Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Sean Michael Buckley from Million Dollar Quartet

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Sean Michael Buckley

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Elvis From Million Dollar Quartet

www.seanmbuckley.com

Instagram: @ohseanyboi


What are you currently reading?

Awareness by Anthony de Mello

What is your favorite book series?

Either Harry Potter or Eragon. Harry Potter grew up at the same time as people of my generation so it was always really easy to relate. And who doesn’t like magic?

Who is your favorite author?IMG_3939

I don’t know if I really have one, but I recently read Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind and his conversational tone was very appealing.

What book inspires you and why?

Lone Survivor was inspiring. The mental toughness, the strength of will and absolute grit the author displayed has the reader marveling at the limits of what human beings can take and still keep moving.

What is the next book on your reading list?

The Story of San Michelle by Axel Munthe. My wife and I honeymooned in Italy and we visited the Villa of San Michelle on the Island Capri. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The villa was once ruins of one of Emperor Tiberius’s twelve island palaces, but 1887 Dr. Axel Munthe bought the villa and transformed it into his home. An excerpt from his book was posted on the wall outside the gift shop and I felt I compelled to read the rest!

Which literary character would you like to play?

I would have loved to play Jon Snow or Tormund or one of the warriors in the Game of Thrones series that fights a lot of battles.

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If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Well, I’ve played a lot of villains, so my choices are a bit limited. I guess I would have to say Elvis. He was quite the character and had a great sense of humor.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

Can they just remake the final two seasons of Game of Thrones?

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I have. I have begun a number of writing projects, including a novel, but I never finished one!

What show are you currently in and who do you play?

This past summer I had the joy of playing Elvis in Million Dollar Quartet at Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theatre and Idaho Shakespeare festival. I will be playing the role at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Long Island this winter and then again at the New Theatre in Kansas City this coming spring.

What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

There are a number of shows that felt like very special experiences, but being a part of Million Dollar Quartet this summer was probably my favorite. In the show the actors are the band, so all of the music is provided by us. As a kid, I fantasized about being the frontman in a real rock band and I think this is as close as I’ll get! It also didn’t hurt that we were playing in a gorgeous outdoor theatre on Lake Tahoe. Nothing like a dip in icy waters just before half hour to get you focused for a show!

Great Lakes Theater Million Dollar Quartet
Photo by Roger Mastroianni
Great Lakes Theater Million Dollar Quartet Photo by Roger Mastroianni

I feature a new performer every month, so check back for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know.  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my wonderful friend Sean for sharing with us this month! 🙂
Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Deanna Doyle from An American In Paris

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Deanna Doyle

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Most recently seen as Lise in An American in Paris at Westchester Broadway Theatre

 www.deanna-doyle.com

instagram: @Deannadoyle8 


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading What Alice Forgot. It is my first Liane Moriarty book, and I love it. It is smart, funny, sentimental, and I can’t put it down.

What is your favorite book series?

I have been looking for a book series to get into for a really long time. For such an avid reader, I can’t believe I don’t yet have one! I’ve tried several and haven’t been especially drawn to any, but I’m still determined to find one. The closest I’ve come is Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series. I enjoy them, but not enough to read through them back to back. I’d love to find something that I just can’t put down and have to go from one book to the next. Life goals.

Who is your favorite author?

As cliche as it may sound, I have to say Jane Austen. I would feel disloyal to say anyone else.

What book inspires you and why?

I’m reading a lot of books by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who writes a lot of short books meant to inspire. He has a series (a series that I read!) of tiny inspirational books with titles such as How to Sit, How to Relax, How to Love, and How to Fight. They are sweet and insightful and great reminders of the beauty of life. Over the past year, I have always had at least one of his books checked out at the library, usually more. Right now 5 of the 17 books I have checked out from the library are his, and I am currently reading The Art of Communication.

Which literary character would you like to play?IMG_0001

Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables or Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have read about, who would it be and why?

