BWW Interview: Christine Andreas Talks BE-MUSED at the Annenberg, Set for Tonight
Christine Andreas brings her much hailed and highly anticipated Cabaret "be-Mused" to The Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs tonight, January 18 at 8:00 pm.
Ms. Andreas first captured New York City theatre-goer's hearts and became a bonifide star in the 20th anniversary production of MY FAIR LADY as Eliza Doolittle (Theatre World Award); followed by the revival of OKLAHOMA!, as Laurey, working with Billy Hammerstein & Agnes deMillle (Tony Nomination); and ON YOUR TOES, as Frankie Frayne, directed by the legendary director George Abbott, (Tony Nomination). She created the role of Marguerite St. Just on Broadway in the original production of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL opposite Douglas Sills and Terrence Mann. She starred as Jacqueline in the Tony & Olivier Award-winning Production of 'La Cage Aux Folles' starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge and received nation-wide raves starring as Margaret Johnson in the 55 week national tour of the Tony Award winning musical, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA.
I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Andreas about her upcoming Cabaret Performance at The Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs, and all things "Christine". Here are a few excerpts from that interview.
DG: You have been described as "a mesmerizing musical presence" and "anything anyone who loves romantic pop music could ever want" How would you describe yourself?
CA: Oh, my God - after all that? (She laughs) I never thought about how I describe myself before. What a good question. A girl who loves to sing, you know? I think all those (accolades) are the result of a way of thinking about music. If it comes through you that way and people feel that's the result it's because you're doing it un-self -consciously and open-heartedly. You know? Letting the music work on you. Which I think is the magic. True charisma in any artist - from the artists I've observed over the years and have been so mesmerized by - like Rosy Clooney, for example, or Ella - they just let the music work on them. So, the same lyric or melody that you've heard since childhood - it goes through their musical soul and comes out in some unique way. And you've never heard it like that before. So, rather than "putting your stamp" on a song, which is the way so many people approach things nowadays, you just let the song stamp all over you. And then you're not afraid anymore. I've always been this way - like "I can't wait to sing this song". When I was a young kid auditioning for shows in New York, I would pick a sing that I HAD to sing for the audition. The song I used to sing was "He Touched Me" from Drat The Cat. DO you remember that song? Streisand sang it. And when I heard it I went - (she takes in breath) - because it's so full of enthusiasm and, you know, excitement and warmth and spontaneity, and I just intuitively picked this song. And I got every job when I used that song, and I couldn't wait to sing it. Now, if they asked me to dance that was another question (she laughs), but if I just had to sing --- and I think that my enthusiasm was contagious.
DG: Tell me about your background? Where did you grow up? How did you get started?
CA: Well. I was born in Southern Jersey and I was raised in New York, about 40 minutes from Manhattan - never went into the city as a kid. I did local theatre. Local things. And when I finally graduated from high school, I went in with my high school leading man - you know, all the trade papers under one arm and the Michael Shurtleff book "How To Audition" under the other arm - and we got on the bus - ended up at Port Authority - underlined everything on the bus, what venues had showcases and all. I think I underlined the African Room, And as I was calling The African Room I saw my high school leading man getting back on the bus. He couldn't do it. It terrified him. And I was kind of nervous too, but that's how I began. And I never really did formal schooling for it - it was just the school of doing it. I mean, I studied voice privately once I got to New York and I had studied a little bit before, but not very much. And I just started working, You could do that then. And, if it didn't work out I could just get back on the bus and go home for dinner. (She laughs) It wasn't as terrifying as arriving form Ohio or something.