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Legally Blonde's Curry Stepping High in 'Idaho!' at NYMF

Move over little doggie, there's a new show in town....IDAHO! is a tale of love and sex on the prairie baked to bawdy perfection and set during the "Golden era" of Broadway. From a land where men were men, women were for sale to the highest bidder and the laws of musical comedy were meant to be broken, IDAHO! is an original "high-steppin'" song and dance musical ripped from the earth like a fresh dug spud.

Presented by the New York Musical Theatre Festival, Sharon Carr and Richard Winkler, IDAHO! (www.IdahoMusical.com) is a new American comedy musical with book, music and lyrics by Buddy Sheffield and music by Keith Thompson. The show runs September 25th at 8:00pm, September 26th at 5:00pm, September 28th at 5:00pm, September 28th at 9:00 pm, September 30th 9:00pm, and October 4th at 9:00pm at 37 Arts Theatre (450 W. 37th Street).

Legally Blonde's Curry Stepping High in 'Idaho!' at NYMFI was able to corral up one of the stars of the show, Beth Curry, who is also currently appearing in Legally Blonde The Musical as well, to share some tall tales about the show and life in the theatre.

TJ: Hi Beth!  So, what's all this about love and sex on the prairie?

CURRY:  Hi Sassy! Ah, sex on the prairie...yes...oh...wait...you said love too. Right. ;) We are having a blast. Talk of sex with plow horses and sweeping love songs. What more can you ask for?!

TJ: I thought it was kind of funny when I read that the choreographer had done "Little House on the Prairie"!

CURRY:  Yes, Michelle has a few Prairie tricks. She is wonderful. They have brought together an amazing creative team. Matt Lenz and Michelle work seamlessly together. Both have a wonderful sense of humor and a keen eye. And the best part, they allow you to play, which in my mind, is the best part of creating something new.

TJ: So the show is called IDAHO and you play Ida the "ho"?? A little play on words there?

CURRY:  Ida is a very loving girl. VERY loving. LOL. She really just has an immense amount of affection and doesn't see a problem with loving everyone and everything....even the plow horses. (But she's not admittin' to the plow horses) .

TJ: Tell me a little bit about the "ho" you are playing.

CURRY:  Ida Dunhum is a loving girl, as I said before. She loves the attention. She is probably the third cousin of Ado Annie. She knows that a girl is supposed to be a virgin, but just can't help it when she sees a feller's pants begin a bulgin. Through the journey of the show, she is pursued by Slim Johnson, played by the fabulous Stacey Todd Holt. It is the journey of her going from a prairie of men, to just one man.  I am not going to to admit that this might have mirrored my own journey... but it did. LOL. I met my very own Slim Johnson recently and couldn't be happier :)

TJ: Tell me about some of the music that you sing in the show.

CURRY:  The music is amazing. Keith Thompson has crafted a beautiful score. You are swept away by the gorgeous melodies and then you are hit with beautifully bawdy lyrics. Beauty and laughter.  It pays homage to the Golden Age of Broadway. Keith is an uber genius!!!!!!!

TJ: So, are you still doing Legally Blonde while you are doing this?

CURRY:  I am still doing Blonde. It has been a lot to do both. But I think that the rush you get from creating something new has given me enough energy to do both. That and a ton of B-12, red bull, candy corn, and coffee.

Legally Blonde's Curry Stepping High in 'Idaho!' at NYMFTJ: Is it hard on you to go back and forth between shows?

CURRY:  Is it hard to go from one playground to another???....not really. If I am low on energy someone usually cracks a joke and I am right back on board. Now, the danger will be when I start singing "Oh My God You Guys"....as "Oh Mah Garsh You's Fellers"....but I have kept it straight thus far.

TJ: I read that you started out in community theatre. Was that where you decided that this is what you wanted to do? 

CURRY:  Absolutely. I started dancing at the age of five, and then started into musical theatre at nine. I was a handful as a child and  was always in trouble for acting up in class. I love to make people laugh...and still do. I loved the camaraderie of the theatre. I always felt a bit off, like I never really fit in anywhere. I found the theatre to be a place where my oddities were celebrated. I found my home.

TJ: Do you remember what your first show was and how you got involved with it? 

CURRY:  My first show, at my local community theatre, was Music Man when I was nine. It was part of my probation. Ok...not really. My mother suggested it, because of my plethora of my before mentioned energy. And I loved it and never turned back.

TJ: So are you an LA girl or a NY girl?

CURRY:  I am both in LA and NY. I still have my fabulous apartment in LA. I have been in NY since 2005 and plan on staying here. I love it!!!!

TJ: And I read that you sang backup for Brian Setzer? That must have been a blast.

CURRY:  It was an amazing time. I can't even express to you what fun it was to sing with a big band. Felt like the good ol' days. We toured Japan and all over the US. It was a trip to see Japanese men and women in full rockabilly gear. Awesome.  I sang with him for three years and miss it so much!!! 

TJ: Are we going to be seeing you become the next American Idol??
CURRY:  LOL....um....that is hilarious. Hold on....still laughing. Wait....almost done...Ok....done laughing. No.

TJ: What's up next for you?

CURRY:  The DQ....just kidding. I have been working on my own music, so I really want to continue cultivating that. I am working on music that is ala Imogen Heap, using all vocals...even for the drums. I will have some up on www.bethcurry.com. I will continue with Blonde and would love to hop on to another wonderful show. Jersey Boys would be a dream of mine to do. And will just continue to play.  How blessed we are to play for a living. :) Have i mentioned that I like to play? ;)

TJ: Any parting words for people who are thinking about coming to see IDAHO? 

CURRY:  I think that you have to come to Idaho for the brilliant book and music. Buddy Sheffield, who wrote In Living Color, has colored the script with so many witty twists and turns. He has been at every rehearsal and has enjoyed discovering it along side of us. There is a fabulously talented cast, a night filled with laughter and great music, and taters!!! Y'all better be fixin to come on down, I reckon!!!

Thank you kindly, Miss Curry! So y'all should head on down to The New York Musical Theatre Festival and get yourself a look at IDAHO!, which runs September 25th at 8:00pm, September 26th at 5:00pm, September 28th at 5:00pm, September 28th at 9:00 pm, September 30th 9:00pm, and October 4th at 9:00pm at 37 Arts Theatre (450 W. 37th Street). For now, I say "yippee ki yo ki yay" (did I spell that right??), ciao and remember, theatre is my life.

photo credits: Richard Termine, copyright 2008

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TJ Fitzgerald TJ Fitzgerald has been interviewing theatre’s finest talent with BroadwayWorld.com since January 2006. He has been active in the New England Theatre scene both as a participant (acting and directing) and an enthusiast of the entertainment scene for over 40 years. He was a featured columnist writing interviews and theatre features for New England Entertainment Digest and served on the Board of the New England Theatre Conference (NETC) for several years. Some of his noteworthy interviews have included entertainment luminaries like Tony Award winners Tommy Tune, Sutton Foster, Karen Ziemba, Michael Rupert, Faith Prince, Joanna Gleason and Gregory Jbara, Tony Nominees Brad Oscar, Keith Carradine and Andrea McArdle, Oscar nominee Marsha Mason, Oscar winning songwriter Paul Williams, Adrienne Barbeau and Oscar/Emmy award winning composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz. 2009 saw a milestone for TJ as he was welcomed to the 50's. In TJ’s words, "Life is good! Everyone's got a great story to tell and I am all ears! Theatre is my life!"


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