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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Meet Daniel Scott Walton as Frank Schultz in Show Boat

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

                                                  Daniel (as Frank) with Amanda Pulcini (as Ellie)

I grew up in upstate New York, in the Rochester area.  I have been doing theatre my entire life among a family of sports fanatics.  

I have been doing theatre my entire life.  I don't remember specifically how it started although when I was very young, I used to run around the house singing opera as loud and for as long as I could.  This gave my parents the idea to put me into dance, theatre, and singing lessons.  

I learned a great deal about Show Boat in college in my History of musical theatre class.  This musical was a turning point in American History of the theatre.  I am very excited to be performing in what is considered the first integrated musical in American Theatre.  

Stage Musicals being made into movie/tv musicals?  I personally love performing in live theatre.  I think there is truly nothing else like it and I think it is very important for people to see live theatre.  With that being said,  I do love when stage musicals are made into tv/movies because it provides another outlet for the world to see the musicals and everything they can offer.

I have never worked at WBT before! I am a very excited newcomer and very excited to be making my WBT with this classic show!

Some favorite shows include Once, The Light in the Piazza, White Christmas, The Book of Mormon, and I have to include the new musical Waitress, with music by Sara Bareilles which was truly unbelievable and completely moving.  I would have to say my dream role at the moment would have to be J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed....

When you're not on stage, I enjoy playing every type of game that you could possibly think of! Card games, board games, party name it...I probably love it.  I am also a professional bingo player. 

I very often put anything written by Sara Bareilles on repeat on my phone whenever I need music, lol. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Meet Amanda Pulcini, the delightful Ellie in SHOW BOAT

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Amanda (as Ellie May Chipley) with Daniel Scott Walton in Show Boat.

I was watching movies and going to see shows at a young age. I was always fully enamored with the actors. And I also loved watching my older sister tell stories.  She is quick and witty and I remember always thinking, I want to make people laugh like my sister. Why I was young, my mom used to give me voice lessons in the car and I would sing to Celine Dion for hours.  (I am nobody's Celine Dion but it was fun to pretend when I was little!!) Richard Stafford has been a huge mentor in my professional career.  He is always so loving and expects much from you.  I loved a director that pushes me and challenges me.

We had so many film versions of musicals,  my mom and I were always watching classic movies.  Singin' in the Rain was my favorite! Musicals we're really introduced through Disney movies and then very quickly, I was begging my parents to take me to see "Phantom of the Opera". And my dad and I flew to Toronto and to see  it and I was forever in love.  

I think stage musicals being made into movie/tv musicals is such a wonderful idea.  The more we can tell share these stories,  the more the art will grow and blossom. 

I started here sat WBT as a non performing swing  on Nine with Robert Cuccioli, then worked on Legally Blonde, and the last show I did was Fiddler on the Roof. I love the family that is formed between the cast and crew. The friends I have made in these shows, are still friends who I get together with often.  I can only hope for the same camaraderie in Show Boat

Favorite shows? Oh please, I am so fickle. I have a new favorite show/role every other day. However, I love doing shows that make you question your view on life. I am really attracted to scripts that aren't afraid to challenge the status quo. And I feel very passionately about bringing life to new and developing works.

 When not on stage, I'm eating. If I could eat and do yoga all day, I would be thrilled. Throw in a little football and bourbon and I am set.!

I like so many different styles of music from classical to pop.  Guilty pleasure is the 80s music. It was just a ridiculously awesome time for feelings and for hair!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meet Bonnie Fraser, our sweet Magnolia!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

                                        Bonnie & Alyssa Emily Marvin (as Kim)

I grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts in a little town called Marblehead. My twin brother and I started acting when we were pretty young- I never looked back but he became an attorney.  Ask me which one of us is more of a ham though- you'd swear he's the actor.

My mother is an actress in Boston so I grew up observing this crazy career. The idea of getting a 9-5 job never even crossed my mind. I think it helped watching my mother make a living doing regional theater because I went into this business understanding how difficult it can be. There are so many outrageously talented performers out there working regionally or off-Broadway. You can be a wonderful success and never once step onto the Broadway stage. Being an actress in New York is tough. Knowing that everyone has a different path and success can be measured in so many different ways has definitely helped me keep up my morale in this business. 

I grew up watching so many of the golden age movie musicals, but somehow Showboat never made into my rotating collection. Now watching the story unfold every day in rehearsal, I can't believe it's taken me this long! Yes, the music is beautiful but the story itself is so extraordinary. 

Stage Musicals being made into movie/tv musicals? I think it's great. I especially love when casting takes a risk and incorporates an actor from the theater world into the movie. And it's an awesome way to have musicals reach a broader audience. Maybe someone who's never been to the theater will see the movie version of Into The Woods and suddenly be inclined to buy a ticket at their local theater. 

 I have a lot of favorite shows. I don't think I'll ever get sick of watching My Fair Lady- it's perfect. I also love Stephen Sondheim and Sweeney Todd is probably my ultimate favorite show of his. As far as roles go- I'd like to play Clara in Light In The Piazza some day.

