BWW Interview: Brooke Quintana Talks Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
The Broadway smash hit, Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will be at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Belk Theater, September 29 - October 4, 2015. Tale as old as time, true as it can be, Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is one of my favorites! A classical musical love story filled with unforgettable characters, beautiful sets and dazzling productions numbers including "Be Our Guest."
I spoke with Brooke Quintana, who plays "Belle" in this touring production. There are times when I talk to someone and I'm drawn to his or her kindness. Quintana is one of those people.
LAW: Where are you now?
BQ: I'm in Athens, Georgia. The weather is so beautiful. I went running yesterday. We are going into previews for the show this coming week.
LAW: Tell me about Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and your role.
BQ: It's a beautiful story about Belle and her journey and seeing the good in people's souls.
LAW: Where did you grow up?
BQ: I grew up in the Raleigh, Durham area. I am so excited to be coming back with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
LAW: Are your friends going to come and see you?
BQ: Yes, my mom is with me now in Athens. I look forward to performing in Charlotte and Raleigh and seeing family and friends.
LAW: What was it like growing up in North Carolina?
BQ: It was great. I went to Cary High School, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and then I transferred to East Carolina University. I am a proud Pirate! I had an incredible singing teacher there, Mollye Otis. I contacted her to let her know when I got the role of Belle. She was so happy for me.
LAW: When did you start acting?
BQ: I started acting much later. As a child, I wanted be a singer like Brittney Spears [laughs]. In high school, I was singing and I needed a piano accompanist. I heard about Harrison Fisher. He was my accompanist for that show. I started taking singing lessons with him. He was great.
LAW: How did you get the role of Belle?
BQ: There was an open call. I wore a hot pink dress, so I would be noticed. I sang eight bars and then our director, Sam Scalamoni, asked me to sing a second song. I went through eleven rounds of callbacks, each one a step closer to getting the role. I will never forget it; I was in T.J. Max in Columbus Circle, when I got the call that I got the part. That was exciting!
LAW: How do you prepare for this role?
BQ: I haven't gone on yet. We've been in tech rehearsals. We rehearsed in New York for three weeks. Everyone was in tee shirts. I was brought to tears with the incredible talent in this show in rehearsals. Previews start this coming week.
LAW: What was your most memorable experience in your profession?
BQ: I have to say being cast in this production. I cried with pure joy. I recently found a picture of when I was a baby "Belle" for Halloween at the age-of-three. I love that I'm able to live my dream.
LAW: When you're back home, what's your favorite place to eat?
BQ: In Cary, there's this sandwich shop called Serendipity. I used to work there in high school. They make the best sandwiches. And when I'm in New York, I love Harlem Public, they have great burgers. I like that place.
LAW: What are you plans when this tour is over?
BQ: I'll be on tour until next July and maybe it will be extended. I guess when it ends, I will go back to New York, take a break, travel and then get back to the grind [laughs].
LAW: What will the audience take away from this show?
BQ: Memories, laughs and fun... I hope they'll take away magic and a little lesson that there's goodness inside of everyone.