Stories & Cast Interviews
Meet Sarah Cline as Linda Baker in Christmas Inn
I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, KS, as part of a loving family which included my dad and mom, my older sister, Laura and younger brother, David. Kansas holds a very special place in my heart, and I am proud of my Midwestern roots. I lived there from the ages of 4 to 18, when I moved out to study Musical Theatre in college. My parents have always been so supportive of my love for singing and theatre, and I am grateful to have grown up in a household that encouraged us kids to follow our dreams, to work hard and to be kind.
My Headshot at age 9.
I started doing Musical Theatre when I was six years old, and I've been doing it ever since. My parents did a great job of exposing the kids to a lot of different types of music, including musicals, which encouraged my love of singing. I knew every word to the 10th Anniversary album of Les Miserables before I knew my states and capitols. After I did my first show as part of a summer program for kids, I auditioned for every show I could around the KC area. I ended up missing a lot of fourth grade because I was "working" around town. (Again, VERY supportive parents!) Of course, then, I didn't think of it as working at all! Eventually though, by the time I hit high school, I knew that I wanted theatre to be more than just a hobby; I dreamed of it being my career. My high school theatre teacher, Dan Schmidt, fostered my passion and helped me to fall in love with acting. Suddenly, I wasn't just a singer, I was a storyteller, and that was the most exciting gift anyone could give me.
This is my first show at WBT and I couldn't be happier. Everyone is so incredibly kind and professional; I feel very lucky to be working here.
My favorite musical of all time is Les Miserables. To me, it is perfect. I also love Sweeney Todd (or really, anything written by Stephen Sondheim). My dream roles include "Fantine" in Les Miserables, "Elphaba" in Wicked and "Cathy" in The Last Five Years.
I am so excited to go home to KS to spend Christmas with my family for the first time since 2012! I've been working on cruise ships for the last couple of years, so I can't wait to reacquaint myself with our family traditions. My favorites include our annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Competition and the Christmas Eve dinner that my stepmom cooks up, complete with crab legs!
With Nick Varricchio in Christmas Inn.
When not on stage, I love to bake (I make a mean chocolate chip cookie!) but if I couldn't be an actor, I would be a make-up artist or some kind of beauty consultant, so I enjoy playing with cosmetic products a lot. You're likely to find me in the aisles of Sephora with eyeshadow swatches all over my arms. Also, when I'm not onstage, I make sure to enjoy the incredible friends I have in my life. Sometimes, there is nothing better than sitting around with my roommates, having a glass of red wine and watching Shark Tank.
I don't often listen to musicals for recreation; typically I'll listen to shows only if I'm studying for a role. So, my favorites are Singer/Songwriters from all decades. Jim Croce, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Ed Sheeran are my all-time favorites!
At 10, with Dad in a community theatre production of The Music Man.
Meet Kilty Reidy as Bill Brewer in Christmas Inn
I was born in Charlotte NC. I was raised in North Carolina by Midwestern parents (Chicago). So the rules that applied in my home didn’t always apply outside. For instance, when responding to an adult in Southern culture, it is polite to reply with a Ma’am or a Sir. When I would respond to my mother with a "yes, ma’am”, she would tell my not to take that “tone” with her. Ah, cultural differences.
My mother is a huge fan of theatre I was raised listening to Leonard Stallman’s New Faces of 1952. What do you mean you don’t know it? Later on Annie and A Chorus Line were thrown into the mix. My mother also put together Vaudeville Shows for the Church Fall Festival. And we always had a piano player at the house when my parents threw big parties. Clearly, there was no hope for me.
I took class with a Meisner teacher who taught out of the old Carnegie Hall Studios. His name was Fred Kareman. He made a lasting impression on me.
My father always joked when I started working professionally, “It’s about time that loud mouth made you some money!” He was right.
I've done several shows at WBT; Carousel, West Side Story, Funny Girl (twice), And The World Goes Round, Happy Days. Well, I love that I can work and live at home (that is the dream). Also, after many years and many shows, WBT feels like a family to me. They gave me one of my first jobs as a new Equity member and have always been kind enough to let me return.
Some of my favorite shows? The Most Happy Fella, Once on This Island, The Scottsboro Boys, Light in the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof, Drowsy Chaperone..just off the top of my head!
My dream role? Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and I want another shot at Alfie Byrne in A Man of No Importance.
I Celebrate The Holidays with my family. As a kid, it was a party at the Girdich’s house, followed by midnight mass. We open family gifts on Christmas Eve, that is our special time.
What's on my Ipod? Tons of musical theatre. I Love podcasts…This American Life, The Moth, Ronna and Beverly, and many more.
