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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Learn Your Lessons Well" with Greta Kleckner

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Greta is a force to be reckoned with in GODSPELL.. energetic and versatile in her many portrayals... see what makes her tick: 

     

I grew up in Annapolis, MD raised by a single mom. We lived in a cute and quiet neighborhood with two crazy SPCA reject dogs, and we both did community theatre for fun all throughout my childhood.

My mom was the one who got me into theatre, spending time backstage as she did various community theatre shows, and eventually us doing those shows together as I grew up. I never planned on doing musical theatre as my career, I was on track to be a professional classical violinist. Theatre was just something we got to do together that was fun. Boy, how things change!

I first heard of Godspell as a very young child, when I fell in love with the movie (or really, I fell in love with a young Victor Garber. What a hunk!). I haven't done the show before, but I grew up singing the songs, doing the silly dances, painting my face, and going to see any production of it in a 50-mile radius.It's a dream show for me, and I can't believe I get to be a part of it now!

I LOVE the movie. I think movie musicals, though they have to go through a lot of changes to transcend entertainment mediums which sometimes loses the magic, expose the masses to something they may not otherwise be able to experience, which I fully support.

Favorite shows: Godspell (Duh!), Batboy, Peter and the Starcatcher, Mame, too many to count! Dream roles: Gooch in Mame (check!), Penny in Hairspray... and really any opportunity to make art is a dream!

When I'm not on stage, I really love entertaining. I know that sounds silly, but I love bringing people together, making new friends, playing games, etc. In general, community is really important to me, so spending time with people and connecting others into a network of support and love is something I am passionate about. Also baking. And coffee.

My music taste is a mix between hipster indie folk and top 40. Last song played was "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears. No shame. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sarah Smithton DAY BY DAY!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)

 Sarah Smithton sings the classic, DAY BY DAY in GODSPELL.. Here is what she shared with us!

      

I grew up in San Francisco, CA!  Born and raised in the Mission District. As far back as I can remember, the arts were always a part of my life. I was seeing theatre/opera/ballet as early as 5 years old. San Francisco is such a great place to have a rich, cultural upbringing with all of its museums and theatres. 

It was the summer that I was 8 years old. I had nothing going on the week of the Fourth of July, and so my parents signed me up for a week-long musical theatre camp run by Academy DeTurk in San Rafael, CA. I got bit by the theatre bug and never looked back.

I did Godspell in middle school (photo above right) and have been listening to the recording for years, but it's my mom who has the best connection to the show. When she was in college, one of the members of the original Broadway cast borrowed her leotard, and then never gave it back because they were off in NYC performing the show on Broadway. True story. Who was the person? My lips are sealed!  

I have seen the movie...Victor Garber's afro is insane! On musical films: Chicago is still one of my favorites. Rob Marshall did such a good job at capturing how it feels when a character magically breaks into song. If the musical in question lends itself nicely to a film adaptation, I say go ahead.

Into the Woods is probably my favourite musical, with many many runners up like Oliver, Spelling Bee, Assassins - to name a few. Peter Pan is on my list to play, and in my wildest dreams? Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. After I saw Tim Minchin do it, my life was changed.

When I'm not onstage I'm hardly ever on the ground! You'll find me at various aerial arts studios in the city, or practicing Antigravity Yoga - something I got certified in this year and am head over heals in love with.

I listen to everything from Scissor Sisters to Jamie Cullum; from Ludacris to the Civil Wars. There's a good amount of jazz and singer/songwriter tunes, but I try not to stay in one genre. Also nearly every cast recording ever. And a ton of mashups - I love mashups. 

 

Meet Karley Willocks Turn Back, Oh Man!

Posted by: pia Haas on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

   

I grew up in Annapolis, MD. I have a super musical family - my dad plays guitar and my mom was always singing and tap dancing. My brother went on to become a jazz guitarist. We are very close and love to make music when we are together. 

I started dance classes at 3 - a bumblebee in my first dance recital! I did my first musical at 8 and never stopped! My theatrical mentor growing up was an amazing woman named Bobbi Smith -- she passed away when I was in high school which was really traumatic for me.  However, that's when my next mentor came into my life named Bobby Smith (we call him Bobby Smith Boy).  Can't make this stuff up!

