Stories & Cast Interviews

Friday, February 17, 2017

Meet Anne Fraser Thomas in THE BIKINIS

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

We met with Anne between shows... Here's what this amazing actor had to say!

I grew up in Southern California and moved out to NY about 8 years ago. I played piano since I was 5 so music has always been a passion of mine ;). My upbringing was pretty strict, mostly studying and practicing piano 2 hours a day.

I came into performing on stage late in high school, but had always loved music. My parents weren't too fond that I became a performer, but I loved becoming a different person on stage each time. 

I was asked my the arranger of the show, Joe Baker, to do this project! Joe and I had worked together on a number of projects. This is my first time doing the show. I had sung all the disco songs before through bands I had worked with, and knew some of the other songs before! What a great selection of music! 

I like any show that is funny and has heart.. Avenue Q is one of my favorite shows because of that! I would say I've played a majority of my dream roles. Aldonza in Man of La Mancha is my favorite part to play and I would love to play that role forever! I would love to play Lady of the Lake in Spamalot 

When I’m not on stage, I love watching shows on Netflix, working out at the gym, catching up with friends, and traveling!

I love listening to music by Lizz Wright! Also, I have a weird mix of Jazz, pop, Broadway, and random karaoke tracks that I listen to! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Meet Katy Blake in THE BIKINIS

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

We caught up with Katy between shows.. Here's what this multi-talented actor had to say!

 

I Grew up in Danville, VA. I have two sisters and we all sang in the church choir in Danville. We were in the band and I sang in a band in High School. I can't remember the name of the band but we covered George Michael and Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. I don't think we ever wrote our own song, tho:)

I was always dramatic as a child. In school plays and community theatre. I grew up with sisters and cousins and neighborhood kids and I would write plays, direct them, and star in them. I used to get upset when kids didn't show up to rehearsals.

I auditioned for the show when it was done at Riverside Theatre in Florida a few years ago. I wasn't cast originally, however, I got a call from Jim Hindman about a problem they were having with casting that production after rehearsals had started and he asked if I was available. I kind of was (had to shift some things around) but it was Florida in November and December so who was I to say No? I learned the role of Barbara in three days and had a ball! I assisted Jim in directing the show in Rochester, and I directed it in Westport, NY at the Depot Theatre a couple of summers ago!

I'm on the Hamilton bandwagon and think it's a fantastic show! I have gotten to play most of my dream roles - Eva in Evita, Christine in Phantom. My favorite role I have ever played (and I played it three times) was Percy in The Spitfire Grill.

When not on stage, I write!  I'm writing an original musical (Storming Heaven: the Musical) and we just had our first reading at Playwrights Horizons in January. I love to knit - especially backstage as I can still pay attention to what's going on and can make cute clothes for all my friends who are having babies!
I am happily married to a wonderful man, Barry Wilson, and I love to cook and he loves to eat so it's a match made in heaven! I love gardening and am very lucky that in our place in Harlem, we have a large patio and I have grown everything from tomatoes and eggplants to figs and flowers! 

Music I listen to?  Right now it's the music to the show I'm writing. Oh, and Lady Gaga. I Love her!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Meet Ann-Ngaire Martin in Christmas Inn

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Pacific Palisades, Calif. I have 2 sisters and a brother. I am the youngest of 4. I come from a very close family. I Was studying to be a pianist but switched in high school to wanting to perform.

Both Junior High School and High School Music teachers were huge influences in me having the confidence to go into musical theatre.

I went to NYC at 18 with $250 in my pocket and a dream. I Lived in a girls boarding house for a week till I got a waitressing job, then enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for a 2-year program.
with Molly Culot in Christmas Inn

I have done 5 shows including Christmas Inn here at the WBT. I love the family feeling of working here. There are so few venues like this near NYC, if any.

My Favorite shows are...  Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, A Little Night Music. My Dream role at this point in my career would be Rose in Gypsy and Edie in Grey Gardens.

I enjoy celebrating the Holidays at home with my kids and a turkey dinner... and I am happy. Waffles on Christmas morning is a favorite tradition
 
When not on stage, I love playing the piano with no one around or watching an old movie with a glass of wine! I listen to A lot of classical music and every Joni Mitchell album she recorded. 

     
          In 42ND STREET                                  In GYPSY           In A CHRISTMAS CAROL

 

Nick Varricchio is back in Christmas Inn!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Cleveland rocks! #windians. #believeland. I come from a big Italian family where every Sunday was pasta Sunday at my grandma's house. I have two of the world's greatest brothers-- Domenic, a commodities broker in Kansas, and Vinnie, a nurse-in-training. My parents-- Marissa and Enrico, are the hardest working people I know; they inspire me.

I saw Jersey Boys on my very first trip to the Big Apple. After we left the theatre I turned to my mom and said, "I want to do that someday." Lucky me, my family has supported me every step of the way.

I have many mentors! My dear friend Brint, who directed me in a production of The Light in the Piazza and helped me to rediscover my artistry, and my Italian teacher and friend of 15+ years, Elvira.

I also consider the old MGM Hollywood stars to be my mentors-- TCM was always playing on the tv in my house.

I last performed in Happy Days at WBT as the Fonz. Not many people can say they've played the Fonz, so I wear that legacy of a brown leather jacket proudly!

I love coming back to WBT because the people here are truly a wonderfully kind, giving, and caring family.

I pine to play the role of Bobby in Company one day. I recently had the chance to work with the marvelous Pamela Myers, and the stories she shared were invaluable. I hope to ghostwrite her autobiography one day. 

To the tune of Karen Carpenter, "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays!" I love being with my family for the holidays. We have a tradition where we all gather at a relative's house, and we sing the Hallelujah Chorus, carol to the cassette of Mitch Miller and the gang, and finish with Barbra Streisand's The Lord's Prayer. Eventually, the Elves arrive with pajamas for one and all!

I'm teaching myself the accordion! One day, if you should find yourself navigating the subways, be sure to look beyond the Mole people and straphangers, and you'll find me donning a beret and neckerchief whilst portraying my most Parisian self as I languidly warble the music of Edith Piaf!

Top 3 vinyl albums I play on my record player in the morning before CrossFit: Yvonne Elliman's "Love Me", Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's "Ella & Louis"

 As Fonzie in HAPPY DAYS