When actors are accepted into the Disney club, the membership lasts a lifetime. The Disney Princess division is the most elite membership, and Susan Egan holds two of those spots. Having originated the role of Belle in the Broadway production
of Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and voiced Meg in the film Hercules in 1997, Egan has had young girls in awe ever since. In advance of her sixth solo album, The Secret of Happiness, being released on November 15, Egan talked with Stage Rush from her home in Los Angeles about her daughters’ favorite Disney Princess (it’s not who you think), being the punching bag of Broadway, and her future return to the Great White Way.
How does this album differ from your others?
Music speaks to me now in a different way than it did in my 20s, probably because I’m in a different place and I have a different point of view. The album is an examination of life, love, and how much more relaxed I am about all of it and letting things happen instead of trying to force them. I love that the album reflects how so many of the writers I first started working with in New York have also grown. They’ve gotten married and also had kids. I’m singing a lot of material from Jason Robert Brown, Georgia Stitt, Marcy Heisler. We’re all in different places and we’re all growing up together.
The track “Nina Doesn’t Care” is about how your oldest daughter isn’t caught up in you being a Disney Princess. How does she convey this to you?
On a daily basis! It’s not subtle or implied. [Imitates her daughter] “Mommy, my favorite princess is still Ariel.” OK, honey; glad to hear it. I foolishly thought in my 20s as I exited those stage doors as Belle, with hordes of little girls waiting to meet me, allowing myself to believe that some day I would have little girls and they would think that I was pretty cool. Nothing is a bigger or better ego check than becoming a parent. Read more
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What do you think, Rushers? Do you think Robert Creighton has navigated Broadway wisely? Which duet are you most excited to hear on his album—Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Joel Grey, or Tituss Burgess? What did you think of Relatively Speaking and Sons of the Prophet? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Robert Creighton made the decision that he would not understudy anymore. After covering roles in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Little Mermaid on Broadway, he felt that he was losing his spark, his “umph,” which Creighton cites as his greatest asset. But then along came the revival of Anything Goes, and as Creighton himself says, “[Understudying] Joel Grey’s a different story.”
Creighton has been covering Grey in the role of Moonface Martin in the Tony-winning revival since October 4, while Grey is sidelined by a foot injury (here are the basic first aid for kids that must be known by all parents compulsorily) he sustained while walking around New York. Creighton usually plays the role of the Purser. While most actors would be ebullient with the opportunity to play such a major role in a hit show like Anything Goes opposite the great Sutton Foster, Creighton is not in a celebrating mood. “When I found out Joel had hurt himself… I love Joel. I don’t feel comfortable really celebrating that I get to [play the role] when Joel’s hurt. If he was in Europe for a month, I’d be like, ‘Hey, I’m playing Moonface! Come and see me!’ In this case, I hope he gets better and I’m just doing my job.”
This is not the first time Creighton has gone on in the role. While the show was still in previews, Grey was unable to perform one Sunday due to a vocal injury. Creighton got the call at 11:30 a.m. and an hour later was on the stage of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with Foster receiving his first rehearsal as Moonface. In addition to no prior rehearsal, there hadn’t been time for a costume fitting. Creighton brought his own suit and tuxedo pants to the show. “It was scary, but it was also the highlight of my career,” Creighton said.
VIDEO: Robert Creighton on his bold Anything Goes audition and bonding with costar Joel Grey
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What do you think, Rushers? Do you think magic exists? Have you ever seen a truly great magic act? Who would your picks be for the leads in the Les Miserables film? Do you think the rumored cast will do the musical justice? Dream the dream, and while you do, leave your thoughts in the comments below!
The oldie musicals came to Broadway in Bryant Park this week to show the newbies who’s boss. The lively casts of The Phantom of the Opera, The Fantasticks, Hair, and Anything Goes performed their classic, well-trodden material with fresh enthusiasm.
At first, I wasn’t so sure about the Phantom set. Kyle Barisich and Marni Raab sang a sweet “All I Ask of You,” but the acting was so out of context on the Bryant Park stage that I had trouble holding back a few snide laughs. I shut up when Hugh Panaro took the stage for “Music of the Night.” The Broadway A-lister and long-time Phantom sang the famous number with remarkable control, and his power notes filled the park effortlessly.
VIDEO: Hugh Panaro sings “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera
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What do you think, Rushers? Are my predictions spot on or do you think I’m off base? Who do you think will take home the gold on Tony night? What are your Tony viewing plans? Leave your Tony Awards excitement in the comments below!
The new Broadway season swoops in with quite a homecoming when it takes over the area it inhabits. During the annual Broadway on Broadway concert, Broadway the art takes full control of Broadway the district. In its nineteenth year, the free outdoor concert in Times Square offered strong performances, many of theater’s biggest stars, and a lack of new offerings.
Sponsored by The Broadway League and billed as a kick-off to the new theater season, Broadway on Broadway should (and usually does) feature the new musical productions that will be bowing in the coming months. It’s an exciting sneak peak of shows that are opening in a few weeks, and some much further into the year. Last year, new productions like Finian’s Rainbow and Memphis were among those that debuted their songs and cast to the Times Square audience. This year, just two new musicals performed, out of the 10+ productions slated for Broadway this year.
Only one of those two productions, Elf, features original music. Beth Leavel was on hand to perform “There Is A Santa Claus,” which was pretty paint-by-numbers in melody, but embodied a strong seasonal flavor. Will Swenson (with newly cropped hair, much to the female audience’s audible disdain) performed “I Say A Little Prayer” from Priscilla Queen of the Desert—a jukebox musical. Not two of the strongest numbers of the day, but still exciting, being they were new.
Where was the cast of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, who is clearly ready to go? The Scottsboro Boys are still performing at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, so they get a pass on this event. But why couldn’t Reeve Carney represent Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark like he did on Good Morning America on Friday? Were the A-list stars of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown above the free concert? Being that all these shows are set to open in the next two months, a one-song performance couldn’t have been too far out of their reach. Instead of performances, Sutton Foster, from the upcoming revival of Anything Goes (another production that didn’t perform—like she doesn’t know how to sing “Blow, Gabriel, Blow?) appeared on stage to read from the list of all these shows that are coming to Broadway and wouldn’t be performing. Some tease. Read more
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- Winning the American Idiot ticket lottery and getting a detailed view of the show
- Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson cast rocks the press and gives sneak peak of show
- Trust underwhelms, but the acting saves
- Broadway grosses
Have you gotten a close-up view of American Idiot, Rushers? Are you marking your calendar’s for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’s first performance on Broadway? What did you think of their performance for the press? Did you catch Zach Braff in Trust? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
- Jeremy Woodard and Andre Ward of Rock of Ages sit down for Ensemble Watch
- The Scottsboro Boys offers discounted tickets to its first preview performance
- Trust is difficult to rush, but there is still a discount to be had
- Broadway grosses
Are you a fan (or a groupie?) of Jeremy Woodard and Andre Ward from Rock of Ages, Rushers? Did any of their backstage stories surprise you, like the cable TV story surprised me? Did you snap up one of the $19.31 tickets to The Scottsboro Boys? Have you seen Trust? Did you manage to rush it? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below, and don’t forget to watch Part 2 of Ensemble Watch: Rock of Ages early next week.
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