I always remember hearing of Godspell, but I've never been in it and actually never even seen it before. I've never seen the movie either... Obviously, I love the way films can make musical theatre more popular - and reach a wider audience. But I can be a tough critic on musical films... lots of changes are often made to songs/lyrics/dialogue/plot and I guess INo Turning Back  tend to be a purist and don't like things being changed.  A couple of musical films out there are great, but often times I think they are poorly done and wish they'd be left alone.

A Chorus Line has a very dear place in my heart, I've done it 6 times always as Maggie. So not only does the story itself speak to me, as it does most artists...and humans.. but I also treasure the way it has continuously been there for me professionally.

I also love Into the Woods, Les Miserables, Batboy and Rent.   My Dream roles: Eponine in Les Mis, Roxie Hart in Chicago, Cinderella in Into the Woods

When not on stage, I love being outside - hiking, bike riding, beach... all things nature. I also love hula hooping.  Reading. Painting. Playing ukulele. Going to concerts. I listen to  Lots of Dave Matthews... and Indie Rock, yoga music, my brother Dave Willocks -- and classics like The Beatles, Bob Marley, Earth Wind & Fire and Paul Simon

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Meet Josh Kenney! 'The Light Of The World!"

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Josh Kenney appears in GODSPELL on our stage.. We caught up with him and asked some prying questions... Ha!

  

I grew up in MA. I am the eldest of 3 and the only boy. Started on the Cape/ Nantucket then on to Boston then my family moved to Mansfield, MA which is located next Foxboro, MA where the New England Patriots play (GO PATS!!!) I grew up moving a lot. As a child my parents would take me every Saturday to MASS College of Art for art classes. I always loved drawing cartoons and inventing characters. In HS I was in AP Studio Art as well as track and field in HS. Varsity Division 3 state Champs Indoor and Outdoor for my Junior and Senior year. Performing for me was never even on the spectrum of possibility until my senior year. Growing up no one in my family was ever artistically inclined. 

Which leads me to Emily Hayes, a fellow senior, who begged me to be a part of a youth production of ‘Annie' she was stage managing for a local youth theater. I reluctantly said yes. I auditioned and got the part of Rooster.I HAD NO CLUE I COULD SING OR ACT OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT. I was bitten by the acting bug and fell in love with performing. It took a while for me to really trust in myself and my talent to decide to make it a career. Now flash forward to me at 25  when I got the courage to go back to school. I attended AMDA’s 2 year program and graduated in 2013. So here I am now an Equity actor thanks to Emily Hayes who is now the ASM on 'Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.’

I first heard of the musical ‘Godspell’ when I was 19/20? I had no knowledge of the American Musical Theater catalogue however some songs were familiar. A local community theater production was auditioning and I auditioned. I was cast in the role of Jesus. Unfortunately my car broke down and I couldn’t find a way to get to rehearsals so I had to drop out. Its sort of been the show that got away. :) I am thrilled to get to do the show and sing this awesome score. 

This will be my first show at WBT. I am totally thrilled to join the team. I have heard so many wonderful things. Emilio Ramos who was in the last show, West Side Story with WBT. He and I graduated together and performed together in the same graduating showcases. He’s raved about the theater. :)

I have never seen the movie of ‘Godspell.’ I think it depends on the piece and whether the material will be served well on such a large scale. I loved Into the Woods, and Chicago, and Dreamgirls

My favorite shows right now are FUN HOME, Something Rotten, Matilda and The King and I. Overall I would say Into the Woods and playing Rapunzel’s Prince would be a dream role. I would love the chance to play Elder McKinley in The Book Of Mormon, George in She Loves Me and when I’m older Jean Valjean in Les Miserables

When I am not on stage I am in the gym or seeing movie or painting. I paint on the side as a means to not have to wait tables so much. You can see a few of them right on my website http://www.joshkenney.com/#!artwork/c6fI originally went to UMASS Dartmouth for fine arts and painting. I also happen to be a major foodie I love all kinds of food and I am constantly scouring EATER NY for new places to go and eat. 

I listen to: Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, DJ Zedd, Gaga, Macklemore, Katy Perry, Madonna, Kylie Minogue… and even Taylor Swift. As well as Bette Midler, and tons and tons of cast albums. I also will at times use songs to pick a play list and rock out to 90’s Jock Jams.