Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Liz Schmitz from Cats

Broadway Book Chat

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and it’s 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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Monthly Wrap-Ups

January 2019 Wrap-Up

MonthlyWrap - Up

January was a crazy whirl-wind of getting Cats up and running! I didn’t have much time to read or blog as I was in rehearsal non-stop and I missed a few posts, but the show is finally open and we have begun touring the country!  I managed to get in a few books while soaking my sore muscles in the bath, and found some amazing bookstores in our first city, Providence, RI.  I can’t wait to see the stores all over the country! 🙂

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Books Read:

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry★★★★

Furyborn by Claire Legrand★★★

Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway★★★

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han★★


Favorite Book of the Month:

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Currently Reading:

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Challenges:

Goodreads Challenge: 4 of 100

Classics Club Challenge: 4 of 50- I swear I WILL make progress on this one this year!


Broadway Book Chat: Kaylee Olson

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January Reviews

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann• ARC Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry • ARC Review: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

January Posts

Top 10 Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #7 • Top 10 Tuesday: Authors I Found in 2018 • Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018 • Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List •

 

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Kaylee Olson

Broadway Book Chat

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and it’s 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!

Book Reviews · Reading Challenges · The Classics Club

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann Review

581811Summary: Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight-for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three women become best friends when they are young and struggling in New York City and then climb to the top of the entertainment industry-only to find that there is no place left to go but down-into the Valley of the Dolls.


My Thoughts: Y’all. THIS. BOOK. I can’t get over it.  It was completely and utterly addicting.  As a musical theatre actress, I can’t get enough of Old Hollywood and this book was everything I wanted.  I loved this view into the entertainment industry of the 1940’s-1960’s, and what I loved most was that it didn’t shy away from the darker side of the industry.  This book caused a huge stir when it was published in 1966, and I can see why.  It was still pretty explicit today, so I can’t imagine the scandal it would have caused upon its release.  The thing that I found so revolutionary about it, was the way it explored the female psyche and sexuality.  Looking back on it from today’s perspective, it really highlights the misogyny and what women were brainwashed to accept as reality, especially in terms of relationships.  This gave us a very interesting perspective into the three distinct and vibrant main characters, who all handle these situations very differently.  I loved all of three of them for so many reasons.  Their journeys were thorough and developed, and I understood each of them completely.  The plot was as addicting as the pills the girls consumed, and I could not put the book down.  This has easily become one of my favorite reads of all time, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

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Book Hangover

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Jeff Brooks

Broadway Book Chat

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and it’s 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!

Jeff Brooks

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Currently on tour with Fiddler on the Roof

Instagram: @bathrobedbrooks


What are you currently reading?

Just about to start Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn.  Let it begin.  I’m going down the rabbit hole.

What is your favorite book series?

Anyone will tell you that I’m an ENORMOUS Lord of the Rings fan.  I’ve read the entire series 9 times.  Once for each member of the Fellowship.  Or each of the Nazgûl.

Who is your favorite author? IMG_6790

Without a doubt JRR Tolkien.

What book inspires you and why?

I’d be hard-pressed to choose between Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Anthem by Ayn Rand. Both are hypnotic metaphors for the state of Society.

Which literary character would you like to play?

I’d love to take a swing at Louis from Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.  Newly turned, still figuring it out, hanging with a vampire god.

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

Gaston, definitely. Nobody pays when they drink with Gaston.  Literally.  No one ever pays.  For all those drinks.  Not a cent.

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

I’d love to see a miniseries of RA Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy. People would eat Drizzt Do’Urden up.

IMG_6785What is the next book on your reading list?

Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry. Love me some Star Wars Expanded Universe!

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I used to write short sci-fi stories, but never anything with real depth. Mostly just putting my technicolor dreams on paper and giving the characters cool names.

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

I’m currently on the road with the 1st National Tour of “Fiddler on the Roof” where I play the Constable. Last year at this time I was also on the road, but with “The Sound of Music”.

