The Engen Twins, Brooke and Tiffany. The Engen twins
take hairspray to the bank. Brooke plays Hairspray on B’wy as
Dance Captain and Swing; and both she and Tiffany appeared in the movie, as
Noreen and Doreen in the Corny Collins Show segment. Wow, double
trouble! (Hairspray, the movie, opens July 20.) Bon
chance, girls, and you were seen promoting it at Showest and on
"Oprah"! Life is a merry-go-round, and it also found the terrific twins
modeling on the "Rachel Ray Show" twice! There’s a one-two punch.
Grass doesn’t grow under their feet, and we can find Tiffany playing Heather in
the Off-B’way show, Awesome 80's Prom.
Rachel Helson. B’way’s youngest producer! In
April she produced The Rocky Horror Show -- while a freshman at NYU --
playing Janet and sharing the stage with famous stars at the American Airlines
Theater on B’way. All proceeds went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What’s next, climbing the Empire State Building blindfolded
with boxing gloves? Enjoy your youth, Rachel!
Nicole Begue. Why are other gals cross in
Crossville? Because Nicole is playing all the leads -- Sarah Brown
(Guys and Dolls), Yum-Yum (The Mikado) and Julie Jordon
(Carousel) – at the Crossville County Playhouse in Crossville,
TN. One things for sure, they recognize talent in Crossville! A big
hand for the leading lady!
Patricia Linhart, AKA: The 100% Diva. Who do famous
composers write for? Divas! Stephen Flaherty is writing a song for
the 100% Diva for her January ‘08 recital in Cincinnati. On July 4th she
opened the 2007 Rising Star Summer program in Indiana and another concert looms
in Cincinnati in December.
Stephen Lukas. Mr. Rising Junior from NYU Tisch
School of the Arts has the hot months booked, appearing as George in
Little Me, Musgrove in High Society and ensemble in
Chicago at the Summer Lyric Theater of Tulane University. Way to
Cristin Boyle. I guess good witches are good
looking, because Cristin will be Glinda, the Good Witch in the Chicago company
of Wicked for a month this summer. And “woof-woof” to Olive, her
tiny new Maltese! By the way Cristin, how do you like being blonde?
Tiffany Haas. It’s the Great White Way for
Tiffany, where she covers Nessarose, one of the witches in Wicked, and
she goes on frequently in the role. Now, that’s wicked good!
Emily Fletcher. Broadway Babies become Broadway
Babes! Emily is Hunyak in Chicago, and this Hungarian inmate will
make your eyes pop. Everybody wants a touch of Fletcher, though, and the
Encore Series must have her back after her appearance in Follies.
Nice to be wanted! She took a break from Chicago to return to the
Encore Series for Stairway to Paradise with Kristin Chenoweth, directed
by Jerry Zaks.
Chasten Harmon. Making her moves! Chasten
signed with a NY agent and is getting her Equity card. But can she still
go back to high school? Apparently so. This summer finds her at The
North Shore Theater in MA, playing Taylor in High School Musical.
Taylor Poarch. Playing to the gallery, the Gallery
Players in Brooklyn, that is, Taylor was King Marchan in
Victor/Victoria in late May. Summer finds him in the old and the
new: Hamlet at the Brick’s Pretentious Festival, and then in a
premiere, Monroe Bound, for the Fresh Fruit Festival at the Cherry Lane
Theater (we know that’s not the pits!) in New York City.
Kathleen Shimeta. Doing it her way.
“Life! Love! Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe,” her
one-woman show, recently had performances at the Library of Congress in
Washington, D.C. and also in Quincy, MA. She performs it again at the
National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in March, 2008. In addition,
she sang a concert in Bar Harbor, ME, and continues to promote her CD,
“Ah! Love, I Shall Find Thee [and profits, too, we hope]: Songs of Gena
Sarah Amendes. Very involved in Tuckaberry
Productions, a Brooklyn-based children’s theater, acting, singing on their CD,
leading workshops and putting together a Christmas cabaret. In October she
will be appearing as Annie in the John Denver revue, Almost Heaven, in
Rock Island, IL. Currently at the New Perspectives Theater in NYC as an
apprentice with a showcase program in the works.
Leslie Ann Hendricks. Having produced baby Lillian
Hope Blankenship – will Lillian inherit those belting genes? – Leslie returns to
the artist’s life, taking part in “Meet the Artist” program at the Kaplan
Penthouse, Juilliard Building in NYC. (Don’t sing too loud, Leslie!
Those penthouses have glass windows.)
Debi Joffe. She’s a pirate, but it’s only
pretend! This summer she steps away from the Jolly Roger at the Disney
Ship...er, Store, to play Ariel in Footloose in Upstate NY at the
Forestburg Playhouse. Also in the production are apprentices Jessica
Wagner and Julia Bray from the Samaras Studio at CAP21. There will be lip
trills in the Green Room, please!
Melissa Sybil. We’re crazy for you, Melissa!
As a matter of fact, Melissa’s playing Patsy in Crazy for You at the
Regal Players in Waltham, MA, and in a feat of excellent scheduling, continues
summer theatrics as Lorraine in 42nd Street at the Ogunquit (You can’t
get a man with Ogun?) Playhouse in ME.
Giattino. The desire to don your tap shoes may strike when you see Mary
in “Tap and Song” on July 14 at the Duke Theater on 42nd St. See her sing
and dance with the amazing Ray Hesselink (choreographer, as well as dancer) in a
whimsical boy-meets-girl duet. But warning! You might get hooked on
the Gia-talent. If so, proceed to Bellport, L.I. in August to see her in
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Gateway Playhouse, where she is also Dance
Captain and Asst. Director/Choreographer.
Ron DeStefano. Ron has spent 2007 working on the
high "C's," (or is it "Seas?") as the lead production singer aboard Royal
Caribbean International's mega-ship Radiance of the Seas. He's putting all the
tricks he's learned at the Samaras Studio to good use in two high-energy
shows, singing everything from Billy Joel to "Nessun Dorma" (and
accompanying himself on the piano, too!). After his travels to the
Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, and even Alaska . . . looks
like Ron will have some adventures to share when he returns to the studio in
Your teacher returns for the fourth
year in a row to West Dover, VT, teaching a history of the B’way musical
for the Elderhostel Organization. While there she will sing her one-woman
show, “Gershwin Galore,” and also perform operetta with the New York Light
Opera. In addition, she has produced a sequel to her teaching video, a
DVD, “Classical Singing Applied to the Pop Voice, Part II: The Quest
Continues.” It can be purchased at this website.
If you’re taking a break from lessons for the
summer, don’t get lazy! Practice with your tapes and keep those vocalises
going. Don’t forget: “Where is your