BWW Interview: Jennifer Laura Thompson Talks Solo Debut at 54 Below

Jennifer Laura Thompson performs with the New York Pops
for their Stephen Schwartz Tribute.
Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy.

Broadway star Jennifer Laura Thompson will make her cabaret debut on January 7 and 11, 2014 at 54 Below. The concert is set to feature songs from her career both on and off Broadway.

Thompson has appeared in Wicked as 'Ginda' and as 'Hope Cladwell' in Urinetown: The Musical, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.

Thompson most recently starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It. Her other Broadway credits include Lend Me a Tenor and Footloose, as well as Company with the New York Philharmonic.

Scroll down to learn about Thompson's hopes and fears as she approaches her first solo show!

This is the first solo show that you have ever done! What's taken so long, and why now?

Doing a solo show feels like one of the most vulnerable things a performer can take on. I have always enjoyed doing other people's projects but doing your own puts a lot more pressure on yourself. I have been asked for years to do a solo show and finally I decided to be brave!

What can you share about the set list? (Without giving anything away, of course!)

When I was building the show, I realized I had creative license to show a little of everything that is me, from the absurd to the sincere. There are some songs from the shows that I've done and there are songs that mean something special to me personally. And, of course, if you know me, there is some absolute silliness.

You're working with the great Mary-Mitchell Campbell on this. What has it been like collaborating with her?

She's a lifesaver. She totally helped guide me through the process of this delicate creation and, through her creative wisdom, helped construct some hilarious originals. I couldn't have done this without her.

What are you most excited about in bringing this show to 54 below?

Conquering stage fright. I really should have named it "I'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE!!!"

Is there a part that you've already played that you'd like to revisit? Or is there a song in this concert that you are most excited to revisit?

I'd love to revisit Glinda, but as a mother of an infant, that was hard to do. I'm actually most excited to sing the songs I've never sung onstage before. You know, the ones you sing in the shower or when no one is home. I always fashioned myself some kind of rock star.

Your show is billed as a "night of songs chosen to tell your story. So far." Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

This year, I will be venturing into television. Although, if this performance at 54 Below feels right, I will look forward to doing more like it.

Do you have any dream roles or collaborations for the future?

Wow. The ultimate question. I should have a straight answer, but the truth is I like the unknown journey. I have had some incredible highlights in my career so far, and I feel lucky. But I will say this. I want to win a Tony Award. Can you help me with that?

For tickets and information about Jennifer Laura Thompson's show at 54 below, click HERE.

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From This Author Nicole Rosky

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