Subscribe In A Reader






Bootleg Betty



Amazon



Mister D



Towleroad



Feedjit Stats









Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

Kritzerland Announces THE APRIL FOOLS Concert with special guest, Bruce Vilanch

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Broadway World
Kritzerland Announces THE APRIL FOOLS Concert
by BWW News Desk Mar. 17, 2017

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

Kritzerland has announced a new concert event coming on Sunday, April 2, 2017 entitled “The April Fools.” This entertaining evening will take place at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal in North Hollywood, California.

For the 76th Kritzerland show, we have our annual wild and wacky April Fools show, always a favorite for us at Kritzerland. You can always expect the unexpected – you’ll get some Spring songs, some April songs, and some Foolish and crazy songs – as always, you’ll know some and many you won’t know at all – for this iteration, we have songs from several flop musicals we all know and love, including Carmelina, Bring Back Birdie, We Take the Town, Minsky’s, and others, while we also have songs from Promises, Promises, Hallelujah, Baby, Annie, Newsies, as well as some classic pop standards. We’ve assembled a merry and fun cast for this one as well as our hilarious guest star, Bruce Vilanch and we can only say that what he’s doing in this show you will not want to miss. So, come join us in the merriment and mirth and tuneful evening we have in store. Kritzerland is produced and hosted by Bruce Kimmel and co-produced by Doug Haverty.

Included in the line-up are:

Will Collyer [Regional: Breaking Through (Smith) Pasadena Playhouse; Parade Mark Taper Forum; Carousel (Enoch Snow, Jr) Hwd. Bowl, Local: MTG, WCE, Boston Court, Odyssey]
Jennifer Foster [Off B’way: If There Is … ; Regional: Merrily We Roll Along, Hair, Carrie: The Killer Musical; TV: Looking, Glee; Film: Looking; Disney: Frozen: Live at the Hyperion]
Hadley Belle Miller [Voice, Lucy van Pelt, Peanuts Movie; National Tour: Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan (Michael); (www.hadleybellemiller.com)]
Kerry O’Malley [B’way: Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), White Christmas (Betty), Billy Elliot (Mum), Annie Get Your Gun (Dolly), On a Clear Day (Sharone); TV: Shameless, Boardwalk Empire, etc.]Jenna Lea Rosen [Regional: Parade, Ovation Award 3DT; TV: Sofia the First (Shelly, Clio, Hildegard), Elena of Avalor (Ciela) Disney Jr. series.]
Hayley Shukiar [Meet Me In St. Louis (Tootie); Peter Pan (Wendy); Little Mermaid (Ursula); Willy Wonka (Veruca Salt) Cabrillo; Studio singer for Hal Leonard Publishing.]
NICK TUBBS [Regional: Assassins (Balladeer), Forever Plaid (Jinx), Les Miserables (Enjolras) The Full Monty (Malcolm); Other: Princess Cruises, Kit and The Kats]
Robert Yacko [Do I Hear a Waltz? (Renato) MTG; Addams Family (Mal) 3-D; Parade (Dorsey) Mark Taper, Company (Paul) w/ Carol Burnett, Sunday in the Park with George (George) LA Premiere]

Bruce Vilanch (Special Guest) [B’way: Hairspray (Edna); Off B’Way: Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous; Film: Mahogany; TV: Hollywood Squares, The Simpsons, The Oscars (2 Emmys/Writing)]

RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED!

IMPORTANT RESERVATION INFORMATION!

The only way to reserve is via Brown Paper Tickets! It’s easy! Go to sterlingsupstairs040217.brownpapertickets.com.

Dinner reservations: DOORS OPEN 5:30pm. SHOW STARTS 7:00pm

Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal is located at 5303 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Bruce Vilanch, Josh Groban, Cynthia Erivo & More Join Broadway Backwards March 13, 2017

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Broadway Buzz
Bruce Vilanch, Josh Groban, Cynthia Erivo & More Join Broadway Backwards March 13, 2017
By Lindsey Sullivan February 28, 2017

84817-11

This year’s Broadway Backwards just got even more star-studded! The Great Comet star Josh Groban, Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, Tony winner Cady Huffman, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Santino Fontana and more have joined the previously announced lineup. The annual benefit showcases Broadway favorites offering gender-bending takes on their favorite tunes. Tony winner Julie White returns to host the event, which is directed by Robert Bartley and set for March 13 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Six-time Emmy winner Bruce Vilanch, Tony nominee Carolee Carmello, Cagneys Robert Creighton, School of Rocks Eric Petersen, Megan Sikora, Elizabeth Stanley, Dominic Nolfi, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard will also take the stage.

