Stories & Cast Interviews
Meet Zuri Washington as Deloris in Sister Act
I grew up a hop, skip, and a jump away in the Bronx. So I’m a Hometown Girl more or less. I have family who lives less than 10 min from the theatre though (Hey Bells!)! My father is an English Teacher and my mother is a hairstylist so I grew up with a love of language and vanity. I love a good turn of phrase and when I get dolled up I make sure I am on point.
I used to be one of those kids who “stage doored” shows on Broadway and I am a slightly embarrassed but altogether proud nerd who can’t believe how far I’ve come and can’t wait to see how far I go. ⭐️
I wanted to become an actor because I understood at a young age that the profession had the ability to change people and ideas as well as bring joy in a way that at the time of my youth was extremely different from how I was introduced to the arts. I come from a family of musicians (primarily jazz) and a couple of dancers but no one does what I do.
I have a couple of mentors but right now my stage “mother” who has been so gracious to lead me and direct me on my career path in the last few years is none other than Tony Award winner Lillias White. She has been so supportive and present and usually comes to support me when she can so I hope to see her up in Westchester over the course of this production. She’ll be starting in her own show “Gotta Dance” at the Papermill Playhouse. Once she came to visit me and we got some Popeyes and brought it in as a snack for a showing of “The Jungle Book”. My kind of date night!
If you can believe it, I’ve done this “Sister Act” 4 times in total now! This’ll be my 3rd time as Deloris.
I first heard of this show back when it was on its way to London and I heard about Whoopi and her love of Patina Miller in the role and how it was coming to Broadway. I was curious of course because as a 90s baby, “Sister Act 2” is one of the greatest movies of all time so when I saw the show I wasn’t expecting much but I was actually blown away.
Though I love the original movie, I’m more familiar with the sequel though because of Lauryn Hill and the Hip Hop influences that really elevated the musical moments for me— but I love nearly every movie that Whoopi has been in so I enjoy both. 😁 I’m not typically a fan of movies being made into musicals but some forays onto the stage have really hit the mark so I’m not opposed to the practice of movies on the stage— this one included!!
I’m playing one of my dream roles but other than “Sister Act” would be Sarah (Ragtime), Nabalungi (Book of Mormon), Eponine or Cosette, and Aida. I get to show my comedy chops a lot and some of these shows have such meaty dramatic material that I would love to sink my teeth into.
I enjoy eating and reading when I’m not onstage. I’m a huge foodie and I’ve been a bookworm since the womb.
I’m not an avid iPod enthusiast (though I love music) but when I get a moment to surround myself with speakers and curl up with a book, I’d have to say, Kendrick Lamar, the “Black Panther” Soundtrack, Anderson Paak, Frank Ocean, James Blake, Anything Motown, Beatles, and most artists from the 60s/70s. I’m the soul of a flower child in the body of a millennial.
Meet Ken Jennings as The Monsignor in Sister Act
I grew up in Jersey City, NJ. First generation Irish. Dad from Newry, County Down, Ireland (Northern Ireland, but my family wouldn’t recognize the border). I got a Jesuit education in high school and college. I was a Latin major. But, I have lost my ability at the language because I don’t use it, of course. I attended St. Peter’s College on a Dramatic Scholarship. But, it was just an extracurricular activity. There were no theatre courses or classes. So, I became a Latin major because it was easy for me to pass because of the high school background. Since it was easy, I could perform in the many plays various groups did at the college.
Dad was a great storyteller. Mom was a librarian and often took me to the library with her. I think I became an actor because of the great stories.
I've never done SISTER ACT. The most colorful person I ever worked with was George C Scott. I did two Broadway shows with him. Both at Circle In The Square. George directed ALL GOD’S CHILLUN’ GOT WINGS. And directed and starred in PRESENT LAUGHTER. Best director I ever worked with for comedy (PRESENT LAUGHTER - Noel Coward). Funny enough, he was drunk most of the time. Sometimes, wildly drunk. But the audience would never know it. He was so in control on stage. He’d stumble around, stagger, backstage. But once he hit the stage, he was in control and wonderful.
I like working at WBT. I did THE WIZARD OF OZ up here. I like the people up here very much. And it is a really easy commute from Manhattan. The hardest thing about the commute is finding a parking place when I drive home.