Spotlight on Ballroom Extravaganza Dancers Anna Trukhan and Ilia Zakharav
Anna Trukhan and her partner Ilia Zakharav are certain to be a popular dance couple of the Westchester Broadway Theatre audience when they appear in the Ballroom Dancesport show “We Are the Champions” on Tuesday evening, June 7, 2016.
In less than three years dancing together, Trukhan and Zakharav have heard nothing but resounding applause during their highly entertaining presentations. They are currently the United States National Standard Showdance champions. “Our victory in the United States is something we’re especially proud of,” says Trukhan who, along with her partner, are originally from Ukraine.
“We’ve done a lot of shows lately and many aboard ships”, she points out. “We’ve been regular performers and dance instructors for Holland, America, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Companies, and one of our first appearances together was at Casino Resort World in Manila, and needless to say many cities in Europe and the entire United States.”
Ana and Ilia continually work at changing their well-rehearsed routines. “We keep in mind the type of audiences we’ll be dancing for,” she explains. At the WBT “Kooza”, a standard show dance will be new for them. It includes Foxtrot, Tango and Quickstep foot work. A Viennese Waltz called “Thousand Years” and a dramatic International Tango titled “Kalinka Malinka” should appeal to the crowd.
Six world renown couples comprise the show with each couple a champion in a different type dance. There are 30 show dance presentations that will be seen Including contemporary Argentine Tango stars Diego Blanco and Ana Padron.
Meet Michael Amante, The People's Tenor
Affectionately known as, “the People’s Tenor” Michael Amante continues to be celebrated by audiences and critics alike around the world. As a performing artist and actor he has distinguished himself with his versatility and an outstanding range of talents. Since his title role in a production of Oliver at age 6, he has been delighting audiences from all walks of life. Today, Michael routinely sings a repertoire that includes Broadway, Jazz, Rock, Gospel and American Standards as well as the soaring notes of High Opera. Included in Michael’s many wide-ranging credits is an Emmy nomination for his self-titled PBS television special. In Addition, he has appeared on many national television programs including ABC’s “The View”, Emeril Live, MSNBC’s coverage of the Columbus Day Parade, Live with Regis Philbin, The Song Writers Hall Of Fame, and a number of made for TV movies for the LifeTime Network. He has also been heard on several national television commercials including Heineken and Panasonic. In 2002, Michael achieved another milestone when he was listed as the number one classical artist of the year in Billboard Magazine’s year- end review.
Michael has been crowned the “Prince of the High C’s” for his remarkable ability to sustain with ease, one of the most desired notes of a tenor’s voice, however his range includes the high E and F with a strength and consistency seldom heard elsewhere. Michael has a long history of singing popular Rock and Gospel music, coupled with extensive Italian Bel-Canto training by some of classical music’s most celebrated singers. Michael’s artistry drew it’s highest praise from none other than “the King of High C’s”, Luciano Pavarotti, the most prolific tenor of all time. Pavarotti immediately recognized his unique talent after Michael performed a soaring tribute and was quick to commend him for his vocal prowess. Another high-class commentator, who has endorsed Michael, was opera legend Franco Correlli, with whom Michael trained. Lavish in his praise, Correlli is noted as saying that Michael has one of the finest voices he had ever heard.
Michael’s stage appearances include leading roles in West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Lil Abner, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and La Bohéme as well as Cavaleria Rusticana. More recently he portrayed the lead role in the musical “Chess” for which he received outstanding reviews. His live concerts with some of the nation’s best symphonies include music from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Italian classics and songs from treasured American composers. He has showcased his talents in front of a myriad of A-list celebrities, four US Presidents and Pope John Paul II. On a larger scale he has appeared in front of capacity crowds of over 80,000 at Giant’s Stadium as well as numerous sports venues including Madison Square Garden, CitiField, Camden Yards, Foxboro Stadium and Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. His sold-out venues consist of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Heinz Hall and the nation’s top performing arts centers, renowned casinos and luxury resorts including Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun and The Hard Rock.
Michael is a true patriot and the son of a decorated World War II Army Air Corps veteran and pilot who flew nearly 100 combat missions. One of his most personal projects is a patriotic recording titled “Amante Salutes America” where all profit from sales is donated to the nation's disabled veterans. It was from his father and mother that Michael would acquire his love of classical composers as well as a strong sense of pride in his American heritage. Michael also worked as a Tenured Crisis Intervention Counselor for severely emotionally challenged children in Central New York . As well, he was a Senior Graphic Designer for Ernst & Young LLP in Manhattan. Michael Amante is the father of three and is married to inspirational author/speaker and award winning journalist, Ann Marie Ganness.
MIchael Amante performing songs from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Turandot