When visiting NYC from California in 2009, I begged my mom go see 9 to 5 on Broadway for my 17th birthday. I had heard Stephanie J. Block sing “Get Out and Stay Out” on the recording, and I knew that I had to see and hear her perform that song live. I knew that Stephanie had played Elphaba in Wicked on tour and on Broadway, and I was in awe of her talent. Of course, I was blown away by her performance as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5. 8 years after seeing the show, I listen to that cast album all the time.
Last year, I was so excited to get to see Stephanie in Falsettos. Before going to see the show, I told my boyfriend that he was in for a special treat because he was going to get to see Stephanie J. Block perform. In Falsettos, Stephanie played Trina, a (slightly) neurotic woman dealing with her husband leaving her for another man. She blew the entire audience away with her performance of “I’m Breaking Down.” The performance literally involved Stephanie belting with a banana in her mouth. I left the Walter Kerr Theater hoping that Stephanie would get a Tony Nomination for her stellar work. And she did.
On that note, Stephanie thoroughly impressed me with the bond she created with her fellow Featured Actress in a Musical nominees this year. She not only started a text thread with then, but she also took her fellow nominees (Jenn Colella, Mary Beth Peil, Rachel Bay Jones, and Kate Baldwin) out to dinner. It would be natural for women in their position to be competitive, but Stephanie made sure to foster a camaraderie among the group instead. What a class act? I admire Stephanie for her talent, of course, but even more for what a kind and caring person she is!
As if you needed another reason to love Stephanie, she also is an avid supporter of the Covenant House, which provides food and shelter for homeless youths. She has participated in 5 Broadway Sleep Outs, an event where Broadway stars spend the night on the street to raise money for Covenant House.
I can’t wait to have the privilege to see Stephanie perform live again and would love to meet her when I do!