When I was little I was obsessed with the Encyclopedia Brown books. I thought it would be cool to be friends with boy detective Leroy Brown so that I could help solve his cases.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

One of my favorite books that I read this year is a book called Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. It was really beautiful, and I think it would make a lovely movie.

What is the next book on your reading list?

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing is next on my list. It’s a thriller. I’ve recently gotten into thrillers, but sometimes I can’t read them when I’m at home by myself, especially in the bathtub. That just seems too scary, so I often have to wait until my boyfriend comes home to indulge.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

Yes! I have always loved to write and have thought that if I was not a performer then I would be a writer because they both fulfill my need for self-expression. A few months ago I finished the first draft of a novel and right now I am taking a break from it. Come January, I will revisit it with fresh eyes to write a second draft.

What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

A show that will always be close to my heart is Phantom of the Opera because it was my Broadway debut. I played Meg Giry and I really love that role.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know.  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to the fabulous Deanna for sharing with us! 🙂

 

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Chuckie Benson from The Color Purple

It's Liberation Day.As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Chuckie Benson

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Currently playing Harpo in The Color Purple at Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago

instagram: @chuckie.benson

What are you currently reading?

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The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What is your favorite book series?

Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer lol it got me through some rough times!

Who is your favorite author?

Alice Walker, Sapphire,  and Eric Jerome Dickey.

What book inspires you and why?

The Color Purple by Alice Walker. It was one of the first books that I couldn’t put down and read it the first day I got it. So powerful. Granted I was raised on the movie so I had knowledge of it, but the book has so much detail and so much depth that the movie didn’t really touch on. Alice Walker really captures the pain, beauty and triumph of a strong black woman. This story is a true classic. It inspires me to keep going, to keep believing. Holding on to my faith. Knowing love is possible in the midst of chaos.

Which literary character would you like to play?

I’ve played some of my favorites literary characters actually: Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime, Jim in Huckleberry Finn (Big River), The Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol, and Harpo in The Color Purple.

 

74169215_956730734691822_3606720871537836032_nIf you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Tom Collins (RENT) He’s so laid back. Charming. Very loveable and fun to be around.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. Wow, what a powerful movie that would be.

What is the next book on your reading list?

I want to finish the Indebted Series by Pepper Winters.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

Yes, I actually do write. I wore a full-length play and screenplay when I was 12.

What show are you currently in and what was the last show you were a part of?74607735_3124271740932675_1035241509525389312_n

Currently playing Harpo in The Color Purple at Drury Lane Theatre. I recently just got off my first National Tour, Spamilton: An American Parody and I played George Washington and others.

What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

Each experience is a different experience. I learned a lot from each show that I’ve done thus far. I really loved doing HAIR in Chicago, it was just a beautiful experience with an amazing Tribe that was full of Chicago’s finest. RENT. I’ve done this show professionally twice and each time was so profound and beautiful.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know.  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Thanks to my dear friend Chuckie for sharing with us ❤
Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Ben Bogen from Frozen

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Ben Bogen

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Currently performing in Broadway’s Frozen!

instagram: @benmbogen


What are you currently reading?

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

What is your favorite book series?

The Hunger Games by Suanne Collins

Who is your favorite author?

Lemony Snicket

What book inspires you and why?

Too Much Is Not Enough and Without You– Andrew Rannell’s autobiography and Anthony Rapp’s autobiography.  Both really inspired me because they both started out as young gay men struggling to make it in this industry. I found it very relatable. It’s a reminder that everyone starts somewhere before they become the “successful” people everyone knows about.

Which literary character would you like to play?

One day when I am in my late 30’s/early 40’s I would like to play Harry Potter in Cursed Child more than anything in the whole world.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be IMG_7611and why?

I think to be friends with Pepper in Mamma Mia would be a total blast because he’s energetic like me haha
What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

I think A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket would be a really cool musical, and I think Call Me By Your Name André Aciman would be a beautiful straight play.

What is the next book on your reading list?