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

“Bullets over Broadway” was such an amazing experience. A beautiful piece mixed with some wickedly-talented people.


See Jeff and the rest of the cast in Fiddler On the Roof all around the US!

http://fiddlermusical.com/ticket-info/


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! Shout out to my wonderful friend, Jeff, for sharing with us! ❤

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Joey Simon

Broadway Book Chat

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and it’s 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!

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Joey Simon

Currently performing in Anything Goes at Westchester Broadway Theatre!

instagram: @joey.a.simon


What are you currently reading?

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren.  It’s different from what I usually read, which is fantasy, but it’s always refreshing to read a book with a love story that could have actually been about me.

What is your favorite book series?

Such a tough and loaded question.  I consider Harry Potter to be in a category all its own, so outside of that I would have to say Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.  It’s rare to find fantasy books outside of the original high fantasy archetypes that are written so well and meant for adults.  It is also such a huge part of Stephen King’s life, and is so unbelievably developed and planned.  Honorable Mention: Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles.

Who is your favorite author?IMG_0909

I don’t really have one.  I don’t really follow authors, and the author doesn’t affect my interest in a book.

What book inspires you and why?

Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, as weird as that sounds.  Maybe it’s where I am at this moment in my life, but they inspire me to seek out things that I would normally take for granted.  They definitely make me want to travel more, love harder, and take risks.  Also being a vampire would be fun.

Which literary character would you like to play?

Vincent from The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman.  First off, I want to be a witch, and secondly, I love how complex he is and that he has a darkness inside of his goodness.  I also found that I really related to his character and his struggle to accept his sexuality.

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

The nun I played in Spamalot.  She was wild, your honor.

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

I want Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake to be a movie, I want Carry On by Rainbow Rowell to be a musical, and The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman to be a play.

What is the next book on your reading list?

Probably The Great Hunt from the epic Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  I just ordered it on Thriftbooks, a long with a bunch of others, and I am so excited to get back to that world.

What show are you currently in who did you play?

I am in Anything Goes at Westchester Broadway Theatre and I am in the ensemble, where I mostly am a tap dancing sailor.  Gay boy dreams come true.

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

Probably Spamalot at Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  I grew up watching Monty Python, and it was an absolute riot to jump into that world and make audiences laugh every night.  Also everyone in the cast was incredible, and just such wonderful people.

Check out Joey and the rest of the cast of Anything Goes at Westchester Broadway 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! Thanks to my amazing roommate Joey (who I talk about all the time in my posts) for sharing with us! ❤

 

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: David Girolmo

Broadway Book Chat

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and it’s 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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David Girolmo

Currently performing as Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at The Fulton Theatre

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin.  This oddly named book was a recommendation from a friend who nearly cried telling me how much he loved it, and how many times he re-read it.  We’ll see…

 What is your favorite book series?

Man this is a tough one…  There are so many that I have loved over the years; from The Lord of the Rings books, to Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series, C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series, Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski series, Harry Potter, The Dark Tower… Too many wonderful hours.  If I have to choose one, I’ll go with John Sanford’s Prey series and his principle character Lucas Davenport.  I don’t know how many he’s written (upwards of 30 by now)- but I’ve loved them all.  No wait!! It has to be the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin.  I lived and cried, and loved with this group of people Maupin created for years- re-reading each book like it was the first time.  Yep, that’s it.  Tales of the City.

Who is your favorite author?

I thought this one would be harder- but my immediate response is Stephen King, and I’ll stick with that.  I’ve been reading his work since his first published novel, and we’ve sortof grown up together.  Just finished his latest, The Outsider, and loved it.  Other favorite authors: John Irving, Peter Straub, Harlen Coben, Armistead Maupin, John Sandford, Craig Johnson, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury…

What book inspires you and why?

frollo

Do plays that I’ve read count as books?  There are so many plays I’ve read over the years that inspired me to be a better person/actor/friend/husband… When I was a kid (six or seven years old) I received a boxed edition of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh series for my birthday that I read over and over again.  I wanted so desperately for those stories to go on and on forever.  I was really bereft when I realized there were no more Pooh books, no more stories.  Maybe that’s why I love all these series: The characters go on as long as the author keeps writing.  I know I get inspired by characters who behave heroically.  I wish I were able to access the better angels of my nature when I read about people doing the right thing against all odds.

