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Grace Morgan Returns To The Beef & Boards Stage After 20 Years To Perform In HELLO, DOLLY!

Broadway fans will know her for the role of Christine Daaé in the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera. 

Grace Morgan Returns To The Beef & Boards Stage After 20 Years To Perform In HELLO, DOLLY!

First seen on the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre stage in 2002 as Brigitta, the smart, observant, book-reading 12-year-old in The Sound of Music, Grace Morgan has stepped back onto the same stage in another classic musical, Hello, Dolly!, as the beautiful widow milliner Irene Molloy.

"It's been incredible being back," Grace remarked. "There are quite a few people in this show who have known me since I was young, so it's been really wonderful getting the chance to know them as an adult and fellow cast member."

The Beef & Boards stage was not her first.

"I did my first musical at 5 years old in Carmel," Grace recalled, "and then did shows at Civic and then Indiana Repertory Theatre. Then I found out about Beef & Boards when I was about 12 and loved working here, too."

"I remember being incredibly excited when I found out I was going to work at Beef & Boards! It's an Indiana landmark," she added. "I remember enjoying my relationships so much with the other kids, many of whom I still know and have continued working in the realm of theater here in Indiana and in New York."

Performing on local stages while growing up in Fishers guided her into a career in the spotlight.

"It was always the only thing that I wanted to do, so it was a no-brainer to get my college degree in Musical Theater," she said. After graduating from Fishers High School in 2008, Grace earned that degree at the University of Michigan where she met her future husband, Daniel Berryman.

"We were both majoring in Musical Theater, and the first time I heard him sing, I fell in love. We didn't start seriously dating until a couple years later, but we have been best friends since we were 18."

From there, like most dedicated stage performers, they moved to New York City. They lived there for 7 years and during that time they welcomed their first son into the world: Luke, now 3.

"The city just fits us, and we really feel we thrive there," Grace said, but admitted carrying a stroller up and down subway stairs was not ideal. They moved back to Indiana to be close to family and continue to hone their skills, but plan to move back to the Big Apple one day.

"We both spent a lot of time on the road with Broadway tours, and we wanted to be able to spend some time investing in something to keep us in New York while we wait for the next gig. We're hoping to not have to travel so much now that we have a family. My husband is now a web developer as well, and I am a cosmetologist on the side. These other skills will allow us to be pickier about the shows we choose to take and allow us to stay put more often."

Grace's career has included many famous roles such as Roxie Hart in Chicago and Sandy in Grease.

But most Broadway fans will know her for the role of Christine Daaé in the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

"Touring with The Phantom of the Opera was in so many ways a dream come true. I got to play the role of Christine twice a week, and it felt amazing getting to wear those iconic costumes and sing that beautiful music," she noted, adding she performed off and on from 2013-2018.

"The Phantom fans are unlike anything I'd experienced. They are so loyal to the show, and they know every actor who's ever played the role. Lots of them still follow along with my life and support me in all my life changes. It's incredible to have so much support - all from that show! I even got to be onstage while I was newly pregnant, so I always tell my oldest that he's already made his National Broadway Tour debut!"

Since being back in Indiana, Grace has welcomed her second son, Jesse, now 2. And in addition to the roles of wife and mother, she's back on stage, doing what she loves.

"It's my thing, and I don't ever want to live in a world that has no musicals."

Both Irene Molloy and the musical Hello, Dolly! are new additions to Grace's resume, and she's been enjoying stepping back into turn-of-the-century Yonkers, New York.

"Hello, Dolly! is everything that's wonderful about musical theater," she remarked. "It has beautiful music, incredible dancing, and hysterical physical comedy. I particularly love Hello, Dolly! because there are so many different generations being represented, and I think everyone can relate to someone in this show."

She finds her own character, Irene Molloy, relatable.

"I feel like Irene has been in a form of isolation since her husband passed away, and she doesn't really have access to the social scene the way the married women or dating women do. Cornelius gives her the chance to re-enter society and enjoy her life again," Grace notes.

"I feel like COVID has really kept me inside with my two little children, and this show has given me the chance to be out and do what I love again. I feel like I have rejoined society, getting to sing and dance every night and enjoy being with my cast! I think Irene and I are both incredibly social and love celebrating life!"

Hello, Dolly! is on stage for 46 performances through May 15 at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $51 to $76 and include the Beef & Boards dinner buffet and select beverages. Plenty of free parking is available.

For tickets, visit beefandboards.com or call the box office at 317.872.9664.


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