I’ve been wanting to read Tina Fey’s book for a while, so I think maybe that next? I’m really into autobiographies lately.  I also have been wanting to read Wild, the book that inspired the Reese Witherspoon movie.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I try to journal a lot, but I constantly judge my writing when I actually do write. I used to write scripts for kid theatre camp shows back home and I always enjoyed it though.

What show are you currently in?

I’m currently in Frozen on Broadway in the ensemble understudying Olaf and Duke Weselton.

What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

My favorite show I’ve ever been a part of is Jersey Boys because I got to go on for Frankie Valli almost 50 times which was the first time I ever had to carry an entire show before. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most satisfying marathon of a role I’ll probably ever play.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know.  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my friend Ben for sharing with us 🙂

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Emily Jeanne Phillips from Cats

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Emily Jeanne Phillips

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Currently playing Jennyanydots on The National Tour of Cats

www.emilyjeannephillips.com

Instagram: @emilyjeanne4 (Follow her. She’s hilarious.)

What are you currently reading?

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I just finished The Woman In the Window by AJ Fin.

What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter.

Who is your favorite author?

I don’t currently have a favorite author! But I am starting to read all of Kristen Hannah’s books.

What book inspires you and why?

Becoming by Michelle Obama inspires me. She is honest and open about her time in the White House and her opinion on what’s going on with our country now. I think she’s brilliant and I would love for her to write more books.

Which literary character would you like to play?

The book I just read, The Woman in the Window, has a main character who is a woman and it’s a great thriller story. I’d love to play her if the book were turned into a movie.

What is the next book on your reading list?

The next book on my reading list is Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I have thought about writing a book about the psychology of auditioning.

What show are you working on now?

I am currently in the National Tour of Cats as Jennyanydots the tap-dancing Gumibe Cat!

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What is your favorite show to have been a part of and why?

My favorite show I’ve been of part of was a crazy off-broadway show called Attack of the Elvis Impersonators. I loved that experience because it got me my equity card and I bonded with a group of people who will forever be family.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back in August for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know. Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my kitty cat sister, Emily, for sharing with us.

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Melody Rose from Finding Neverland

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Melody Rose

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Peter Pan in the National Tour of Finding Neverland

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight and Columbine by Dave Cullen.

What is your favorite book series?65252422_1568151019981681_7677563987914915840_n

I don’t really have a favorite series. My reading taste is very eclectic and sporadic. I always search for what I’m interested in at the time and I tend to stay away from fiction. I’m really into Sarah Knight’s “No F*cks Given Guides” lately!

Who is your favorite author?

Currently, I don’t have one. My favorite author during childhood, however, was Lisi Harrison who wrote The Clique Series. For a middle-schooler who was always excluded from cliques, this series was a dream. I would always buy them the day they were released and finish them that same day!

What book inspires you and why?

A little cliche, but You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero helped inspire me to let go of things I couldn’t change and focus on the things I can, no matter how detrimental or small my problems were.

Which literary character would you like to play?

If I could play any literary character it would be Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska by John Green. She’s described as wild, unpredictable, and enigmatic living in her own “reckless world,” which is very different from me in real life. She’s quite mysterious and playing a darker, more serious character like her would be a blast. Looking for Alaska would make an incredible play, I think.

65616889_2605563612789132_6337888062508367872_nIf you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Of course, Peter Pan would be an incredible companion! He’d continually remind me to never let go of my inner child and seek adventure wherever life takes me.

What is the next book on your reading list?

On Bowie by Rob Scheffield and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

Not at all! I’ll leave the writing to my sister Megan. She is an extremely talented writer and got all the literary talent in the family.

What show are you working on now?

I just finished Peter Pan in the National Tour of Finding Neverland!

What is your favorite show to have been a part of and why?