As reported, the roster already includes Sierra Boggess, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Javier Muñoz, Alex Brightman, Rachel Bay Jones, Andrew Rannells, Tituss Burgess, Kathleen Turner, Bobby Conte Thornton, Ariana DeBose, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lora Lee Gayer, Len Cariou, John Glover, Levi Kreis, Bobby Steggert and Rachel York. Performers are subject to change.

Produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the event will benefit BC/EFA and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

New Petula Clark Musical From Bruce Vilanch Could Be Headed to Broadway

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

New Petula Clark Musical From Bruce Vilanch Could Be Headed to Broadway
02/02/2017 03:56 am ET | Updated 6 days ago
By Pollo Del Mar

10

From penning witty zingers for the Tony Awards to hosting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraisers, Bruce Vilanch is no stranger to the New York theatre community. In 2005, Vilanch even starred as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. When the Hollywood funnyman returns to Broadway, though, he hopes it’s as writer of the next great jukebox musical.


“Think Mamma Mia!said Vilanch when describing his new musical Sign of the Times. “In fact, please think Mamma Mia! — because Mamma Mia! ran only 12 years, so please think of that!”



WEGOTBRUCE.COM

Bruce Vilanch has penned a new musical! The hysterical out comic says Sign of the Times, featuring the music of Grammy-winner Petula Clark, could be Broadway-bound soon.

Like other “jukebox musicals” — productions such as Jersey Boys and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical — Sign of the Times utilizes hit pop songs rather than an original score. In this case, the music of Grammy Award-winning, ‘60s British pop icon Petula Clark “and other hit-makers of the day” takes center stage.


“When I was in college, and I was hearing Petula’s music, every time I would hear one of her songs, I’d say, ‘What show is that from?’” the comedian shared during an interview on Party Foul Radio with Pollo & Pearl. “They all sounded so theatrical, because they had big orchestras behind them.”


Vilanch recalled a similar feeling when listening to ABBA years later, he told Podomatic’s No. 1-ranked LGBT podcast. Therefore it was not surprising, he said, when the quartet’s catalogue later became the foundation for the wildly successful Broadway hit Mamma Mia!


“They had these big, Broadway pop arrangements behind everything,” said Vilanch of ABBA, noting that, like the Swedish super-group, Clark’s music also “lends itself very well to a Broadway show.” He said: “It always had that feel from the beginning.”



WEGOTBRUCE.COM

Having penned three of her stage shows, Bruce Vilanch has worked with legendary Bette Midler for 47 years. “Which is difficult, because she’s only 32,” the comedian quips, “i’m contractually obligated to say that.”

A six-time Emmy Award-winner, Vilanch has supplied jokes to a veritable Hollywood who’s who, was the quirky center square for four seasons of Hollywood Squares, a long-time reporter and columnist for The Advocate and even cowrote Eartha Kitt’s campy 1980s hit “I Need a Man.” A featured writer on almost every major televised awards broadcast, he’s served as head writer for the annual Academy Awards since 2010.


The hilarious blond – equally known for his inimitable appearance – is far more than champion of the one-liner though. He’s written successful stage productions stretching back more than four decades.


Vilanch cowrote Bette Midler’s 1974 Broadway show Clams on a Half Shell and later inked her 1980 epic Divine Madness. The Divine Miss M again teamed with The Divine Miss V for The Showgirl Must Go On, Midler’s 2008 residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.


Vilanch forged a similarly long-standing relationship with Diana Ross. After befriending the MoTown legend on the set of Mahogany, in which he had a bit part, he wrote An Evening with Diana Ross. The show played Vegas, Broadway and was later turned into a television special.



BROADWAYWORLD.COM

In 2005, Bruce Vilanch starred as “Edna Turnblad” in the Broadway production of Hairspray.

When approached by Richard Robins — “a big real estate guy in Chicago,” who purchased Clark’s musical catalogue — to work on Sign of the Times, Vilanch was “immediately interested.” What emerged is the tale of Cindy, a young woman who moves to New York City in 1965 and (according to production notes) discovers “unexpected friends, lovers, careers, and conflicts are all a subway ride away.”


Based on an original story by Robins, and written by Vilanch, Sign of the Times features Clark’s biggest hits including No. 1 single “Downtown,” “I Know a Place” and, of course, the song from which the production draws its name. Also included are smashes from contemporaries Leslie Gore (“You Don’t Own Me”), Nancy Sinatra (“These Boots Are Made for Walking”), Dusty Springfield (“I Only Want to Be With You”) and more.


