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BWW Feature: Hannah Jane Talks The Magic of Performing and Her Upcoming Show at The Green Room 42

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The Lady Legends of Broadway have a student of their artistry, and it's showing in her show.

BWW Feature: Hannah Jane Talks The Magic of Performing and Her Upcoming Show at The Green Room 42

"It's in my DNA," Hannah Jane (HJ) said, describing her childhood filled with music. With a mother who'd been in band and show choir in high school, it seems only natural that HJ herself grew up to be a singer. But it's the joy it brings her that compels her to continue singing even in adulthood.

"It makes my heart so happy...to see other people happy and how music affects everyone," she said. "It is true when they say it's the universal language. I am a big storyteller so I love to tell stories. I've loved reading since I was a kid, so getting to tell stories through music is a perfect fit. It makes me so happy."

In addition to singing, HJ is an actor. She attended a performing arts school in Times Square for high school, and said it was hearing her teachers tell her that her performance led to an emotional response in them that really touched her.

"You're an actor first, music is great but I wanna be able to tell a story," HJ said.

When in an audition, HJ said she tries to channel Rosemary Clooney, who once described herself as the only instrument in an ensemble who has use of words. HJ translated that to herself to mean she is the only one who can communicate the story, and she tries to do as much when performing.

During the live performance shutdown at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, HJ kept busy - she did some shows, continued practicing and writing new songs, and even taught herself to play the piano.

"We were fortunate enough to move into a new apartment and I was gifted a brand-new upright piano," she said. "Every time I sit down, I teach myself something new."

Before the pandemic, HJ had done a show, the Lady Legends of Broadway, and she will be bringing that back with a fresh twist at The Green Room 42 on Sept. 20, 2021 at 7 p.m. Though she has done a version of the show before, HJ indicated that it's been "updated," with new guests, new songs, and a new arrangement of numbers. She encouraged anyone who already saw it to come back for a brand-new experience.

Inspired by the children's book, "A is for Audra: Broadway's Leading Ladies from A to Z" by John Robert Allman and illustrated by Peter Emmerich, of which HJ said, "One of the things I love most about this book is that it represents such a cross section of the amazing women who have paved the way for my generation to continue the legacy of strong women telling stories from the coveted stages of Broadway. I knew every woman in the book and that was really cool."

The show pays homage to, "these women who have shaped me into who I am as a performer," HJ said. "[It is] a good chance to unpack how much I love musical theater," she added, "[with] songs I may not get to sing right now. A way to honor these women and get to sing some fun music...A lot of the women in the book were dream roles - so that was another big thing."

The show represents HJ's second performance at The Green Room 42, and she gushed about how much she loves the venue, spotlighting the beauty of the room itself and the way it transports people to a different time.

"One of the things that I love most about The Green Room 42 is the charm of an old cabaret hall," she said. "For me it's more than just that space. There is a whole generation of women who were performing long before many of the women in this book that really set the stage for their success. Women like Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day and so many more. These are the women you would have found singing in the Golden Age Green Room 42.

"I really am an old soul and connect with the simplicity of the music that these ladies brought to their audiences," HJ continued. "It was a simpler time when people could be entertained and leave their worries of life at the door. I think that's what I love about being on a stage - is that for an hour or two, I want to be that force that pushes past someone's worries and allows them to get lost in the magic and the music and the storytelling. If only just for a short time. That really is what I love most about being on stage."

Tickets for Hannah Jane's performance of Lady Legends of Broadway can be found here.

"I just know without a shadow of a doubt this is what I was born to do," HJ said. "I am the happiest, most content and most comfortable in my own skin when I am on a stage performing. I hope people feel that energy when they come to my shows. I'm very proud of this particular show because I truly believe that we were able to honor so many amazing women in a short time frame."


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