Finding Neverland is actually my very first musical! I’ve learned so much in the process. Each individual in the cast and crew of this incredibly touching show has changed my life.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back in July for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know. Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Thanks again to Melody for sharing with us 🙂

Broadway Book Chat · Uncategorized

Broadway Book Chat: Kevin Clay from The Book of Mormon

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Kevin Clay

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Currently playing Elder Price on the European Tour of The Book of Mormon

Instagram: @kclay6

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Hero of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson. It is the third book in his Mistborn trilogy. I first started reading Sanderson’s books after being recommended his Stormlight Archive series. He has such a knack for making brilliant magic systems and rules that define his worlds paired with extensive lore and histories. Certainly someone to check out if you want some immersive fantasy.

What is your favorite book series?

Hm, this is a tough one. Though not a traditional “book series,” I am always reading the latest issues of Batman comics and associated graphic novels. One of my favorites growing up was Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan. They inspired my initial love of classical mythology. Of course, I’ll always be a big Harry Potter nerd (as made evident by my Slytherin House robe I wear backstage). I think my true favorite series, however, is one that isn’t finished yet: The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. Perhaps it’s gripping me so much simply because it isn’t finished, but it’s been a long time since I have connected so strongly to a protagonist.

Who is your favorite author?

Ernest Hemingway, for sure. His writing is such a strange combination of dry minimalism and sweeping detail work. No other author has been able to elicit such emotional responses in me from written work as Hemingway. If you want a good read and probably a good cry, pick up A Farewell to Arms.

What book inspires you and why?60647322_457453288392578_9113568406203793408_n

I always come back to The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Most of my friends know my love for this novel. Edmund Dantes may be a bit of a dark character to be inspired by, but there is something so compelling about a man who has had everything wrongly taken from him only to come back stronger than ever. In my mind, The Count is like an 1800’s Bruce Wayne and I love it.

Which literary character would you like to play?

My nerdy side says that I want to play Tim Drake (the third Robin under Batman). My sophisticated side says Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, to sound impressive. Seriously though, I love the book so much, and Heathcliff and I, in most regards, are stark contrasts. I’ll need to age up a few more years before I think I would be appropriate for the character, but I can wait.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Being a Jet in West Side Story is the greatest. The first time I was in the show in high school, I played Baby John; a few years later, I got to play A-rab. I think that, as misguided as they are, I would like to be friends with the Jets and maybe have a little chat with Riff before he puts that switchblade in his pocket.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

I’ve said for years that I would love for The Prestige (novel by Christopher Priest, film by Christopher Nolan) to be adapted into a Sweeney Todd-esque musical. There is plenty of meaty character development and potential for spectacle all wrapped in a macabre overtone. The show would rely on finding an incredibly talented pair of twins, but I’m sure there are plenty out there!

What is the next book on your reading list?

I’ve been reading Sanderson novels for a few months straight now, so I’m ready to switch up genres. I’ve already downloaded Supermarket, by rapper Logic, onto my kindle. I’m a huge fan of his music, so I am definitely curious to see how his style translates to a novella.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

There are so many times when I come up with what I think is a brilliant idea, jot it down, and then return to it only to be disappointed and uninspired later. I have one idea for a graphic novel that still excites me so I’m clinging to it and continually come back to it. My favorite idea, however, is for a science-fiction novel. I was playing around with the notion of writing my own creation myth that could be the foundation of a religion and from that developed a world that would observe this faith. I even adapted the world slightly to be used for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I dungeon mastered, and it surprisingly gave me a lot of inspiration. There is a lot of work to be done, specifically how hard it is to actually write the text itself, but the bones are there.

What show are you working on now?

I am currently playing Elder Price in a new Book of Mormon European Tour. Before that I was Elder Price on Broadway and before that Elder Price on the US National Tour, and before that Elder Smith on the US National Tour……. So I’ve been with the Book of Mormon for quite a journey! It is the greatest show that I’ve ever been a part of and it has taught me a lot of what it means to be a professional performer.

What is your favorite show to have been a part of and why?

