Stories & Cast Interviews

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meet ERIN! Starring in HAIRSPRAY !

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 12:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Erin McCracken will star as Tracy Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY

I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I have two younger brothers, Caden & Logan, who are both aspiring professional golfers and we are so
blessed to have parents who support and believe in us 100% as we pursue our dreams.

My entire extended family ives in Oklahoma so every holiday and birthday was a big event. Growing up in the "bible belt", I spent a lot of time at church in youth group and singing in the choir or church musical every year. My brothers were very athletic and I tried my best at softball and soccer but failed miserably so I just stuck with the dance classes and voice lessons.  I was definitely the typical theatre kid whose excuse was always "I can't, I have rehearsal".

When my mother was younger she was a singer and performed in musicals in high school. She was always singing around the house and playing the piano so music has always been a part if my life. I was a natural "ham" as a kid. I was always ready with a song or performance and felt comfortable being the center of attention. I knew I loved to sing and act but I didn't realize that it was something I could peruse as a career until my first trip to New York City when I was in 6th grade. 
My first Broadway show was 'Steel Pier'.  We went to see out friend and fellow Oklahoman, Kristin Chenoweth, and after that show I knew that being on stage was what I wanted to do. It changed my life forever. I took every class I could, studied with the best teachers in Oklahoma and after high school I attended and graduated from Oklahoma City University with a degree in Musical Theatre. I've had so many wonderful mentors and teachers throughout my training but definitely my High School drama teacher, RoseMary Baker and my college voice professor, the ever talented Florence Birdwell, really helped to guide me to where I am today. They both offered guidance and support and Ms. Birdwell helped me find my voice and really taught me how to sing.

I saw Hairspray on Broadway when I was a sophomore in college and absolutely fell in love with the show and with the character Tracy. It was like seeing myself in a musical!  I hadn't seen the original movie at that point but have seen it several times since then.  I relate so much the story of this girl with a big
heart who loves her family, music, fashion and people and just wants to be accepted.   This will be my second time to play Tracy. Last summer I performed the role at Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island.  Playing Tracy Turnblad has been top on my list for years and being able to do it again is a dream in itself! Others would be Eliza Doolittle in 'My Fair Lady' and Rose in 'Gypsy', although I have a few years to go before I can tackle that character. My "guilty pleasure dream role" would be Elle in 'Legally Blonde', maybe some day!

I live in New York City, so I enjoy exploring the city and finding new and fun places to eat! I love nothing more than spending a night out in the city with good food and good friends. I love going to movies and seeing live theatre as much as I can. But, more than anything I enjoy figuring out how I can get back on stage.
My IPod holds Everything! Pop, music theatre, country, jazz, indie... You name it!  I love Christmas music and listen to it year around!  Beyonce, Adele, Carrie Underwood & Kelly Clarkson are constantly on repeat (I have a thing for strong female singers).
Monday, April 16, 2012
Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

EXCITING NEWS! A Brand New CHEF is at the helm at Westchester Broadway Theatre!

  Westchester Broadway Theatre happily welcomes our new executive chef, Alexandra Sampaio.
Alex was born and raised in Tarrytown, NY.  She is a graduate with a degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of New York.  She has had over ten years of experience in the hospitality/ restaurant industry, including being the Executive chef of her own restaurant in Valhalla, NY and the Head District Chef for The Bedford School District. She also is a sought-after caterer and event planner.  She is very excited to join our WBT family, “I love the business. My interest in food came from a very early age. Food has been the highlight of my life. My father, Jack and Uncle Tony, both chefs, have been my mentors and have influenced me tremendously. I enjoy the atmosphere of being in the kitchen, the excitement, the timing and the team work involved, in preparing and serving the dishes in a timely fashion. My staff is wonderful and welcomes the challenge!  An avid fisherman, she loves to cook all types of fish, especially, bacalo.  Some of her signature dishes which she will be adding to the Luxury Box and Main Dining Room menus include;  Pan seared tofu with ratatouille; Boneless Trout Almondine; Monkfish with red pepper-basil sauce; Tiplapia with lemon, butter, and capers w orzo; Salmon Wellington over Ratatouille;  Eggplant Cannelloni over noodles;  Lemon Garlic Lamb Kabobs with couscous;  Prosciutto Chicken Cacciatore; Maple Pretzel Pork Chop with Polenta, Zesty Chicken over pasta Primavera; Veal Scallopino; and from her Heritage, Porco Alentejana, a Portuguese Pork and Clams specialty.
“I’m looking forward to the years to come, as I bring a new twist and my own special flair to the WBT! 

   Photo By John Vecchiolla.



Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy 50th Anniversary!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 12:00:00 pm Comments (1)
WBT Owners Bill & VonAnn Stutler celebrated their 50th Anniversary last month!  They met while college students at Michigan State. Bill was a Drum Major in the marching band. VonAnn took to coming to watch the band rehearsals since it was just outside her dorm. One thing led to another...  and Bill Proposed... just in time to stop Von Ann from marrying a very persistent policeman!  They were married on a Friday Night in 1962...  it was St. Patrick's Day, and the only night they could secure the church for the wedding!  They lived in Chicago until their move to New York in 1966. Then they had homes, over the years, in Ossining, Thornwood, Croton-on-Hudson, and presently in their lovely home on Candlewood Lake in New Milford, CT. They raised five children and have seven grandchildren!  On July 9, 1974, they opened the doors to "An Evening Dinner Theatre". They have worked closely together ever since  to keep theatre alive and  thriving in Westchester.  One of their secrets to a long and happy marriage, is to have special time alone together. Since the 80's they plan a yearly getaway to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.  Congratulations!!!


Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)