Stories & Cast Interviews
Deanna Doyle 'S Wonderful In An American I Paris
As a child, I grew up in Brooklyn. My extended family is all from Kansas City, but my mother moved my sister and I to Brooklyn so that she could pursue dance and musical theatre. My sister and I also got involved in performing, and I've been doing musicals, plays, and commercials since I was three years old.
An American in Paris was certainly one of the movies I grew up watching. Gene Kelly was a hero in my family, so I knew all his movies.
I think it’s great to see that theaters are doing shows based on these old movie musicals. It makes me feel like maybe I wasn’t born in the wrong era, after all!
I love the scene/song with Henri during Act II where Jerry and Milo are having a simultaneous scene. It’s my favorite because it is so real and vulnerable and true to life. I think we can identify with the characters, in this case Lise and Henri, caring about each other so much but perhaps not being right for each other. Those difficult moments—the ones where we see layers of feelings and complications—are always my favorite to do as an actor and to watch as an audience member because it shows the complexity of life.
I like doing roles/shows that people think are overdone or irrelevant for the challenge of bringing something new to the role. I think that that can be just as rewarding as doing a new show.
Ian Knauer as M. Baurel in An American In Paris
Meet Erika Amato as Mme Baurel In An American In Paris
I was born in Plainfield, NJ and grew up an only child in the neighboring town of Mountainside. I attended a private girls' school in Summit, NJ called Kent Place School, and then went to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where I was a drama major. I moved to LA right after college, where I did some TV and film acting and fronted a successful indie rock band called Velvet Chain before circling back around to theatre and moving back to the NY metropolitan area about 10 years ago.
I've wanted to be an actor since I was very little. I started acting in school plays in kindergarten and never stopped. I was heavily influenced by Katharine Hepburn when I was young, and then later I became quite enamored with Meryl Streep and Maggie Smith, as well as Gary Oldman and Ed Harris. My greatest mentor was my drama teacher, Robert Pridham, who cast me in roles as diverse as the Mother Superior in AGNES OF GOD and Eva Peron in EVITA. He also gave me my first professional acting job at age 17 - in a production of TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY. He continued to support me and see me in as many shows as possible until his untimely death from brain cancer a couple of years ago.
I've known the movie, An American In Paris, since I was little, being both a huge fan of Gene Kelly and the Gershwins. (And Leslie Caron, too!) I saw the original Broadway production, as well. The plot of the stage adaptation differs quite a bit from the film, but it retains a lot of the magic that made the movie a classic.
My favorite scene in the show is when my character, Madame Baurel, finally drops her facade for a moment and shares a sincere moment of warmth and connection with her son, Henri, after his performance at the nightclub. I'm sure it's not anything most audiences even register, but it's the fulfillment of my character arc, and that's why it's my favorite.
I've been fortunate enough to play a few of my dream roles already - the Witch in INTO THE WOODS, Reno in ANYTHING GOES, Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, to name a few - but I would really love to play Diana in NEXT TO NORMAL, Mama Rose in GYPSY, or Margaret in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA.
I watch a lot of movies, read books, hang out with my husband, and play with our dog. I also ADORE going to the beach, but obviously that's just a seasonal thing.
Believe it or not, I have quite a bit of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Arlen, etc. on my playlist. A lot of Great American Songbook stuff, sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Bing Crosby and the like. As for pop/rock, I mostly listen to the old stuff. David Bowie, the Police, the Cure, Tears for Fears...a lot of New Wave from the 80s. Grunge from the 90s. I've loved Radiohead since forever. As for newer bands, I think the 1975 and Cage the Elephant are pretty good. And of course my own band, Velvet Chain. We put out 5 albums between 1995 and 2004.
Tommaso Antico Takes the stage in An American in Paris
I grew up in a small town called New Baltimore, MI. One of those “if you blink, you’ll miss it” towns. I grew up with a family of 6 and we all worked in our dad's Italian bakery. I was never good at hard labor and knew there was more in store for me that didn’t involve making bread.
I never wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be a conductor for the orchestra (I was a huge band nerd.). But in high school, I joined the drama department (because my sister did) and I got bit by the theatre bug. So, I changed gears and pursued musical theatre cause it incorporated music and theatre.
To be honest, it wasn’t until I got cast in this role that I learned that An American In Paris was a movie first. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. I then started my research and watched the original movie and the Broadway show. Movies being made into musicals are S’wonderful and I hope it’s a tradition that continues to inspire and educate future generations.
Lately, I’ve really been enjoying my scene with Henri in the second act. The writing is informative but emotional, and it challenges me as an actor to just listen, be present, and respond.
Waitress and Beautiful are two shows I truly adore. I’m attracted to honest real-life stories with contemporary music. I’m itching to see Hadestown. Something tells me that may be added to my favorites.
I have a few side hustle/hobbies that inspire my artistic brain. Before this show, I had a residency playing my guitar and singing for this high-end hotel on governors island called Collective Retreat. I also love Interior design, yoga and all things, dogs.
My music taste is all of the place. I love all genres and it all depends on my mood but I guess my go-to is anything emotional/singer-songwriter. Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz are a huge go-to. In the dressing room, Brandon and I like to play anything from Beyoncé to Motown.