Other than The Book of Mormon, I always hold a special place in my heart for West Side Story. Like I wrote earlier, being a Jet is indescribably special. It’s the kind of show that, whether you like it own not, you will feel completely connected to the whole cast by the time you’re done.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back in June for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know. Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my friend Kevin for sharing with us from across the pond! 🙂

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Liz Schmitz from Cats

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and cast mates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Liz Schmitz

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Currently playing Demeter in the National Tour of Cats!

www.lizschmitz.com

Instagram: @lizschmitz

What are you currently reading?IMG_2310

Oathbringer: Book Three of The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter will always be my favorite. It reminds me of childhood, my family. It’s grounding.

Who is your favorite author?

Jane Austin. I always feels like she talking to me, or really gossiping with me.

What book inspires you and why?

Book inspire me when there is a strong friend or family group. It reminds me what’s really important.

Which literary character would you like to play?

I’d love to play Emma, from Emma by Jane Austin.  Or Stephanie Brown, aka Robin of Batman and Robin. There haven’t been many female Robins, I love the twist!

IMG_2309If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

I loved Anna from Spring Awakening. She had good ideas and a good heart. She had an open, loving view of the world and future.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

I’d like to see the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale into a tv show!

What is the next book on your reading list?

In the fantasy world I’ll read Mistborn, more Brandon Sanderson! But I could use some historical romance from The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin first!

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

If I wrote, it would be short stories. Or perhaps philosophical, and potentially theoretical, musings.

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What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

Matilda. It was so many things. It was my first big credit, I swung 7 tracks, and it helped me pick myself up out of a dark place. And most importantly, the story is important. The message is relevant and good. “Even if you’re little you can do a lot…Nobody else is gonna put it right for me. Nobody but me is gonna change my story.”

 


See Liz (and yours truly) around the US in Cats! Click here for tickets and tour stops!

I feature a new performer every month, so check back in April for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know. Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my stage partner in crime, Liz, for sharing with us ❤

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Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Keri René Fuller from Cats

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and cast mates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Keri René Fuller

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Currently playing Grizabella in the North American Tour of Cats

www.kerirenefuller.com

instagram: @krfuller13

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! I haven’t started another book yet, but I brought Wuthering Heights, so that will be my next one.

What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter.  Hands down.

Who is your favorite author?

Haruki Murakami, if I had to pick just one. I love the way he weaves words together to create a story. He has such an imagination and every story is a journey.

What book inspires you and why?

This will not be a popular opinion to anyone who has read it because it is a rather dark story, but I remember reading My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent and being so inspired to live and love nature, as well as make sure my hands and love were always extended towards anyone who has dealt with abuse.

Which literary character would you like to play?

Wow…that’s a hard one. I remember Blanche DeBois from A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams…she is such an intricately flawed character and so full of faults and confusions, plus so emotionally guarded and injured that she would be such a trip to play.

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If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

I have played a lotttt of loners haha, so any of those character would be good, because we all need friends in this world. But if I had to choose, I would probably say Jenna

Hunterson in WAITRESS because she has a great sense of humor and is a strong woman who blazes her own path even despite the mistakes she makes.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

I would love to see So B. It by Sarah Weeks be made into a play or a (better) movie. I feel like the mother/daughter dynamic in that book is so strong and intricate that it would touch a lot of people’s lives.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I would love to be able to write a book, but I feel like if I were able to sit down and put something together that it would be more of an informational book or a guide type. As much as I love diving into worlds other people create, I am not the best at conjuring up those worlds myself.

What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

When I played Rose in DOGFIGHT, I knew I would never play such a complex character again in the near future. The strength and fragility, the anger and forgiveness she feels and the way she speaks her mind and wears her heart on her sleeve blow me away…it was such a gift to walk in her shoes.

What show are you currently in/what was the last show you were in and who did you play?

I am Grizabella in the North American Tour of CATS! The last show I did was WAITRESS on Broadway where I played a Pantry Person and understudied Jenna Hunterson.

See Keri (and yours truly) around the US in Cats! Click here for tickets and tour stops!

