Stories & Cast Interviews

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lexi Shines on the WBT Stage!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (2)
 Lexi Staubi (l) as Amaryllis and Victoria Lauzun (Marian Paroo) in The Music Man!

My hometown is Rye, New YorkBesides school, I take classes in acting, voice, piano, and dance.  I also audition for and perform in shows throughout the year.
 
As soon as I could talk, I was singing showtunes.  I love singing.  I became interested in performing when I saw a friend perform in a show at Tarrytown Music Hall. It looked fun, so I decided to try it.  When I was 7, I performed in my first show at Tarrytown Music Hall.  It was so exciting, I loved every minute!  The show was Oliver and my role was Bet.  One of my mentors is Emma Zaks, who is an actress I met at a Broadway Bound International one-day workshop.  She has worked with me and helped me immensely! 

My family members support me so much!  My dad always tells me to believe in myself and his pep talks push me to be my best.  My mom drives me 24/7.  My siblings could not cheer any louder at all my shows! My family members perform as well but in different ways.  My older sister Kayla is such a beautiful dancer.  I love watching her dance.  My brothers, Matt and Chima, perform on the basketball court and that is when I get to cheer for them at their games.  Our family recently adopted Chima from Nigeria last December.

My favorite show I performed in was Les Miserables at Yorktown Stage this January.  I love the show and the music.  My role was Cosette.  I enjoy going to shows that my friends are in and going to Broadway shows as well.  I have auditioned for a few Broadway shows and have seen around 10, a few of which are Wicked, Mary Poppins, 13, In the Heights, and Spiderman.
 
My favorite subjects at school are Math, Drama, Chorus, and Shop.  I used to be on a travel soccer team for a few years, but had to stop to pursue my true passion, acting, singing, and dancing!  Performing is my life and it is the reason I get up in the morning, singing from the moment I open my eyes!  I train and audition for TV shows, movies, and broadway shows, but my one dream is to be on Broadway someday.
My favorite music to listen to is broadway/showtunes and pop.  I listen to music all the time and most of it singing along as well.  My favorite food is Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.  Macaroni and cheese is a close second!
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brandon Can Blow A Mean Trombone!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
 Brandon Singel as Winthrop Paroo in THE Music Man!
I live in Harrison and my everyday life is going to school and playing with my friends in the neighborhood.  Most summers I am in Germany with my family.  We stay in my Omi's (that's grandma in German) 300 year old farmhouse.  There's no TV and we spend time riding our bikes all through the town.  Everyone knows us because we're all somehow related.

My mom's friend Stephanie, who she's done lots of show with, called my mom to tell her that she was taking her daughter to an audition and told my mom that I'd be a perfect Newsboy for ACT's Gypsy.  I found out that I really liked performing and I was able to be in a show with my mom and my friend Jean and her mom.  It was great!
Both of my parents are very supportive of the Arts.  My mom performs with me in shows, but my dad doesn't - he likes to watch from the audience!  Growing up, I've always been around show people.  They crack me up!  It's hard to keep a straight face on stage with my mom...she has the most ridiculous facial expressions! 

I have NOT been to any Broadway shows yet and my favorite show that I've been in, so far, has been Assassins at The College of New Rochelle.  Last summer I sang a duet with my mom in Germany at my cousin's wedding with a 40 piece marching band and for 2 weeks people stopped me in the street to congratulate me. 

My favorite subject in school is Science.  I'm athletic, but I don't do sports.  I DO like to juggle and dance to swing music - I took a ballroom dancing class with one of my teachers from school. I like to play the piano, the baritone horn and the ukelele.  I think I might be able to play the trumpet by the end of our run of Music Man.  I don't really want to be a performer when I grow up.

When I'm not performing, I like to play my video games with my best friend.   
Music I I listen to is Lemonade Mouth, Maroon 5, and Michael Jackson or whatever music my mom makes me listen to - I really like JAZZ!  Hmmmm...my favorite foods?  I'd have to say schnitzel with spaetzle and my mom's lentil soup...SCRUMPTIOUS!
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Scott Bierko Brings Trouble To River City!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (3)
 Scott Bierko as Harold Hill in The Music Man!

