“Wicked” Returns to Nashville with Four Week Engagement

Wicked, Music City’s most popular musical, returns to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall with a four week engagement March 28 through April 22, 2018. Tickets for the return engagement go on sale on Friday, Jan. 19, at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040 and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St., in downtown Nashville. For groups of 10…

Read More

Q&A with the Jersey Girls From “Jersey Boys”

While the show may be called Jersey Boys, the three “Jersey Girls” who play all the female roles in the show know how to steal the spotlight! Dianna Barger, Tristen Buettel, and Michelle Rombola work together to play between four and 20 characters while on tour. In this Q&A, we chat with them about everything from auditions and quick changes to what excites them most about bringing Jersey Boys to Nashville.

 

From left, Dianna Barger, Tristen Buettel and Michelle Rombola. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Q: How many different characters do you portray throughout the show?

Dianna: I portray four different characters in the show. A French hip-hop dancer in the opening scene, one of the backup singers of the girl group The Angels in “My Boyfriend’s Back,” Francine Valli, and a dancer in the closing number.

Tristen: I play about 20 different roles, from “party girls” to girlfriends, from French singers to The Angels!

Michelle: I portray 18 different characters throughout the show. Mind you they don’t all speak, but 18 characters nonetheless!

 

 

Q: With having so many quick character changes, what is your pre-show and mid-show preparation like to get into the mindset of each character?

D: My track actually doesn’t have any quick changes so I have the luxury of having time before my scenes to get into character!

T: Having a solid clearing of the mind and vocal and physical warm-ups. I do about 15 minutes of vocal exercises, and I try to go to the gym almost everyday. It helps me put the day behind me and clear my mind for what is to come.

M: Well, we’re shot out of the cannon right at the top of the show. I hardly stop moving at all in Act 1. So honestly, getting into character all comes from the rehearsal process. I know how they walk and talk and their relationships with everybody on stage. As soon as the costume goes on and I go out on stage, it’s easy to become the character because of all the detailed work we put in during the rehearsal process. I also happen to work with the most talented group of actors. They make it easy.

 

Michelle Rombola and Jonny Wexler. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Q: Do you have a favorite character?

D: I could never choose!  There are things that I love about all of the people I portray.

T: My favorite character is Lorraine. She is so smart and carries herself with such class. She knows how to articulate herself and isn’t afraid to listen to her gut. She puts herself and her career first and doesn’t let men in the way.

M: My favorite character that I play is Mary Delgado. I absolutely love getting to portray her on stage. Strong Italian woman? I’m in.

 

 

 

 

Q: What was the “Jersey Girl” audition process like?

D: Intense!  This is a fun and supportive team to audition for, but challenging at the same time!  It was about three days of dancing, singing, and reading scenes from the show.

T: I went in for Jersey Boys about seven times throughout this audition process. I had gone to the open call in July and then I kept getting called back in. I was originally in for a different role, and they had me read all the girls’ sides until they pinned me on the Lorraine track. It was so fun, and I had no idea I was truly being considered. Jersey Boys has always been one of my favorite Broadway shows so the fact that I was even being considered for the show was enough for me, in addition to getting to learn all the choreography at the dance call! I was in Spain when I received the offer and the next day was my birthday — it was truly the highlight of 2017 for me. My mom and I were literally jumping up and down in the streets of Spain!

M: I actually went in to the chorus call in NYC. After that it was a few appointments doing scenes, singing, and learning the choreography. I actually met the other “Jersey Girls” at one of the final auditions! We spent the whole day together harmonizing and dancing among a group of girls. It’s so funny thinking about how we didn’t know each other then. Now, a mere four months later, we’re like family!

 

Tristen Buettel and Jonny Wexler. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Q: How is portraying a real person onstage different than a fictional character? Does it add more pressure to the performance?

D: It’s an honor to be able to portray a real person and take on the challenge of doing justice to their life and their story.

T: With playing a real character there are more facts and guidelines that can pave the way in how a certain actor portrays them. Personally, I feel that it’s easier because now with YouTube and books, you have a clear example of what this person was like. With fictional characters, the sky’s the limit!

M: I’d say it’s different because you have real back story to the character as opposed to something fictional you created on your own. After that though, it’s pretty much the same process as any other character. The Jersey Boys team is incredible because they encourage us to be actors and not imitators. Because of that I’ve never felt any additional pressure to be a certain way!

 

Q: Have you been to Nashville before? What are you most looking forward to doing while in Music City?

D: This is my first time in Nashville!  I’m most looking forward to taking in as much live music as I can!!

T: I’ve never been to Nashville!  I am SO EXCITED!  I’ve rented an Air B&B in a house where each room is music icon themed (Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash etc.)! I’m so excited to be there for a week and to explore the town!

M: This is my first time in Nashville! I can’t wait to explore the city. It’s so hard to say what I’m most excited for, but I think it’d have to be experiencing the live music scene! I’m also dying to try some Nashville hot chicken. Music and chicken, is there anything better?

Tickets for Jersey Boys (Jan. 9-14, 2018, at TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall) are on sale now at TPAC.org and by phone at 615-782-4040. Jersey Boys is presented by Monell’s Dining & Catering.

