BWW Exclusive: New York Pops Spotlight on Laura Bell Bundy

BWW Exclusive: New York Pops Spotlight on Laura Bell Bundy

On Monday, April 28, 2014, The New York Pops marks its 31st birthday with a grand gala evening celebrating the work of composer, lyricist, and arranger Marc Shaiman and director, lyricist, and writer Scott Wittman, as well as the leadership and mentorship work of corporate honoree Paul J. Massey, Jr., CEO and Founding Partner of Massey Knakal Realty Services.

The event begins at 7:00 PM with a concert at Carnegie Hall, featuring a spectacular lineup of stars from both stage and screen under the baton of Music DirectorSteven Reineke. The performance will feature highlights from the work of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Performers for the evening will include: Megan Hilty, Laura Bell Bundy, John Pizzarelli, Corey Reynolds, Aaron Tveit, Nikki Blonsky, Christian Borle, Kerry Butler, Will Chase, Linda Hart, Capathia Jenkins, Jane Krakowski, Ricki Lake, Jenifer Lewis, Patti LuPone, Andrea Martin, Katharine McPhee, Martin Short, and Marissa Jaret Winokur. For tickets, viist:

BroadwayWorld recently chatted with featured performer Laura Bell Bundy about her upcoming appearance in the special celebration:

What will you be singing at the gala?

I will be singing the part I (Amber Von Tussle) had in "You Can't Stop the Beat" in Hairspray.

This year's event honors Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Do you have a favorite memory of or song by the honorees?

Marc & Scott are like family to me and the other original cast members of Hairspray. They were like Auntie Marc & Auntie Scott. They had so much passion and love for the show and for us. For many of us it was our first Broadway show and we were fairly young. THEY made us feel like a family and that we were all a part of something amazing together... And we were. They always had parties at their house and created excuses to celebrate. I will always have imprinted on my memory Scott's double pump kick move on the dance floor and Marc's love of Diet Dr. Pepper and Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies.

But, I really remember Marc and a Scott fighting for "I Know Where I've Been" to stay in the show. We all felt the emotional weight of that song but also saw the deeper more personal meaning it had for Marc & Scott. We all learned it and presented it to producers. It was very powerful. It bonded us.

I also remember that on opening night of Hairspray after amazing reviews and incredible ticket sales, they went to the ATM to get cab fare home after the opening night parties, and had insufficient funds. Hilarious.

Is there a role from a Shaiman/Wittman show that you'd like to play someday?

Motormouth Mabel? Might be fun to play Velma one day when the show gets revived!

Have you worked with The New York Pops before? What are you most looking forward to about this performance?

I have, back in 2008. I'm looking forward to this because it will in many ways be a reunion for all of us to sing on stage together again.

The original cast of Hairspray has remained very tight over the last 10 years, but we haven't all gotten the chance to sing together on stage. [There's] something kind of emotional about it for me. Hairspray signaled the beginning of the rest of my life and career. It changed everything and so did the people I will be singing with. They will always be my family.

This year's gala will feature music students from The New York Pops' extensive education programs. What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring performers?

It's difficult to nail it down to ONE piece of advice. But I will start with this. Be aware of understand your motivations and fears. When you do, be fearless.

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