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Interview: Nicci Claspell Talks Touring With MOULIN ROUGE!

Moulin Rouge! The Musical has already begun its L.A. premiere at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Interview: Nicci Claspell Talks Touring With MOULIN ROUGE!

The North American tour of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Moulin Rouge! The Musical has already begun its L.A. premiere at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre June 30, 2022. Tony Award winner Alex Timbers directs this touring cast led by Courtney Reed as Satine and Conor Ryan as Christian. I had the chance to throw out a few questions to Nicci Claspell who plays Arabia (one of the Lady Marmalades).

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Nicci!

I kept thinking your name sounded familiar. I reviewed a couple of shows you were in: Dogfight at the Hudson Mainstage in 2017 and Romeo & Juliet: Love is a Battlefield, Volume 2 at the Prospect in 2016. And now you're touring in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Do you remember the moment you found out you were cast as Arabia, one of the Lady Marmalades?

I absolutely do! It was Monday March 9, 2020. I had my final callback the week prior, and when I saw my manager calling, I had a feeling it would be good news, so I threw on a decent shirt and made my roommate take a video of me answering her call.

You're currently performing at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado, the third stop of your multi-city tour. Any audience responses in these three cities take you by surprise?

Interview: Nicci Claspell Talks Touring With MOULIN ROUGE! I did recall that when I was last in Minneapolis with the American Idiot tour those audiences were incredibly enthusiastic, and they definitely lived up to my memory with Moulin Rouge! The Musical. There were nights when the curtain would go up to reveal our silhouettes and the audience would cheer so loudly that it felt like we were headliners in an arena concert.

In an alternate universe, under what circumstances would the characters you've inhabited (Arabia, American Idiot's The Extraordinary Girl, Chicago's Velma Kelly, Cabaret's Sally Bowes, Rent's Mimi) come together? (In line for the DMV? At a neighborhood Starbucks?)

Ha! Ha! What a fun question! I could see them all at the same paint and sip party.

Any of the cities you're booked in that you're most excited to play in?

Interview: Nicci Claspell Talks Touring With MOULIN ROUGE! I grew up in the Bay Area, and lived in Los Angeles for about 16 years, so playing L.A. and S.F. will feel a little like coming home. I am especially excited for the Pantages, it's my first time playing this theater and after living here for so long it really is a dream come true!

Do you have time to explore these cities? Or are you in rehearsals all day?

We often do have one or two understudy rehearsals per week, but part of the fun of being on the road is discovering what each new city has to offer!
I'm looking forward to finding out what makes each place unique, be it the food, culture, landscape, etc. Also, I'm personally on a mission to taste test as many donuts as I can all over the country.

Interview: Nicci Claspell Talks Touring With MOULIN ROUGE! How many swings and understudies do you travel with?

We have seven swings on the road, a vacation swing, and 16 cast members that understudy at least one role. In the few months that we've been open, every single one of these people has been absolutely vital to the life of this tour.

What special memento do you keep on your dressing room table?

Fran, the Satine dresser in Chicago, gave me a tiny metal coiled cobra the first time I went on as Satine. It's a reference to when Zidler calls her "my precious little cobra" and it was such a special and thoughtful memento, I'm pretty sure it'll end up on every dressing room table of mine from here on out.

Interview: Nicci Claspell Talks Touring With MOULIN ROUGE! Thank you again, Nicci! I look forward to experiencing your Arabia and all the other fabulous singers/dancers at the Moulin Rouge.

For tickets to the live performances of Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Pantages through September 4, 2022; click on the button below:

Moulin Rouge! The Musical will return to Southern California at Segerstrom Center for the Arts November 9 through November 27, 2022.

From This Author - Gil Kaan

      Gil Kaan, a former Managing Editor of the now-defunct Genre magazine, has had the privilege of photographing and interviewing some major divas of film, television, and stage in... (read more about this author)

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