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BWW Blog: SCANDALOUS' Elizabeth Ward Land - Broadway's Many Steps

BWW Blog: SCANDALOUS' Elizabeth Ward Land - Broadway's Many Steps

My last blog for Broadwayworld.com! What an interesting experience this has been for me to write about opening SCANDALOUS this past month. I usually try to stay slightly anonymous, and have never really written anything publicly, but I have enjoyed this challenge. I thank Christina Mancuso for inviting me to do so, and of for her leniency with my shaky deadlines!

There are many steps on Broadway, literally and figuratively. Last night at the show, I decided to try and count them. 396 steps per show. Sounds like a lot? Well, it is. Just ask any one of us - we are in PAIN! The women do most of these steps in high heels, and by now a traffic pattern of dodging colleagues heading the opposite way on the staircase, some carrying baskets full of clothes has set itself up, so you at least know what to expect. For most of the show, we have no "upstage crossover" which means that we have to go down the extra set of steps to the basement to make our way to the other side of the stage. And our set itself is, you guessed it, full of steps. Twelve steep, stark white ones, from top to bottom, and I didn't even include them in my stair count. Two show day? Double the steps. Nearly 800 yesterday alone. (I am icing my foot as I write this).

There are the steps in and out of the subways, off of trains, into our homes and apartments. Living in New York, you spend your days and nights on your feet, climbing at every turn. Wouldn't it be nice if Broadway was in a kindler, gentler city - perhaps Honolulu????

Then, there are the steps to get to Broadway- music, dance, and acting lessons, hours of practicing, formal education, internships, toiling away at the nonunion jobs, at the regional theaters, and on tour. For those of us lucky enough to have made the steps to the actual Broadway stage, it seems impossible to even begin to count the steps to get here.

I have been particularly grateful to have been a part of these steps to SCANDALOUS- maybe
because the older I get, the harder it becomes to climb the staircase. Although I spent a blissful nearly two years recently in the Broadway company of MEMPHIS, there is really nothing like being a part of an original cast. Making it all up, and being the ones in the "record book" to create the characters, is quite an honor. But, it also may be because I don't really know how to do anything else nearly as well, as climbing up these steps. So, until further notice, up I go!

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Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Ward Land Broadway/Off-Broadway: SCANDALOUS, MEMPHIS, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (original cast, all three versions), PASSION, CITY OF ANGELS, featured soloist in THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER starring Michael Crawford, THE GREEN HEART, HELLO AGAIN, CHESS. National Tours: THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE opposite Hector Elizondo, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, LES MISERABLES, and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Regionally, Liz has starred all over the country, most recently as Lela Rogers in BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS (Asolo Rep); Mother Superior in SISTER ACT (Pasadena Playhouse, Alliance); THE KING AND I, THE THING ABOUT MEN, KISS ME, KATE (Musical Theatre West); THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES (Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS (Coconut Grove Playhouse); The Evil Queen (Disneyland); ROMEO AND JULIET (Goodspeed); and as Connee Boswell in THE BOSWELL SISTERS (The Old Globe). TVand Film: YOUNG ADULT (with Charlize Theron), ONE LIFE TO LIVE, CRUMBS, THE AMANDA SHOW, 10-8, ALL MY CHILDREN. She was honored to be chosen as Barbra Streisand’s Stand-In for her 2006 Tour. Liz’s acclaimed debut CD, FIRST HARVEST is available on ITUNES and at LMLMusic.com.


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