Which literary character would you like to play?

Ned Stark… Or Robin Hood… or Walt Longmire… or Iago… Because it would be a BLAST!! Ned Stark, Robin Hood, and Walt Longmire are men of character and virtue who behave heroically.  Iago is just as bad a guy as ever was written, and that would be too much fun!

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

Fred Graham/Petruchio from Kiss Me Kate.  Who had more fun than Petruchio? Or maybe Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker… maybe I could persuade him not to go back into that pie shop….

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

I’d like to see a musical version of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  I’ve seen a pretty badly realized BBC TV movie, and a very small scale play in Chicago.  This cries out for a musical.

What book is next on your reading list?

The Listener by Robert McCammon

What show are you currently working on and who do you play?

I’m currently in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Fulton Theatre playing Claude Frollo.  The last show I did was Guys and Dolls playing Arvide Abernathy.  Two more disparate roles I could never have hoped for in the same season!

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

Probably Sondheim’s Follies because that’s where I met my favorite person in the world– my wife.


Check out David and the cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame 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! Thanks to the insanely talented David for sharing with us! ❤

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Mallory King

Broadway Book Chat

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family. There is something special about theatre and it’s 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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Mallory King

Currently performing in Guys and Dolls at The Fulton Theatre

www.malloryking.com

instagram/twitter: @mal_king15

What are you currently reading?

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman and The Lying Game by Ruth Ware.

What is your favorite book series?
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Harry Potter– is that even a question?

Who is your favorite author?

Ooooh.  I kind of have a list.  So I love Liane Moriarty, Ruth Ware, Jodi Picoult, and JoJo Moyes.  I recently went to a book signing event and had the opportunity to hear JoJo Moyes speak.  I loved how she talked about how it took her several books to get one published, several published to get one bestseller, and then several best seller books to have one turned into a film (Me Before You).  I found her to be truly inspiring.  You can tell she’s an incredibly hard worker.

What book inspires you and why?

I would have to say The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I love how it’s about a female writer who stands up for what she believes in.  There’s also a little bit of mystery in it because as you’re reading you want to know more about the lives of these women.  I’m also a huge fan of historical fiction, so it’s everything I love about books poured into one novel.  And have you seen the movie? Talk about female power.  I was also inspired by Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult recently.  Schools should integrate it into their English curriculum. It’s pivotal.

Which literary character would you like to play?

I would love to play Zelda Fitzgerald.  I read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Anne Fowler, and I really got into her head.  I also LOVE the 1920’s era.  It’s kind of cool that she is a character in several novels, as well as the wife of one of the greatest authors of all time.  I mean Zelda was a pretty amazing woman… who kind of went crazy, but we’ll set that aside.

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

Probably Serena in Legally Blonde because she would teach me how to properly “bend and snap.”

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

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult.  There is a huge plot twist… can’t say much more or I’ll ruin it for you.

What is the next book on your reading list?

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  It takes place in a suburb of Cleveland (my hometown) and it’s on Reese Witherspoon’s book list… and she KNOWS how to pick good books.

What show are you working on now?

Right now I am in Guys and Dolls at the Fulton Theatre, and before this contract I was on the national tour of Annie as Lily St. Regis.

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

I feel like ANY show where I have had the chance to work with amazing people and spend time onstage is a blessing.  But I have to say being Lily St. Regis in Annie was a total blast!

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Mallory and I backstage in Guys and Dolls at The Fulton Theatre

I will 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!  Thanks to my old friend, and college theatre buddy, Mallory, for sharing with us!  It’s always fun to swap books with you 🙂