassing.
It’s been really cool though; I look at the show in a whole new way now. It’s been a challenge but it keeps things fresh. There’s always something to be working on and learning and paying attention to. Plus I have an excuse to learn all the amazing choreo for the show that I don’t get to do because I’m playing guitar! It’s the best of both worlds.
What do you find challenging about being in Spring Awakening?
Everything. Everyone is working so far outside their comfort zone though so it doesn’t really feel scary to try new things and fail. Everything is challenging but it’s also 10 times more rewarding that way.
What do you love most about the show?
Do you have a favorite number in the show?
“Totally Fucked” or “Bitch.” Those are the two.
If you had your own one-man show, what would it be called?
Hmmmm. Too soon to tell. Albums are kind of like one man shows so I guess we’ve got three potentials already, haha!
If you had to pick a different profession, what would it be?
I would be a pastry chef.
Would you rather always have to sing rather than talk, or always have to dance rather than walk?
Always dance rather than walk!
Have you always dreamed of being on Broadway?
What is your favorite line that you get to say/sing?
“I love your light.”
You write your own music – how would you describe your music in one sentence?
A quiet walk through your hometown in autumn.
What are your future career goals?
I definitely want to dedicate this next year post-Spring Awakening to making an album, touring and creating new music. But I’m also acting and loving it. So who knows. If I can continue to tell stories and work with people I love I will be a very happy girl.
Most played songs on your iPhone/mp3 player? Your go-to Karaoke song?
“Woman” – The 1975
“Out of the Woods” – Ryan Adam’s 1989
“American Money” – BORNS
“All Too Well” – Taylor Swift
“Georgia” – Phoebe Bridgers
“Beverly” – Jesse Thomas
“She’s a Witch” – Gengahr
“Sister” – The Japanese House
How do you think social media has changed the music/entertainment industry, and what’s your approach to dealing with it?
I LOVE THE INTERNET. It’s really cool to me to see the fans of the show and talk to people who are listening to my music. It’s really special to have that connection. I absolutely love it. My approach is fairly simple, I’m pretty much 100% my unfiltered self and if people dig it that’s cool if not that’s cool too.
Favorite Cast Album
Original Broadway Cast of Spring Awakening.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Food
There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure!!
I love a really good steak.
Hidden Quirky Talent
Honestly I have none!!! How sad!!
Etsy. I can get LOST.
I’m reading “The Tender Bar” right now which I love. But my favorite book of all time is “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. I have a line tattooed on my rib.
All-time favorite show
LAW. AND. ORDER. SVU. Honorable mentions: “Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Alias,” “Buffy” aaaaand any Real Housewives!!!
Favorite thing about NYC
The food. The friends. Walking. The pace. And it’s my hometown so that too 🙂
Favorite Dance Move
Anything that involves a hair flip. Or being a tree.
California or NYC?
I always want to be where I’m not (I’m working on it!!). Right now I’m missing LA a lot. But I’m also loving NY!! I miss my roommate and her dog and my friends but I’m so happy here!!!