Interview: Carleigh Bettiol Discusses New Role in PIECE OF MY HEART

Carleigh Bettiol has recently stepped into the role of 'Young Ilene' in off-Broadway's Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story. The new musical is based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns, and is set to conclude its run this Sunday, September 14 after extending its initial run by two weeks.

Carleigh took the time to share her some of thoughts about taking on this new role, her favorite Berns songs, and more with BroadwayWorld. Read below for the full interview!

What has it been like for you to step into this role mid-run?

At first it was a bit scary! I had approximately two and a half hours until curtain the first time I went on. That's always a bit nerve racking. Thankfully, I work with an incredibly helpful and supportive company and I made it through without killing anyone! After that first show, I found out I would be on for the remainder of the week. It was on a weekly basis from then on, which turned out to be three weeks straight and now this closing week is the fourth! It has been a blast growing in the role and I am now having a lot of fun in place of the nerves!

Do you do anything special to get into character every night?

I have a routine for my warm up. I do the same things in the same place backstage every show. I basically just make a lot of specific funny sounds to warm up my voice (my castmates say I sound like a mix between a baby whale and a cub) and do hamstring stretches and neck rolls for the dance moves I have to prep my body for.

What do you love the most about playing her?

One of my favorite parts of this role is getting to sing 'Cry Baby' with Leslie Kritzer and Linda Hart. Those women both have big, strong, beautiful voices and it is such an emotional moment in the show, I can't help but get chills every night when we all sing together! My other favorite thing about playing Young Ilene?....playing opposite my real life leading man, Zak Resnick. (Cue blushing smile).

If you could just pick one, what's your favorite Berns song?

I really love 'Here Comes The Night', but I enjoy so many others too! A ton of them get stuck in my head regularly so it's a good thing I like them so much! Ha!

What are you going to miss most about the show after you take your final bow on Sunday?

The people! We have so many laughs in our dressing room. We all spend a lot of time together so naturally become very close and that's what I'll miss most.

Since moving to the big apple, Carleigh has performed in numerous professional regional theare productions and has been on five International Tours: Virtuosity! with two-time Tony-nominee, Vivian Reed, Disney's Beauty and the Beast directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, A Chorus Line directed and choreographed by original cast member, Baayork Lee, In The Heights set by Michael Balderrama, with original direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and music supervision by Alex Lacamoire, and Flashdance the Musical directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.

For more information about Piece of My Heart:

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