I saw the movie. But I don’t know that I saw the whole thing. Sometimes, musicals can make very good films. I'm watching INTO THE WOODS as I write this.
I would love to play Shylock again in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. I have played it once. Shakespeare is very challenging but very rewarding.
I play tournament chess every Wednesday at the Marshall Chess Club; One of the most famous chess clubs in the world. I love Chess and there's nothing like real tournament chess.
Meet Michael John Hughes as Paul in A Chorus Line
I'm from Wood-Ridge, NJ, only about 15-20 minutes outside the city. So I grew up taking family trips into the city pretty frequently, seeing Broadway shows and going to dinners. I was always so enamored and mesmerized by NYC and luckily was able to call it home when I moved in to attend Pace University for college. At the age of 5, I told my mom I wanted to be in movies, which lead to me starting acting classes which then lead to a number of different dance and musical comedy classes. I then attended a magnet school in my county where I studied theatre and further fueled my passion for the arts
Michael (Center, as Paul)
I saw the movie The Little Vampire with my mom at the age of 5 and immediately afterward told her I wanted to be an actor. She signed me up for classes and I soon started taking dance and musical theatre classes as well. No one else in my family has ever pursued a career in the arts, but thankfully I was able to major in theatre at my high school and I met a ton of amazing professionals who aided me in my pursuit of a BFA degree in musical theatre and beyond.
I don't remember first hearing about the show, but I always knew songs from it, especially "What I Did for Love". I did the show for the first time before my senior year of college at the Weston Playhouse. It was a life-changing experience. I was having a lot of anxiety about graduating from school with a degree in musical theatre and leading the somewhat unstable life of an actor/dancer. But this show reignites and reinforces all the reasons I began a life in the arts, to begin with.
I've never seen this movie, no, mostly since I've heard from others that it isn't very good. I think it's great that musicals are brought to the big screen, as long as they're done terrifically (like Chicago and Hairspray). Broadway shows are incredibly expensive, and I think it's amazing that these movies bring these powerhouse musicals to the general public.
My Favorite shows? A Chorus Line! Seriously. I love Hairspray, Spring Awakening, Dear Evan Hansen, West Side Story. I wouldn't mind being in any of these, as well.
I love fitness classes and try to take lots of yoga, spin, and HIIT classes. I love to watch movies, and television, especially in this cold weather. But once it's warm, I love to be outside and go hiking and biking.
I love my pop divas. Lorde, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Sia, Carly Rae, Halsey, Miley Cyrus. But I love most music that just makes me want to get up and dance!
Meet Sarah Bowden as CASSIE in A CHORUS LINE
I grew up in Sydney, Australia. I have been dancing since I could walk. I have 2 brothers, also in the business, and it’s really the only thing I’ve ever known and lived. I started professionally at age 16, in the musical Cats.
I once saw West Side Story when I was about 13, and I saw the girl playing Anybodys, scale a fence and jump around that Stage with so much energy... I turned to my mum and said, "I want to be just like that girl!! " I haven’t looked back since. My hero and Inspiration is really Liza Minnelli. She is everything I adore about theatre.
I saw a production of A Chorus Line in Australia in the 90’s... I loved it. I have done the show in German first, performing it in Austria in 2015. And once at the Hollywood Bowl in summer 2016.
The movie was my first experience of A Chorus Line, and I adored it... but learning the original musical from Baayork Lee herself, well nothing compares to that! I'm all for musicals being made into to movies, get it out there and accessible to more people, as theatre tickets can get expensive. But I do get disappointed, when they don’t cast musical actors... we sing, dance and act, and that’s what makes it special... when one or more of those are lacking, it’s a shame for the piece, for the film. There really is nothing like live theatre... one chance to experience it, one chance to get it right. It’s so in the moment, I love that.
My dream role would be Velma Kelly in Chicago, I’m working on it. I would also love to play Charity in Sweet Charity!
When not on stage, I love to run, it helps free my mind. I also love to spend time with family and friends, just simple things but time with them... we sacrifice so much of that, doing what we do and traveling all of the time for work.
What music is on my iPod? Ha ha ha .... musical theatre.