After debuting last summer with a successful five-week run at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, Vilanch says it could be only a matter of time before New York calls. To gain perspective on the process, he turned to modern musical theatre genius and Tony-winning Broadway superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda (who Vilanch calls “Mr. Hamilton”).


“He said Hamilton took seven years; everything takes seven years,” shared Vilanch, noting Sign of the Times is now in its third year.


“Legitimate theatre, on the Broadway end, is like movies these days,” Vilanch concluded, “Things happen years down the pipeline. Hopefully the next year or so, it’ll end up on Broadway. We’re working our way there!”


LISTEN: Bruce Vilanch talks Sign of the Times, Personal Stories About Diana Ross, Bette Midler & More

BWW Review: A Hysterical UMPO HOCUS POCUS Carries You to the Divine

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Broadway World
BWW Review: A Hysterical UMPO HOCUS POCUS Carries You to the Divine
October 21, 2016
By Gil Kaan

26EAA008D-F909-80AD-5828014485333AE7

THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF HOCUS POCUS/written by John Flynn & Kate Pazakis/directed by Tye Blue/musical direction by Gregory Nabours/Rockwell Table & Stage/thru November 19, 2016

Executive Producer Kate Pazakis has done it again with her latest UMPO production THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF HOCUS POCUS. Director Tye Blue effectively corrals his vocally gifted cast in gloriously performing re-purposed pop tunes in between delivering Pazakis and John Flynn’s cleverly written homage to the 1993 film Hocus Pocus (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy). No worries if you haven’t seen the movie. You will be howling anyway at this Halloween tale of three witches returning from the dead 300 years later to wreck havoc in (where else?) Salem, Massachusetts. A great part of the fun’s recognizing ‘vintage’ pop songs that have been re-fitted into the HOCUS POCUS narrative.

Totally inhabiting the Bette Midler part of Winifred Sanderson (the oldest sister of the three), Marissa Jaret Winokur readily displays the reasons she won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical Actress (HAIRSPRAY). Winokur spouts Winifred’s lines out with the best comic timing and warbles Bette’s songs (“The Rose,” “From a Distance”) most beautifully. Another treat has Winokur embellish the film’s “I Put a Spell On You.”

Cindy Sciacca, commands in the Kathy Najimy role of Mary Sanderson, the middle sis. Only in live theatre, the unexpected interruptions or miscues can bring interesting results. Sciacca had an unexpected incident and handled it so well, she literally stopped the show until the uproarious laughter finally subsided minutes later. That’s a great pro move!

Ava Gaudet quite assuredly filled Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolos as Sarah Sanderson (played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the film). Bars of the recognizable “Sex and the City” theme would frequently play under Gaudet’s on-target Carrie-esque lines.

Tom DeTrinis appeared to be having the best of fun as Binx, the little boy turned into a cat. DeTrinis’ well-timed paw licking or tail gesturing would consistently grab your attention and your laugh reflexes.

Benjamin Schrader scored as the virginal Max Dennison as he pursued the more sexually- knowledgeable Allison (winningly played by Kelley Jakle). Their seduction scene managed to be so funny, yet so hot!

Lana McKissack shined as Dani Dennison, Max’s adventurous, fearless older sis.

Nathan Moore easily disappeared into his five different roles providing the complementary reasons for abundant bouts of laughter.

Opening night had Bruce Vilanch as Guest Narrator introducing the evening with his dependably funny (and topical) takes on the Sanderson Sisters. Peter Allen Vogt quite ably resumed the Narrator role for the rest of the evening offering witty barbs in between (and sometimes, during) sips of various liquors. Too funny!

Katherine Tokarz deserves high props for her choreography, especially her very cool re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” danced by the whole cast.

Kudos to costumer Chadd McMillan for his spot-on Sanderson Sisters outfits, the Blinx cat jumpsuit; as well as, the attire of the regular humans of the townsfolk. Shout-out to BobbiePinz/Bobbie Zlotnik for the re-created Sanderson Sisters wigs.

Hard to find the perfect seat in the Rockwell main room as the action uses not only the stage, but every inch of the room (and a few willing laps).

The spot-on UMPO band (led by musical director Gregory Nabours on piano; with Blake Estrada on bass, Emily Rosenfield on guitar and Gregory Sadler on drums) rocked as always, provided the driving musicality to the UMPO HOCUS POCUS soundtrack which includes: AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind,” Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” Backstreet Boys’ “Backstreet’s Back.”

With the UMPO’s practice of double casting (and more than occasional surprise guest casting), who knows which singing and dancing talents you’ll get to see in THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF HOCUS POCUS. But they’ll probably, most assuredly, be all great!