I'm a Westchester kid, raised in Rye Brook in the 1960's and 70's when you could leave your car running at the post office and kids came home from school and stayed out on their bicycles until dinner time. My parents got me and my brother, Craig, hooked on music because they always had it on in the house - Dionne Warwick, Herb Albert, Barbara Streisand - not to mention, their favorite musicals like
"The Music Man". My father, Rex, was the first one to sing "Ya Got Trouble" for me and I know he would have loved to play Harold Hill. After all, he was a salesman, one of those talented talkers who definitely knew the territory.
My mom, Pat, was a runway model and the president of Harrison Players, a community theater group. That's where the whole family spent many a weekend, not just strutting on stage but painting sets and sweeping the floor. To my mind, my Mom played Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" every bit as well as Faith Prince. Those were magical times when the theater "bug" bit us all. I can still do the dance that the newsboys (Craig, I and a bunch of others) performed in "Gypsy".

I can't remember a time when I didn't know The Music Man! I was lucky to play Harold Hill in 5th grade at Bruno M. Ponterio Ridge Street School in Rye Brook. We had wonderful, crazy teachers like Joyce Gober and Janet Rosenfeldwho believed that 11 and 12 year old kids could do this play. The straw hat from that production sat in my Mom's house for twenty five years.
My next big interaction with MM came in 2000 when brother Craig was cast in the lead role. What a thrill! He was my favorite Harold Hill of all time starring opposite Rebeka Luker.
 
My favorite shows were the ones from my youth, "Guys and Dolls" and "Pippin". I loved Ben Vereen in that show. My dream role has always been to play Harold Hill, so I'm living a dream right now.

When not on stage, I like spending time with my family, running with my daughter, Steph, and watching movies. I'm a pretty simple guy. Give me a good movie, a bowl of M&M's and I'm pretty content.
On My Ipod?  I have everything but Disco!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Victoria Dennis in George M!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
 On Stage now!!  See Victoria as The Little Girl in GEORGE M!
 
 
At the tender age of four, Victoria began her career by appearing in print ads for companies such as: Nikon, Toys ‘R Us, and Harlequin Books. By age six, Victoria received an invitation to study in California with casting director Joey Paul Jensen and television personalities John D’aquino and Rondel Sherridan from Disney’s “Corey in the House”. Being no stranger to the spotlight, Victoria went on to film commercials for Fisher Price, Abbot, Victorian Gardens (NYC), and Nick Jr’s “Noggin”.
It wasn’t until performing at a local school talent show that Victoria realized her true passion was for music and performance. There is no surprise where her hard work, dedication and talents come from. Being the daughter of a Greek mother and Italian father instilled the fire in her eyes to never give up on her dreams. This burning desire and talent in a young girl’s heart allowed her to land role after role in local musical productions; along with a role in “BIG RIVER” at Westchester Broadway Theatre. Victoria is honored and very proud of her latest achievement competing and performing at the World Famous Apollo in NYC this summer July 18 2012.
 
Her favorite subject in school is English/Writing. Victoria has a great future ahead of her she says " I am like a light switch, once I am performing I switch into a professional singer/ actress and want to make the audience happy." When her performance is done she switches back to a 9 yr old kid again.
 
Her Mom says: As a family we are all very supportive before I signed Victorias contract with her manager (Shirley Grant) we as a family sat and spoke and made sure we were all on board to do everything and anything for Victoria's career. Being that she has a younger sister we wanted to make sure that Bella was ok with it. Bella is 7 she is Victoria's biggest fan and always helps as much as she can.  
 
Victoria currently studies with under the watchful eye of vocal teachers Badiene Magaziner and Richard Lissemore, performance coach Trapper Felides and dance coach Melanie Lapatin, owner of Dance Times Square NYC and choreographer for the TV Show “So You Think You Can Dance”.

Some of Victoria’s musical influences are Christina Aguilera, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and the multi talented Justin Bieber.
Victoria is an emerging young talent filled with determination to where the eyes can see; so you, as well, should keep your eyes open to what this little lady has to offer.