JJ RODGERS Takes On Today's Friday Five

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Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to Nashville.BroadwayWorld.com's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find on stages in the Volunteer State.

Today the spotlight falls upon the lovely JJ Rodgers, who this past season appeared in A Christmas Carol at Hendersonville's Actors Point Theatre and Elvis Has Left the Building at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, quickly becoming one of Nashville's most sought-after actors (she's already taken Memphis by storm while working at Tennessee Shakespeare Company there). Currently, she's appearing in Mel O'Drama Theatre's touring production of The Altos-A Little Lower Than The Sopranos, an interactive murder-mystery comedy/drama show that is being performed throughout the region. Go to  http://www.melodramatheater.org for details!

Read on, gentle readers and find out what makes JJ Rodgers tick…then go see her in a show…get thee hence and stuff…

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? In fifth grade I got the part of Snow White in the all school play (over the sixth graders!). I remember my audition was dancing with a broom and singing "Someday my Prince will come." That left me with the acting bug and became a theme song for my life...

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? -  this would have to be going over my lines about a thousand times that day, and then praying I won't forget my lines while I'm waiting to go on stage...

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Well that's a toss-up: (A) While playing Beatrice in Much Ado, our offstage vintage car that was supposed to pull up to the stage for the last scene of the show, became out of control and hit the stage head on. This left a lot of shaky actors both on the stage and in the car, and about $30,000 worth of damage to the car. And yes, you bet the show continued on.  (Afterwards, people actually thought it was part of the show... Really, people?)

And (B) While playing Helena in Midsummer's, the city lost all power...We lost all lights, and being a late outside show, the forest (as well as everything else) became pitch black. The crew grabbed as many flashlights as they could find, shined them on the stage, and we proceeded...The show must and did go on!

What's your dream role?  I wanna play Guinevere in Camelot...And the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot...(there's some sort of reccurring psychological thingy here....hmm).

Who's your theatrical crush? My wildly talented and handsome hubby Travis Brazil (of course)!

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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