A Wonderstudy Story

It is a sunny beautiful day here in Albany and I am looking forward to a day off tomorrow after a nutty week here in Wonderette Land. A shout out to the lovely and talented wonderstudy Shannon Rafferty for stepping in as both Suzy and Cindy Lou this week.  As someone who has done her fair share of understudying, it never ceases to amaze me what a challenging and sometimes thankless job it can be and I want to clap it up for Shannon and to all the understudies out there.

I have understudied in 6 shows, covering Fanny Brice, Bella in RAGS, Julie and Violet in HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD, Marcy in I LOVE YOU BECAUSE, Heidi and Susan in [title of show], and most notably for me (because it was my Broadway debut) Jenny in IN MY LIFE.  And when I say Broadway debut I  mean playing Jenny was the first time I ever performed on a Broadway stage with an audience.

When I was offered my first Broadway show it was summer of 2005.  I was in I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE off-Broadway. It was a thursday, my day off.  My boyfriend and I were sitting down for burgers from The Burger Joint and I got a call from the casting director saying, “You got the part!”  Not only that, but I would be understudying the talented and beautiful Jessica Bogart (nee Boevers) as Jenny and would be performing that role the second and third previews on Broadway.  I was still contracted at I LOVE YOU… through mid September and decided to do double duty.  I would rehearse my ensemble track in IN MY LIFE by day and perform at the Westside theatre by night (while also learning Jenny in the hours where I should have been collapsed). 

After a crazy 6 weeks, IN MY LIFE started previews on Friday, September 30th, 2005.  Just as the story so often goes, I had barely any rehearsals beforehand so I was in the audience that first preview getting a last minute look at the role I would be doing the next two shows.  The following day I sat backstage right waiting to make my Broadway debut as the lead role in a musical. 

I love that that was how I made my Broadway debut and I loved being part of that creative, wacky group of actors that was IN MY LIFE.  This story is very apropos as I will be headed to NYC this evening to watch my superstar bud Jonathan Groff (who also made his B-way debut in IN MY LIFE) rock it out at Joe’s Pub. With me will be fellow castmates Kilty Reidy and Laura Jordan (as well as my adorable and awesome boyfriend.) Life is good!

……and HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DAD!!!!!!

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