BWW Interview: Broadway's Coleen Sexton on CHESS at Pioneer Theatre Company

Pioneer Theatre Company will present the concert version of CHESS (with scripts-in-hand and an onstage orchestra), running for three performances only, March 10 to March 11, 2017.

Florence, the woman at the center of a dangerous love triangle, will be played by Coleen Sexton, who had her Broadway debut at 19 when she played Lucy in JEKYLL & HYDE (DVD cast). Her other credits include playing Elphaba in the national tour of WICKED, Brooke Wyndham in the national tour of LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL, and Donna in MAMMA MIA!.

Sexton was excited to share with BroadwayWorld her thoughts about the production.

1. What most interested you about performing in CHESS at Pioneer Theatre Company?

While CHESS has always been one of my favorite scores to sing, it's also so exciting to have the opportunity to work with Karen Azenberg and Phil Reno. It's a brilliant creative team! And have you seen the backdrop???

2. CHESS is a piece that seems to be performed in a concert setting more often than with full staging. What is it about the show that lends itself to this format?

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC! Just listening to the songs alone brings you on such an emotional journey.

3. What are you discovering about your character during your brief rehearsal period?

My connection with her (Florence). I lost my father at a very young age. And the connection of heartbreak as well. But staying strong through it all.

4. You were the last actress to play Lucy in JEKYLL & HYDE's original Broadway run, and your stunning performance is memorialized on DVD. What did you most enjoy about your experience in that role? How has it impacted your career?

Why thank you so much! JEKYLL & HYDE was a blessing. A wonderful opportunity. The DVD was a bonus! I'm very grateful to have been in the role when they happened to film it! And of course another score that was a delight to sing!

5. You played Brooke Wyndham during the Salt Lake City stop of the fabulous LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL tour. Is this your first time back, and what is your impression of Utah?

Yes! That was my last time here! And I definitely learned then (while jump roping) about the altitude! Takes a minute to get adjusted! But to get to walk out of my apartment every day and see snow capped mountains around you??? I will take it. It is breathtaking!

6. Why should audience members look forward to Pioneer Theatre Company's production of the concert version of CHESS?

The AMAZING cast I am working with!!! I am honored to be amongst such talented performers. Also, for the unique version of the show. Being that we are doing a staged concert and having book in hand, it's like the audience will be a part of the creative process!!!

CHESS plays March 10 to 11, 2017. For tickets, call the box office at 801-581-6961 or visit www.pioneertheatre.org.

Content advisory: The show contains a small amount of strong language.

Photo Credit: Coleen Sexton

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