Stories & Cast Interviews

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Meet Ann-Ngaire Martin in Christmas Inn

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Pacific Palisades, Calif. I have 2 sisters and a brother. I am the youngest of 4. I come from a very close family. I Was studying to be a pianist but switched in high school to wanting to perform.

Both Junior High School and High School Music teachers were huge influences in me having the confidence to go into musical theatre.

I went to NYC at 18 with $250 in my pocket and a dream. I Lived in a girls boarding house for a week till I got a waitressing job, then enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for a 2-year program.
with Molly Culot in Christmas Inn

I have done 5 shows including Christmas Inn here at the WBT. I love the family feeling of working here. There are so few venues like this near NYC, if any.

My Favorite shows are...  Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, A Little Night Music. My Dream role at this point in my career would be Rose in Gypsy and Edie in Grey Gardens.

I enjoy celebrating the Holidays at home with my kids and a turkey dinner... and I am happy. Waffles on Christmas morning is a favorite tradition
 
When not on stage, I love playing the piano with no one around or watching an old movie with a glass of wine! I listen to A lot of classical music and every Joni Mitchell album she recorded. 

     
          In 42ND STREET                                  In GYPSY           In A CHRISTMAS CAROL

 

Nick Varricchio is back in Christmas Inn!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Cleveland rocks! #windians. #believeland. I come from a big Italian family where every Sunday was pasta Sunday at my grandma's house. I have two of the world's greatest brothers-- Domenic, a commodities broker in Kansas, and Vinnie, a nurse-in-training. My parents-- Marissa and Enrico, are the hardest working people I know; they inspire me.

I saw Jersey Boys on my very first trip to the Big Apple. After we left the theatre I turned to my mom and said, "I want to do that someday." Lucky me, my family has supported me every step of the way.

I have many mentors! My dear friend Brint, who directed me in a production of The Light in the Piazza and helped me to rediscover my artistry, and my Italian teacher and friend of 15+ years, Elvira.

I also consider the old MGM Hollywood stars to be my mentors-- TCM was always playing on the tv in my house.

I last performed in Happy Days at WBT as the Fonz. Not many people can say they've played the Fonz, so I wear that legacy of a brown leather jacket proudly!

I love coming back to WBT because the people here are truly a wonderfully kind, giving, and caring family.

I pine to play the role of Bobby in Company one day. I recently had the chance to work with the marvelous Pamela Myers, and the stories she shared were invaluable. I hope to ghostwrite her autobiography one day. 

To the tune of Karen Carpenter, "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays!" I love being with my family for the holidays. We have a tradition where we all gather at a relative's house, and we sing the Hallelujah Chorus, carol to the cassette of Mitch Miller and the gang, and finish with Barbra Streisand's The Lord's Prayer. Eventually, the Elves arrive with pajamas for one and all!

I'm teaching myself the accordion! One day, if you should find yourself navigating the subways, be sure to look beyond the Mole people and straphangers, and you'll find me donning a beret and neckerchief whilst portraying my most Parisian self as I languidly warble the music of Edith Piaf!

Top 3 vinyl albums I play on my record player in the morning before CrossFit: Yvonne Elliman's "Love Me", Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's "Ella & Louis"

 As Fonzie in HAPPY DAYS

 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Meet Jayson Elliott in Christmas Inn

Posted by: pia on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm Comments (0)

I grew up In northern Indiana near Norte Dame.  130 people in my high school class. Fairly rural community. We had a day where kids could drive their tractors to school. Ha ha. 
I fell in love with music first and the two kind of go hand in hand for me. Certainly,  high school theatre and music teachers played a huge part in my career choice. 

This is my 7th WBT show. The staff make this theatre run and I love them for that!

Some of my favorite shows and roles are BUDDY (The Big Bopper), Wizard Of Oz (The Lion), The full Monty (Dave), all these are very much my favorites

When not on stage, I'm playing music, watching and playing sports, and spending time with friends.

I enjoy listening to music, mostly folk, rockabilly, country and classic rock. For being a musical theatre guy...I don't really listen to a ton of it. Ha ha

I like to Celebrate The Holidays with family and friends. Laying low and resting.  I enjoy Christmas Eve gift opening with the "adults". 

      
With Kilty Reidy in Christmas Inn.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Meet Sarah Cline as Linda Baker in Christmas Inn

Posted by: pia on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)

             

I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, KS, as part of a loving family which included my dad and mom, my older sister, Laura and younger brother, David. Kansas holds a very special place in my heart, and I am proud of my Midwestern roots. I lived there from the ages of 4 to 18, when I moved out to study Musical Theatre in college. My parents have always been so supportive of my love for singing and theatre, and I am grateful to have grown up in a household that encouraged us kids to follow our dreams, to work hard and to be kind.    
My Headshot at age 9.

I started doing Musical Theatre when I was six years old, and I've been doing it ever since. My parents did a great job of exposing the kids to a lot of different types of music, including musicals, which encouraged my love of singing. I knew every word to the 10th Anniversary album of Les Miserables before I knew my states and capitols. After I did my first show as part of a summer program for kids, I auditioned for every show I could around the KC area. I ended up missing a lot of fourth grade because I was "working" around town. (Again, VERY supportive parents!) Of course, then, I didn't think of it as working at all! Eventually though, by the time I hit high school, I knew that I wanted theatre to be more than just a hobby; I dreamed of it being my career. My high school theatre teacher, Dan Schmidt, fostered my passion and helped me to fall in love with acting. Suddenly, I wasn't just a singer, I was a storyteller, and that was the most exciting gift anyone could give me.

This is my first show at WBT and I couldn't be happier. Everyone is so incredibly kind and professional; I feel very lucky to be working here.

 My favorite musical of all time is Les Miserables. To me, it is perfect. I also love Sweeney Todd (or really, anything written by Stephen Sondheim). My dream roles include "Fantine" in Les Miserables, "Elphaba" in Wicked and "Cathy" in The Last Five Years

  I am so excited to go home to KS to spend Christmas with my family for the first time since 2012! I've been working on cruise ships for the last couple of years, so I can't wait to reacquaint myself with our family traditions. My favorites include our annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Competition and the Christmas Eve dinner that my stepmom cooks up, complete with crab legs!  
With Nick Varricchio in Christmas Inn.

When not on stage,  I love to bake (I make a mean chocolate chip cookie!) but if I couldn't be an actor, I would be a make-up artist or some kind of beauty consultant, so I enjoy playing with cosmetic products a lot. You're likely to find me in the aisles of Sephora with eyeshadow swatches all over my arms. Also, when I'm not onstage, I make sure to enjoy the incredible friends I have in my life. Sometimes, there is nothing better than sitting around with my roommates, having a glass of red wine and watching Shark Tank.

I don't often listen to musicals for recreation; typically I'll listen to shows only if I'm studying for a role. So, my favorites are Singer/Songwriters from all decades. Jim Croce, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Ed Sheeran are my all-time favorites! 

   

At 10, with Dad in a community theatre production of The Music Man.