Future Productions Planned for New Musical A SIGN OF THE TIMES Following Goodspeed Run

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Broadway World
Future Productions Planned for New Musical A SIGN OF THE TIMES Following Goodspeed Run
By Broadway World Staff
September 22, 2016

 

2016-10-01_3-45-53

 

A Sign of the Times, the new pop-fueled musical featuring songs made famous by Petula Clark and other hit-makers of the 1960s, recently wrapped up a successful five-week run at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. where the show played from July 29 – September 4 to packed houses. News of an upcoming production will be announced.

“Welcoming A Sign of the Times for its first full developmental production, and watching it grow over the course of its run, was a thrill for all of us at Goodspeed Musicals,” said Executive Director Michael Gennaro. “We’re so pleased that the show proved to be one of the most highly rated shows by Goodspeed audiences.”

Creator and producer Richard Robin added, “A Sign of the Times truly found its feet under the guidance and support of the top-notch team at Goodspeed. After a summer of audiences humming the sounds of the 60s and connecting with our show’s heroine as she struggles to find her place in an era of change, we’re now looking forward to what’s next as A Sign of the Times explores options for future productions.”

Below is a sampling of what audiences had to say after attending A Sign of the Times:

– “A Sign of the Times was absolutely wonderful, lifting my heart and spirits. It brought back that youthful uplifting feeling of great hope.” – “Just loved this play! It brought me back to my middle to late teenage years. The music and singing and dancing was super! I especially liked that it had humor but also took a look at the racial issues and women’s rights that were so front and center during those years. All in all it was just delightful!” – “I have never had a show leave such an impression on me! I grew up with Petula Clark…”Downtown” was my first 45 record. I can’t get the music out of my head.” – “My wife and I have been to nearly every show that you have produced at both theaters over the last eight years. This is your best so far!” – “A Sign of the Times captured the legacy and impact of the cultural changes wrought by the 60s that were expressed through its music. An inspiring array of songs, outstanding script, crisp choreography, great sets and outstanding performances by all. Bravo for a fabulous show!”

This is the story of Cindy, a 20-something whose dreams are bigger than her Midwestern hometown will allow. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the 1960s women’s liberation, the civil rights movement, and protests of the Vietnam warCindy searches for her place in the world. A Sign of the Times, featuring chart-topping hits from the 1960s, celebrates friendship, love, and discovering one’s sense of self. A Sign of the Times was sponsored by Essex Savings Bank.

1965. The pulse of a changing era lures Cindy from Middle America to the swirl of Manhattan. Unexpected friends, lovers, careers, and conflicts are all a subway ride away in a pop-fueled new musical featuring songs made famous by Petula Clark and other hit-makers of the day. “I Know a Place,” “The Shoop Shoop Song,” and “If I Can Dream” are among the fabulous favorites on an eye-opening ride from innocence to experience. Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares – go “Downtown” and find out who you are!

A Sign of the Times includes popular hits by Petula Clark, as well as classics by Elvis Presley, Lesley Gore, Nancy Sinatra, and Fontella Bass. The musical’s original book is by Emmy Award-winning writer Bruce Vilanch. Vilanch’s career as writer and performer spans the worlds of television, film, and stage. For television he has written for shows as diverse as “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour,” “Donnie and Marie,” “Comic Relief,” and “Hollywood Squares,” as well as serving several years as head writer for the Academy Awards. For Broadway, Bruce not only appeared as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, but wrote the book for the musical Platinum and penned special material for a number of revues and concerts for the likes of Bette Midler, Michael Feinstein, and Diana Ross, among others.

The cast of A Sign of the Times featured Ephie Aardema (Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County and Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre production of Snapshots) as Cindy; Robert Lenzi (Broadway’s Tuck Everlasting, and South Pacific) as Brian; Bryan Fenkart (Broadway’s Memphis) as Dennis; Nick Bailey (Broadway production of Casa Valentina) as Matt; and Crystal Lucas-Perry (Little Children Dream of God at the Roundabout Theatre) as Tanya.

The ensemble includes Lauren Boyd (Broadway’s West Side Story), Lauren Nicole Chapman (Broadway’s Kinky Boots), Melessie Clark, Drew Franklin (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at The Goodspeed and Broadway’s Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Jeremy Gaston (1st National Tour of Sister Act), Alexandra Matteo (Broadway’s Annie), Keven Quillon (Broadway’s Grease, Shrek the Musical, and Annie), Kevin Santos (Broadway’s In the Heights and the National Tours of A Chorus Line, and West Side Story), Dave Schoonover (National Tour of Young Frankenstein), and Alet Taylor (National Tour and Las Vegas productions of The Producers) who will play Cleo.

