BWW Blog: Meet Sherz Aletaha of Off-Broadway's DISASTER!
Happy 2014, everyone! I'm Sherz Aletaha (first name sounds like more than one Cher, last name...just sound that one out...) and I'm currently in the Off-Broadway Musical "Disaster!" A little bit about our show: it's a parody of 1970's disaster movies with lots of amazing songs from that decade, it takes place on a floating casino named The Barracuda, and it's performed by the most lovable group of crazies in New York City. If you've seen the show, you know it's a great time and super funny (My besties Tina Fey and Amy Poehler picked us as their "Must See" theater pick for Entertainment Weekly and then we braided each other's hair and talked about boys. **One part of that sentence is true**) but I'm so excited to share what our awesome cast and crew are up to behind the scenes. New Year's Eve on The Barracuda was bittersweet. In early December, Mary Birdsong (Reno 911, Bitter Party Of Five) joined our show as Jackie, the slightly ditzy but eternally optimistic lounge singer, and Tuesday was her final performance. She is such a hilarious and down to earth gal, and we're going to miss her shenanigans backstage. In the second act everyone changes up their hair and make up so we look like we've been hit by all of the disasters. Our costume designer, the fabulous Brian Hemesath, has this gorgeous purple sequined dress and jeweled necklace for Jackie. Mary decided to get creative with how the disasters effected her accessories. Check out the picture. It's like one of those "spot the difference" games from your childhood.
Before I wrap things up, I want to spill one backstage secret. In the first act, Tom Riis Farrell (Coram Boy, actor extraordinaire) and Mary Testa (Xanadu, all around Broadway badass) duet on the Orleans song "Still The One." The audience is instantly charmed with their characters Maury and Shirley who are showing how they're still in love after years of marriage. While they're singing and being adorable, we're backstage being idiots. The whole cast sings backup on lots of numbers and somehow early in previews, a tradition was born. Robb Sapp, who plays Scott a nerdy cater waiter, is super talented and handsome in real life. I don't know how or why it happened but one day during "Still The One" he started doing this crazy routine where he does everything off rhythm and is awkward, uncoordinated, and very dedicated to the dance. Basically, we (mainly me) are so obsessed with it that we (again, me...) peer pressure him to do this every show and try to not bust out laughing into our microphones. Enjoy Robb's gift to the dance world with a special cameo from Mary Birdsong.