I feature a new performer every month, so check back in March for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know.  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my wonderful friend, cast mate, and sometimes roomie, Keri for sharing with us ❤ 

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Kaylee Olson

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and cast mates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

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Kaylee Olson

Currently in Chicago at The Fulton Theatre

Instagram: @kaylee.is.the.olson


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading- well, I am one chapter away from finishing- Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, I just picked up Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica at the supermarket, and I was in the middle of The Power by Naomi Alderman when I had to give it back to the library before leaving town for a contract. I like to read one book at a time, but occasionally I get caught up in a couple different stories.

What is your favorite book series?

My favorite book series would probably align with my favorite authors growing up. I adore everything that Tamora Pierce has ever written. But two of my favorites would be the Trickster’s Duet, and the Beka Cooper Series.  Which happen to be outliers from Tamora Pierce’s very first fantasy series (Song of the Lioness), which makes the interweaving story lines all the more fun! I was also impacted by the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. As the swashbuckling historical fiction greatly attracted my adventurous spirit.

What book inspires you and why?

When I need some inspiration, I turn to the book Terrier by Tamora Pierce. The story of a girl moving out of her family home to a rough city to pursue her dream and overcome her weaknesses to be the best she can- is a tale that I find highly relatable. Plus I love a little magic and crime thrown in the mix as well!

Which literary character would you like to play?

If I could play any literary character, I would play Delilah Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. She is a badass thief with a mysterious past and an even more mysterious future. She’s cool, tough, resourceful and ambitious. Besides, if this book was on stage it would probably have some super cool combat-dancing musical numbers.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played who would it be and why?

As a strong member of the ensemble, I tend to play a multitude of characters in a single show. If I could befriend any of those characters, I think I’d like to hang out with “Daisy” my show girl character from the show Bullets over Broadway. She seems like a sassy, flirty kind of gal, who would know all the good speakeasies in the 1920’s.

What book would you like to see made into a movie/musical/play?50452730_241543356599567_4665375377370120192_n

If I could see a book brought to life, then I think Ink Mage from the Fire beneath the Skin Trilogy by Victor Gischler would be a fascinating movie. The visible element of tattoos providing magical power to help a deposed duchess regain her throne… sounds like I need some popcorn. Or, if I could see a book turned into a musical- that I could perform in, of course- I think that the book Caraval by Stephanie Garber would be fabulous. Two sisters swept away to the biggest most elaborate carnival-like performance, inlaid with a game where reality is challenged but the stakes are exceedingly high. I think they might need some showgirls in a musical like that. I’m pretty good at being a showgirl…

What is the next book on your reading list?

The next book on my hit list will be book 2 of the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen. Because one cannot start a trilogy and not complete it!

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

Once upon a time I had a thought in my head of being a writer. Then I realized, that it’s wicked hard; plots and story arcs and the proper use of semicolons was a bit more of a challenge then I knew how to tackle. If I ever find a story to tell, I may reconsider, but for now I’ll stick to book reading instead of book writing.

What show are you currently working on?

Tonight is opening night for me! I will be performing in a production of Chicago at the Fulton Theatre, dancing in the ensemble as well as playing Liz (one of the “Cellblock Tango” girls). Which will be my first speaking part EVER, so wish me luck!!

What is your favorite show you have been a part of and why?

This production of Chicago is turning out to be quite spectacular! This glitzy, vaudeville version has been uniquely original and supremely enjoyable. But other than this most recent credit, the most gratifying show I have ever been a part of was Susan Stroman’s Crazy for You. I was honored to be a part of the 25th anniversary concert performance at Lincoln Center. To have the chance to work with the strong, incredibly brilliant, and legendary Susan Stroman, was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my days. The pinnacle of my career thus far, but only the beginning of my hopes and dreams for the future.


Happy Opening to Kaylee and the rest of the cast of Chicago at The Fulton Theatre! ❤


I feature a new performer every month! I would love some suggestions for questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know!  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Thank you to my dear friend, Kaylee, for sharing with us! I love you so much!