As most of you know by now, the fearsome global pandemic that is COVID-19 brought The Carnegie’s production of End of the Rainbow to a halt just as we were going into tech, and I was immediately flown directly back to safely sequester myself with my family in California (well, part of my family… another part of my heart is overseas with our eldest child who is responsibly self-isolating in their flat). Rather than abruptly parting with a character I’ve cultivated such a relationship with, though, I thought we’d try our hand at vlogging through this crisis together until all of us emerge safely from the other side of it. Until that happy day arrives, I invite you all to come shelter in place with us, and I also encourage those of you who are able to consider making a financial contribution to The Carnegie, The Actors’ Equity Curtain Up Fund, and/or any of your regional theatres and arts organizations. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and yours health and strength.
It’s been my great fortune to have had several amazing opportunities over the years to portray some legendary female entertainers on stage, from Rosemary Clooney to Bette Davis, and almost Patsy Cline (due to unfortunate circumstances not involving me, that production was regrettably canceled just before opening). This spring, I am excited to be embarking on another such adventure, returning to The Carnegie Theatre in Covington, Kentucky to take on the role of Judy Garland in Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow, under the direction of Alice Flanders, with music direction by Ted Baldwin, and featuring a stellar supporting cast including Dylan Shelton, Aaron Whitehead, and Brianna Bernard.
What an honor to perform the national anthem at this past Wednesday’s San Francisco Giants game with this fabulous group!
It is such an honor to be bringing Rosemary Clooney’s story to Key West, where David Black and I (under the inspired direction of Joy Hawkins and supported by the fabulous trio of Jim Rice, Joe Dallas, and Daniel Clark) have been playing to sold-out houses and rave reviews at the Red Barn Theatre. Those who’ve followed my work over the years know what a cherished role this is and how much Rosie means to me, so I was incredibly touched by this lovely feature article running in the current issue of Konk Life. “Becoming” Rosemary Clooney is an extraordinary labor of love for me, and I’m reminded of the wise and resonant words of the late, great Colleen Dewhurst: “It’s worth it when you have a part that speaks to your heart, blows it open with all that it provides as a challenge, and when it works, when you connect with your fellow actors and your audience.”
Oh, is it ever.
If you’re in the Key West area or need an excuse to escape to paradise this winter, Tenderly runs through March 16th.
This holiday season, Jewel Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Jeffrey Scharf’s David Copperfield, The New Musical at the Colligan Theater in Santa Cruz, and I’m pleased to be joining a very fine cast, appearing in the role of Mrs. Micawber.
Directed by Joseph Paul Stachura and Julie James, with musical direction by Max Bennett-Parker, orchestrations by Brian Allan Hobbs, and choreography by Lee Ann Payne, this limited engagement runs December 13-23 and is selling out fast, so get your tickets while you can!
What a delight to learn that my portrayal of Rosemary Clooney in last year’s production of Tenderly at The Carnegie Theatre has been nominated for a BroadwayWorld Cincinnati Award in the category of Best Actress in a Musical (Professional). It’s an impressive field of worthy nominees indeed, so I consider it a great honor to be included among them! Voting is open now through December 31, 2018.