Woman Power Wednesday: Stephanie Styles

For my 22nd birthday, my boyfriend and I decided to see the Newsies tour in Boston. I remember thinking about how much I loved the feisty charm with which Stephanie Styles played Katherine Plummer, a female journalist facing sexism in her field as she covers the newsies strike.

Years later, I had the privilege of seeing Stephanie perform again when I saw her perform “For the First Time in Forever” from Frozen at the Broadway Princess Party this January. Not only did Stephanie sound amazing singing the song, but she nailed Anna’s enthusiasm and goofy spirit in her performance. (I might start a campaign for Stephanie to replace Patti Murin as Anna in Frozen on Broadway in a few years…)

I have since learned that Stephanie is a die hard Disney fan. Not only does she have an incredible wealth of knowledge about Disney and its films, but she also is incredibly adept at Disney impressions. Stephanie’s Instagram story is full of Disney trivia games (with her boyfriend, Casey Cott) and videos of Stephanie listening to Disney songs. Her Instagram story is always goofy and never fails to put a smile on my face.

While Stephanie is ridiculously gorgeous and talented, she manages to be incredibly humble as well. She has a tendency to respond to compliments on Twitter and Instagram by saying something along the lines of, “I’m blushing!”

Stephanie’s next project is a musical adaptation of Roman Holiday, in which she will be playing Princess Ann (originally portrayed on film by Audrey Hepburn). It is clear to anyone who follows Stephanie on Instagram/Twitter that she is incredibly excited about this opportunity. This shows how grateful Stephanie must feel for the opportunity to be in this show, and how she isn’t taking it for granted.

It is only appropriate that Stephanie will be playing a princess in her next role because I am fairly convinced that she is a Disney princess personified.

Thank you, Stephanie for all of the joy and positivity you constantly spread. I can’t wait to see you in Roman Holiday next month. Xoxo.

 

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Tony Award Nomination Predictions

It’s that time of year again: awards season in the New York theater community! Here are my predictions for six of the major awards that will be given out on June 12th. The Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2nd from the New York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

A few disclaimers:

  1. I have not yet seen War Paint or Hello Dolly!, but I do have plans to see them both.
  2. I have not seen enough plays this season to feel comfortable making

Best Musical

  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Come from Away
  • Groundhog Day

Best Revival of a Musical

  • Hello, Dolly!
  • Falsettos
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Miss Saigon

Best Actress in a Musical

  • Bette Midler, Hello Dolly!
  • Christine Ebersole, War Paint
  • Patti LuPone, War Paint
  • Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Laura Osnes, Bandstand

Best Actor in a Musical

  • Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
  • Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
  • Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
  • Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  • David Hyde Pierce, Hello Dolly!

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

  • Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
  • Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
  • Brittain Ashford, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Jenn Colella, Come From Away
  • Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos
  • Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Gavin Creel, Hello Dolly!
  • John Bolton, Anastasia
  • Fred Johanson, Sunset Boulevard

 

So what do you think? I want to hear your thoughts too!

Woman Power Wednesday: Teale Dvornik

IMG_2738.jpgLast week, I had the chance to meet Teale Dvornik, one of the dressers at Wicked. 

Dressers on Broadway are in charge of all of the costumes in any given show. They also make sure that all of the show’s quick changes happen smoothly. (If you want to know more about what being a dresser means, you can read Teale’s blog post about it here.)
When Teale got her start in NYC, she worked as a swing dresser at both Aladdin and Wicked. This means that she knew the jobs of sixteen dressers and had to be ready to fill in for any one of them. That is pretty incredible! 

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Miss Saigon

IMG_2799.jpgWhen Miss Saigon first appeared on Broadway in 1991, the Vietnam War would have been in the fairly recent memories of its audience members. In 2017, however, the musical is outdated.

Miss Saigon, based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, begins as the American troops are preparing to leave Saigon in 1975. At a dive bar known as Dreamland, an American GI named Chris (Alistair Brammer) meets the bar’s newest dancer, Kim (Eva Noblezada), and he immediately falls in love with her. He makes a deal with the bar’s sleazy owner, known as the Engineer (Jon Jon Briones), to allow him to spend the night with Kim. Kim and Chris immediately fall in love and begin to make plans to leave Saigon together to go to the United States.

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Anastasia 

Fans of the 1997 animated film Anastasia will not be disappointed by the musical adaptation that is in previews at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Anastasia is based on the rumor that Czar Nicholas II’s youngest daughter, Anastasia, survived the murder of her family at the hands of communist revolutionaries in 1917. Two men, Dmitri (Derek Klena) and Vladimir (John Bolton) meet a street sweeper named Anya (Christy Altomare). Anya has no idea who she is, and Dmitri and Vlad suspect that she might be the missing princess. They convince her to come to Paris to meet Russia’s Dowager Empress (Mary Beth Peil). Dmitri and Vladimir teach Anya everything she needs to know to convince the Empress that she is Anastasia.

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Bandstand

Once in a while, a show comes along in which actors, choreography, music, and set come together so beautifully that one can’t help but be moved. This is the case with Bandstand, which is currently in previews at the Jacobs Theatre.

Bandstand follows Donny Novistski (Corey Cott), a piano prodigy who has recently returned to Cleveland from serving in the South Pacific in World War II. He hears about a “Tribute to the Troops” music contest that could get him and his music into a movie. Donny sets out to put together a band of fellow veterans of the war. The band’s lead singer, Julia Trojan (Laura Osnes) is the widow of Donny’s best friend from his unit.  Continue reading

Woman Power Wednesday: Laura Heywood aka BroadwayGirlNYC 

In 2009, Laura Heywood decided to take on the alias of “BroadwayGirlNYC” to share her love of Broadway and talk about the shows she saw. She remained anonymous for years, but she revealed her identity in April 2015 in a speech at TEDxBroadway.  She says that she created BroadwayGirlNYC to spread joy and that says so much about who Laura is.

As a fellow theater nerd from the San Francisco Bay Area, I felt an immediate kinship with Laura as soon as I followed her on Twitter last year. I love that she used to work for the sports radio station that I grew up listening to San Francisco Giants games on.

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