BWW Blog: Jessica Grove of Paper Mill's THE LITTLE MERMAID - Cicada Wars

June 28
12:50 PM 2013
BWW Blog: Jessica Grove of Paper Mill's THE LITTLE MERMAID - Cicada Wars

Paper Mill Playhouse is in New Jersey close to a nature reserve and that means CIDADAS. The first time I heard them I thought it was someone's house alarm going off...and then I saw them...squashed along the entire path from the theatre to downtown Millburn. Then, while I was minding my own business., standing outside the stage door before the matinee on Thursday, enjoying a delicious chocolate croissant and iced coffee, I see an enormous, LIVING cicada making himself at home on my leg. I screamed....and I screamed...and then I screamed some more, until sweet Ron Wisniski helped me out and got the darn thing to release and go about its cicada day.

Several people witnessed this event, and someone (Christian) decided it would be funny to give me a little surprise before the evening show. I come into my dressing room, sit down and start to pin curl my hair for my wig prep and "AHHHHHHHH! Ahhhhhhhh! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"... right next to my Paper Mill issued water bottle lies a perfect cicada specimen. My reaction was a bit dramatic, you think? Well, maybe. But have you seen these things? They are these huge, prehistoric looking flying machines. This one was dead, thank goodness, but it still made me jump!

The next day, Scott comes into my dressing room with a bag from Starbucks, saying they were giving out free samples of cake pops! He pulls out a cicada on a stick! I jump, of course, but my tolerance is up and I don't scream this time. This gives me an idea. "Scott," I say, "Can I have that? It's payback time!"

Long story short, I bring it to Christian and he immediately knows I am up to something (I can't keep a straight face to save my life). He throws the bag in the trash. Then while he is not in the dressing room, Scott helps me put the little bugger into Christian's costume pocket. I wasn't in there when he came across it, but Scott and Sean Patrick report to me that he screamed and wouldn't touch it! Success!!!

I definitely had to watch my back for a few days in fear of retaliation, but I think Christian felt we were even.

I am happy to report that there are no longer cicadas in Millburn...they have finished whatever it is they come out to do and hopefully we won't have to deal with them for another 17 years. In 2030 I am going to be opening my mail very carefully. That Christian is a crafty fish.

BWW Blog: Jessica Grove of Paper Mill's THE LITTLE MERMAID - Cicada Wars

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Guest Blogger: Jessica Grové Jessica Grové is currently starring at Paper Mill Playhouse as Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Her Broadway credits include the recent revivals of A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Thoroughly Modern Millie and Les Misérables. Her professional career began at age 15 when she played Dorothy in Madison Square Garden’s production of The Wizard of Oz (originally starring Rosanne, and eventually Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt), which also toured North America. Jessica also toured as Polly in The Boy Friend, directed by Julie Andrews. Regionally she has appeared as Amalia in She Loves Me (CT Critics Circle Nom.), Laurey in Oklahoma!, Luisa in The Fantasticks, Maria in The Sound of Music and Eva Peron in Evita. Off Broadway for Prospect Theatre Company: Illyria, The Pursuit of Persephone and Iron Curtain. Other NYC: Tamar in Tamar of the River, Kim in Bye Bye Birdie (Encores!), Libby in Busker Alley, and Ella in Evening Primrose. Jessica is married to actor Dan Cooney, who is currently playing Bill Austin in Mamma Mia. They are the proud parents of Gavin, who will be 2 in September.