BWW Interviews: Debut of the Month - BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL's Rebecca LaChance
Rebecca LaChance is making her Broadway debut in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. The talented actress is a member of the show's ensemble and serves as an understudy for the lead role of Carole King, portrayed by Tony nominee Jessie Mueller.
'Beautiful' tells the inspiring true story of Carole King's remarkable rise to stardom from being part of a chart-topping songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, hit songs such as So Far Away, It's Too Late and Natural Woman contributed to the soundtrack of a generation.
Today, LaChance spoke exclusively to BWW about making her Broadway debut, meeting Carole King and jumping into the lead role with just an hour's notice!
The show recently transferred from San Francisco where it had a very successful run. Have there been many changes made now that you are in previews on Broadway?
There have been a good amount of things changed since we got back from San Francisco. A lot of bringing in some songs that people were missing in San Francisco and changing around the order of some scenes. And even since we started previews in the past two or three weeks, we've been making tremendous changes during our rehearsal days. So yes, it's actually evolved quite a bit.
That's interesting that you mentioned adding songs. Was that for creative purposes or because audiences were disappointed that they didn't hear their favorites?
Well it's a little bit of both. We have 'You've Got a Friend,' obviously a classic Carole King song, and we had originally had it in a different spot in San Francisco and it just wasn't working. It just wasn't the right place and it just wasn't landing. And so we had cut it out but then people were really aching for the song, people were wishing that it could be there, creatively and audience-wise, and so we were able to implement that since we've got back and we have such a wonderful pocket in the show for it now.
Oh yes, that was such a tender moment when they did perform that number, definitely a highlight. You are working with a wonderful cast of Broadway vets. What has that experience been like for you and what have you learned from them?
It's been absolutely incredible working with these people. Most of the ensemble cast alone, it's been their fourth, fifth, eighth Broadway show, these are like professionals that I am working with, and it is such a blessing because they just know how everything works. You think, 'I know how doing a show works,' but there are so many elements, just in the business end of things and the rehearsal schedule and everything, that I didn't even realize happens, and people have been so great about guiding me through, and helping me. And it's amazing just artistically to be up on stage and just to play with these people who really know how to play, they know how to do it and they know how to do it well and interestingly and excitingly every night.
Can you tell us about your journey with the show? How did your casting come about?
I was brought in by Stephen Kopel our casting director in June to audition for the show. And actually, the whole process happened in like a week, maybe a week and a half, which was amazing. It's just incredible that something happens that quick. I was brought in for an ensemble call and then had some more material for some cover auditions as well, and I think it was four auditions total, including a dance callback, and then I found out the next week. And my whole life has been different since then!
Wow, that is so unusual because sometimes you hear that these things can go on for weeks.
Yes, and I have been in situations like that before. Actually when I first met Stephen Kopel a couple of years ago, it was out of an equity chorus call and he picked me out of there to audition for 'On a Clear Day,' which also starred Jessie Mueller. I was in auditions for that for weeks and that was my first Broadway show I ever auditioned for. It was so exciting and so thrilling and even though it didn't end up working out, the relationship from those first auditions with Stephen absolutely led me to this job, which is amazing.