A Sign of the Times was directed by Gabriel Barre and choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter. The creative team included Paul Tate DePoo lII (scenic design), Jennifer Caprio (costume design), Ken Billington (lighting design), Benjamin Pearcy (projection design), and Jay Hilton (sound design). Music Direction was by Rick Fox, Music Supervision by Joseph Church, Dance Arrangements by David Dabbon, and Casting was by Tara Rubin Casting.

The story of A Sign of the Times was created by Richard Robin. This production made possible by special arrangement with Richard Robin, president of Wells Street Productions.

For 30 years, The Terris Theatre has been Goodspeed’s home for developing fresh, innovative, and original new musicals. These new works have been developed in Chester, Conn., before they’ve moved on to Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, and other Regional Theatres. Because this is a developmental theatre, the show can change on a day-to-day basis. New scenes are added, songs are moved, costumes are changed, dialogue is tweaked?all based on audience response and feedback.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn. and additional productions at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals, and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. Goodspeed is supported in part by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Goodspeed’s ‘Sign of the Times’ a fun ’60s romp with a message

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Connecticut Post
Goodspeed’s ‘Sign of the Times’ a fun ’60s romp with a message
By Phyllis A.S. Boros Published 12:00 am, Tuesday, August 2, 2016

1024x1024

For the young Broadway actress Ephie Aardema, the new musical, “Sign of the Times,” at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre, goes far beyond nostalgia.

Set in the mid-1960s, the story follows 20-something Cindy, played by Aardema, from her Ohio hometown to Manhattan to explore her dream of becoming a professional photographer. In the process, she comes to understand the importance of “friendship, love and discovering one’s sense of self.”


Through all her experiences, Cindy’s soundtrack for life will be the pop music that indeed captured this period of time — songs made famous by the likes of Petula “Downtown” Clark, Nancy “These Boots are Made for Walking” Sinatra and Dusty “I Only Want to Be with You” Springfield. Songs made popular by Elvis Presley, Glenn Yarbrough and Janis Ian are among the many others featured.

Baby boomers, those born soon after World War II, will be able to tap their toes to the music that was a favorite of the time. And nostalgia is good, says Aardema, who celebrated her 25th birthday, while in rehearsals.





Terris Theatre, 33 N. Main St., Chester. Tickets start at $49. Through Sept. 4. Wednesdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 6:30 p.m. 860-873-8668, goodspeed.org






But younger audiences, too, will relate to this musical since many of the issues of 50 years ago are relevant today, said the Orlando, Fla., native.
“History repeats itself,” she noted. “There are so many parallels to today … so many issues that we are still struggling with: civil rights, feminism” and war. In the 1960s it was Vietnam, today it’s the Mideast and world-wide terrorism, she added. “Plus, the musical has sharp dialog and a great sense of humor” that will appeal to a broad range of theater-goers.

“I don’t want to give away the ending … but hers is a journey of independence, as she asks: ‘Who am I?’ She’s a pretty strong individual who always speaks her mind. Even when she arrives in New York, she’s naive, but she still speaks her mind. I love that about her,” Aardema said.

Goodspeed, which is based in East Haddam, operates the Terris Theatre in Chester as a “test kitchen” of sorts for the development of new musicals. It is hoped that this particular show will go on to have a long life on Broadway, off-Broadway, on a national tour or in regional theater. For this reason, dialog and music can be tweaked or changed at every performance.

That said, the production features songs predominantly by Clark (an English singer, whose career spans about seven decades): “My Love,” “A Sign of the Times,” “Colour My World,” “I Know a Place,” “The In Crowd” and “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” among them.

Aardema, who appeared in the Broadway production of “The Bridges of Madison County” and Goodspeed’s “Snapshots,” will co-star with Robert Lenzi, Nick Bailey, Bryan Fenkart, Alet Taylor and Crystal Lucas-Perry.

Director is Gabriel Barre, who says the production will take audiences on a “fun-filled ride through the nightclubs, subways, cramped apartments and penthouses of 1960s New York.” Book is by Bruce Vilanch, with the story created by Richard Robin. Choreographer is JoAnn M. Hunter.

Aardema, who studied at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York, said she gets the most pleasure from dancing in the show.

“JoAnn is an amazing choreographer and there are a couple of magical numbers in this. I started out as a dancer (in elementary school), so dance is a huge source of joy for me … even watching (others dance) is really cool.”

Aardema said the first community musical for which she auditioned was “Annie” at age 9. She also simultaneously signed up as a backstage volunteer — because she was certain that she wouldn’t even get a bit part in the show.

Apparently, she had no idea she was a natural on stage; others, however, did. She won the lead “and I’ve never looked back.”