BWW Interview: A Chat With Kristen DiGilio of the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre
Long Island theatre vet Kristen Digilio wears many hats working at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre. In no particular order, she an Executive Administrator, Educational Coordinator, Box Office Operations, and also directs and acts in some of the shows at the theatre. Currently she is directing an exciting area premiere of the feel-good tuner The Rat Pack Lounge, The Musical. Ms. Digilio took time from opening weekend to chat with me about the show.
Thank you so much for joining me today! Tell me about yourself and your long relationship with the Noel Ruiz Theatre.
I began at the theater when I was 15 years old (a long, long time ago!) when I performed in a Children's Theater production of "The Wizard of Oz". I then returned a few years later to work in the Education program as an assistant teacher to the very talented and lovely TJ Smith (who is my stage manager for this production!)
It is always so exciting to be involved in a Long Island premiere! Tell me about the show.
Exciting indeed! This show has a real "feel good" plot to it, and has a lot of shtick and funny bits along the way. Vic's story line is very endearing, and then pull in the other four characters to add some fun to it. Then there is of course, the incomparable music of Sammy, Dean & Frank that ties it all together.
And of course let's talk about the absolutely brilliant cast!
I could not have asked for better performers & people to work with on this production. They each bring something different and unique to the table, and this process of working on a new show has truly been that much more enjoyable because of them. They are all seasoned performers and CM regulars who I have had the pleasure of working with in productions before, but never all at once - so as a team, they just ignite the stage!
What has been some of your favorite moments during your time with the show?
I've really enjoyed hearing these songs on a daily basis. This is music that I grew up constantly hearing in my house, so these songs are like an old friend. Then obviously, being with such a cast of characters has been the cherry on top. We made blocking this show a group effort; the show takes place in a bar for Act I, so we put our heads together on how to make it look as natural and free flowing as possible. Then there was studying Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin & Sammy Davis Jr; each actor took their own time to really soak up these performers by watching videos, and listening to their music to nail their mannerisms, singing styles, and the overall general personas.
What drew you to take on this show?
Back in the winter last year, we put this show out amongst other Titles for our subscribers and patrons to vote on. "The Rat Pack Lounge" had the popular vote - I was thrilled when I was asked to direct, especially again because I love the music. I had a very close and loving relationship with my grandfather, and he LOVED the Rat Pack - so bearing that in mind, I had a special place in my heart for this one.