When not on stage,  My husband and I have the sweetest pit bull mutt who I'm obsessed with- so anything with her. I also love to bake (cookies are my specialty) and I LOVE horror movies- the scarier the better. 

I deleted all the music off my phone to make room for the insane amount of pictures I take on a daily basis. I listen to spotify a lot- I like Vampire Weekend, Ryan Adams, and The Spring Standards- their lead singer Heather Robb is working on a new EP which I'm excited about.

John Preator is the Irrisistable Gaylord Ravenal Aboard the Show Boat!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)


John Preator with Katie Grgecic (as young Kim) In Show Boat

I was born and raised in Provo, UT. I am the second youngest of 6 kids. Being from Utah, we were a very outdoorsy family.  We did a lot of camping, fishing, skiing, hiking etc.  I've always had a passion for music.  I started taking piano lessons when I was 7.  In addition to concerts and competitions growing up, I've played for auditions, in the pit for shows, and just love playing for friends and family to sing around the piano at home.  I have a major sweet tooth, so I also learned how to bake cakes and cookies at a young age so that I'd always have them around to snack on. I also love to travel. Growing up, we didn't vacation much further than places we could drive to in Utah.  Occasionally we'd get out to Yellowstone National Park, and a few times even as far as Disneyland or the Oregon Coast.  In more recent years, I've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to see a lot more of the world.

The story goes that when I was  3 years old, my Mother was doing costumes for a production of H.M.S. Pinafore that my older brother and sister were in.  She would take me to rehearsal with her and claims that by opening night, I could sing most of the score by heart.  I'm guessing there's a little exaggeration there for the sake of a good story, but I  do remember being very entranced by the show.  (And what more catchy songs to latch on to than those in a Gilbert & Sullivan score?)  I got my first shot at being onstage myself when I was in the 5th grade.  My elementary school decided to produce their first ever full-scale musical.  They chose Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" and I was very excited to be cast as the prince. I mostly remember having to wear my first pair of tights, and that Cinderella was about 4 inches taller than I was.  From then on, I pretty much knew I wanted to be on the stage as much as possible.  I also couldn't get enough of all the old Hollywood movie musicals, and have always loved Gene Kelly, Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. When I first started to sing, I wanted to sound just like Howard Keel and Harve Presnell.  I've watched My Fair Lady more times than I could ever count.  I got to play Henry Higgins in High School which was a big moment for me.  I can still recite the whole show from start to finish.  

I remember very well the first time I ever saw the 1951 MGM version of Show Boat.  I must've been 5 or 6.  My parents had rented it from the video store.  My sister and I had been giggling and clowning around as the opening scenes were playing, as we liked to do.  By the time William Warfield began to sing "Old Man River", my dad yelled at us to be quiet because that song was the whole reason they'd rented the movie and he wanted to hear it!  I've seen it many more times in the years that followed. It has always been a favorite, which is why it's so thrilling to be part of now.  

Stage Musicals being made into movie/tv musicals? Obviously I'm in favor of it, being such a fan of the classics movie musicals myself, as I've mentioned.  It provides a way, especially for children at home, to have exposure to these beautiful pieces of art that they might not get to see otherwise.  I think that's so important in order to keep musicals alive.  Although, I do think it is very difficult to do.  The stage and the screen are such different mediums, and I think some shows have transferred far better than others, but I'll leave it at that...

This will be my first show at WBT!  I've wanted to work here for quite some time, and I'm very happy to finally have the chance.  So far it's been a wonderful experience, and I'm looking forward to a great ride. 

My favorite show has always been My Fair Lady.  There's just something about the combination of Shaw's incredible script combined with that lush Lerner and Lowe score that I can't get enough of.  The first show I ever saw on Broadway at 17 years old was Miss Saigon. It was life changing, and I'd love to be a part of it someday.  Another is Phantom of the Opera.  I think Webber's score is just glorious.  Playing the Phantom one day would be a dream-come-true for sure.  I was able to do a small community production of She Loves Me once in college.  It's a darling show that doesn't get done enough, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I'm glad that it's being produced at Roundabout this season.  And Show Boat!  Playing Ravenal is definitely a role off the dream list.  

I love movies.  I'm a complete movie fanatic.  I could watch movies all day, and sometimes do.  I'm fascinated by stories, by the human condition. It's why I'm an actor!  I also enjoy being outdoors.  I love fishing and take any opportunity I can to do it.  This year for my birthday I took a trip to Alaska with two of my brothers to do some salmon fishing which was just incredible.  It was one of the best trips I've ever taken.  I just love to be with family and friends.  I'm pretty content to do anything as long as they're around.  

My Ipod? Oh, it's a giant mess. I have very eclectic taste in music, so you'll find everything from top 40 to broadway, R&B to 80's-90's rock and even some opera. Oddly enough, being from Utah, I'm not much of a country fan, however.  And I'm not a fan at all of heavy metal or techno.  I have to have a melody and words to sing along to.  I'm the annoying guy at the gym who's singing along with whatever I'm listening to.  If you hear a guy singing Mambo Italiano while doing bench presses, that's probably me.