Life is a Cabaret, old chum! Cabaret Premieres in Nashville Feb. 24 – Mar. 4

Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd – and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times?   Come…

Read More

Date of the 10th Annual Jimmy Awards Announced

The National High School  Musical Theatre Awards will take place on Monday, June 25 at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre. High school students from across the country will compete for the coveted Jimmy® Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress at the 10th annual presentation. The talent showcase will feature dynamic ensemble and solo performances. In…

Read More

‘The Illusionists – Live from Broadway’ bring their dazzling theatrical magic show to Nashville

On the heels of a highly successful multi-city tour and run on Broadway, the world’s best-selling touring magic show, The Illusionists – Live from Broadway comes to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall for a limited three-day engagement Feb. 16 – 18, 2018. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 17 at 10 a.m. at TPAC.org, by phone at…

Read More

Lincoln Theater Production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s ‘The King & I’ premieres in Nashville Jan. 30 – Feb. 4

Winner of four 2015 Tony Awards®, including Best Revival of a Musical, the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I makes its Nashville premiere at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall with a one-week engagement Jan. 30 – Feb. 4, 2018. Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m. at TPAC.org,…

Read More

Q&A with “An American in Paris” star McGee Maddox

We chatted with McGee Maddox who plays Jerry Mulligan in “An American in Paris” coming to Nashville October 31-November 5,

 

Q: What drew you to musical theater, more specifically “An American in Paris”?

A: I have always looked for ways to expand my skills as a performing artist and musical theater seemed like a natural next step for me coming from a purely dance background. Knowing that Chris Wheeldon was at the helm of “An American in Paris” made this show and venture most appealing.

Q: What has been the most challenging part of transitioning from ballet to musical theater?

A: The performance schedule. As a principal ballet dancer I might perform two maybe three times a week. With this show I’m onstage 6 nights a week.

 

Q: What can audiences expect when coming to see the show?

A: The most talented group of singers, actors and dancers in the country.

 

Q: Do you see any similarities between yourself and Jerry Mulligan?

A: We are both artists. We look for the beauty in all things.

 

Q: What have you done to make the role your own?

A: I can’t tell you all of my secrets.

 

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from the performance?

A: The joy and love that our company bring to the stage night after night to tell this story.

 

Tickets for “An American in Paris” presented by Bank of America are on sale now at TPAC.ORG, in person at the box office or by calling 615-782-4040.

 

‘Jersey Boys’ Makes Anticipated Return to Nashville For One-Week Engagement Jan. 9-14

The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, makes its much-anticipated return to Nashville with a one-week special engagement at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall on Jan. 9-14, 2018.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040 and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick Street, in downtown Nashville. For groups of 10 or more, call 615-782-4060.

Jersey Boys is the winner of the 2006 Tony Award® for Best Musical, the 2006 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia). The premiere and return engagements of Jersey Boys in Nashville were overwhelming successes, seen by over 40,000 theatergoers, and hailed as “vibrant and enthralling” by the Tennessean.

Directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys is written by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard, and the radio just couldn’t get enough. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story – a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

Catch a sneak peek of Jersey Boys at www.JerseyBoysTour.com/Watch.

Jersey Boys opened in New York on November 6, 2005 and by the time it closed over 11 years later on January 15, 2017, it was the 12th longest running show in Broadway history, passing such original Broadway productions as 42nd Street, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Producers. Jersey Boys will return to New York with a new production in November 2017.  The Jersey Boys US national tour opened to rave reviews in San Francisco on December 1, 2006, and is still breaking house records in cities across North America. Jersey Boys tours of the United Kingdom and Australia will begin at the end of 2017 and 2018 respectively. Jersey Boys worldwide has been seen by over 25 million people (as of August, 2017).

The Jersey Boys design and production team is comprised of Klara Zieglerova (Scenic Design), Jess Goldstein (Costume Design), Howell Binkley (winner of the 2006 Tony Award® for his Lighting Design), Steve Canyon Kennedy (Sound Design), Michael Clark (Projections Design), Charles LaPointe (Wig and Hair Design), Steve Orich (Orchestrations) and Ron Melrose (Music Supervision, Vocal/Dance Arrangements & Incidental Music).

Jersey Boys is produced by Dodger Theatricals, Joseph J. Grano, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, with Latitude Link and Rick Steiner

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Jersey Boys, produced by Bob Gaudio, was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The cast recording is available on Rhino Records. Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (Broadway Books) is the official handbook to the smash Broadway hit. Seasons Greetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas, a holiday CD featuring international cast members of Jersey Boys, produced by Bob Gaudio, is available on Rhino Records.

For more information on Jersey Boys, visit www.JerseyBoysInfo.com/Tour and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

If You Go:

Jersey Boys

Jan. 9-14, 2018

TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall

505 Deaderick St.

 

Tickets:

TPAC.org

615-782-4040

 

Performance schedule, prices, and cast are subject to change without notice. The Broadway season is supported by the HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals, and media sponsor NewsChannel 5. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.

 

TPAC is an accessible facility that provides a variety of services including wheelchair accommodations, accessible parking, and assistive listening devices. Open captioning, American Sign Language, audio description, and large print and Braille programs are offered at the Sunday matinee performance of each Broadway series and Broadway special engagement. For more information about accessible services, contact access@tpac.org or 615-782-4087.

 

TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is TPAC.org.

 

# # #

 

Since 1980, the non-profit Tennessee Performing Arts Center has welcomed more than 12 million audience members and served more than 1.8 million children and adults with performances at TPAC, teacher resources, professional development opportunities, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs. Each year, TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members with the HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, a variety of special engagements, and the productions of three resident artistic companies – Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Nashville Repertory Theatre. TPAC’s mission is to lead with excellence in the performing arts and arts education, creating meaningful and relevant experiences to enrich lives, strengthen communities, and support economic vitality. For more information, visit TPAC.org.