Hey there Broadway World readers! It's opening night for 50 Shades! The Musical! And even though we have done something like 22 previews, opening night is when it all seems real! And it's so exciting! This opening night is particularly special to me because I was there at (almost) the very beginning of this show's existence. In late July 2012 four people (Al Samuels, Amanda Blake Davis, Dan Wessels and Emily Dorezas) started writing this show in Los Angeles with the idea of maybe doing a staged reading of it or something at the Edinburgh Fringe. I was there performing with the musical improv group Baby Wants Candy and on about August 1st I was part of a table of read of the script they had and from there I (along with Jody Shelton) was asked to be in the show (no longer a staged reading), help work on the script and music as well as direct the performance on August 22nd! We thought that would be it. One performance. And now here we are. Our show has been on tour in the US and Canada for almost a full year, it's playing in Germany, France and Holland and now we are opening in NYC off broadway. It's kind of mind blowing that a little more than a year and a half ago this show didn't even exist! I feel very lucky to have been involved and thrilled to be a part of this most recent milestone in our journey. Man! I got sappy there for a minute, but this is for reals an amazing thing that happened in my life! And I got to do it with my friends including our amazing Anastasia Steele, played brilliantly from the beginning by Amber Petty and our top secret (but equally incredible) Christian Grey who are both dear friends and an integral part to making this show a huge success!
So tonight we celebrate where we've been and where we're going! I love all of my 50 Shades! family from way back in Edinburgh to right now off broadway! We did it! Now let's have some fun tonight!
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Ashley Ward is an actor, singer and writer originally from Conyers, GA. Ashley has been performing improv and sketch comedy in New York for the last 10 years and continues to perform with several groups including PIT house team Big Black Car, Taco Supreme, and The Scene as well as the one act musical "Seventeen Seventy Something" playing at UCB. She also performs with musical improv powerhouse Baby Wants Candy in New York , around the country and at the last two Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, as well as short run in London. Additionally she is a proud Striking Viking Story Pirate and a Jeopardy! champion. Ashley has a degree in Musical Theater from Webster University in St. Louis. In addition to performing live, Ashley has been in many comedic shorts and web series as well as the feature film "Breakup at a Wedding". She is currently playing Carol in the off broadway production of "50 Shades of Grey" and is one of the writers of the production.