Producer Mark Cortale has announced that his internationally acclaimed Broadway concert series, hosted and music directed by Sirius XM Radio star Seth Rudetsky, will return to the Broward Center’s Parker Playhouse with four of Broadway’s hottest stars in early 2019. First, Jessie Mueller, a Tony Award winner for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and Tony-nominee in Sarah Bareilles’ Waitress, will kick-off the season on Saturday, January 12 at 8 PM. Next, London’s Phantom stars reunite as Sierra Boggess, Broadway’s original Ariel in The Little Mermaid and a frequent Christine Daaé in Phantom of the Opera and its sequel Love Never Dies will join forces with Ramin Karimloo, the Tony & Olivier Award Nominee and star of Broadway’s Anastasia, Les Misérables and London’s The Phantom of the Opera, on Friday, February 8 at 8 PM. And, ending the season with an exclamation point will be Adam Pascal, star of the original Broadway cast of Rent, and the film version, as well as the Broadway hits Chicago, Memphis, and the revival of Cabaret, on Sunday, March 24 at 7 PM.
The unique format of the series that differentiates it from any other is a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s insightful, funny and revealing questions – and the music from the artists’ stellar careers. The result is spontaneous evenings of show-stopping songs and hilarity. The Broadway Series was first launched at Provincetown’s Art House Theater in 2011 by Cortale and Rudetsky and now makes its home in more than a dozen major venues worldwide.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Jessie, just a couple weeks before her performance here in South Florida.
When did performing start for you?
I didn’t really start performing until I was in High School. I didn’t have the opportunities until then.
What was your first Broadway role, and how exciting was it to get on a Broadway stage?
My first role was in the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick Jr. It was thrilling, and I remember sitting in the theater and the director looked at me and said take this in, it’s really cool, isn’t it…it was the St. James Theater.
How did you get cast as Carole King in Beautiful?
I first had a meeting with director Mark Bruni, the writer, and producer, and then I had two rounds of auditions. Shortly afterwards I got the call I was cast. I was very fortunate to get cast so easily.
Can you take me back and tell me how it felt (do you remember?) when you heard your name called to win the Tony?
Yes, I do remember how it felt. It was in shock, and awe and delight all at once. It felt like a jolt because no matter what you do to prepare yourself, you are not prepared to hear your name. I squeezed my partner Andy’s hand, and then I was concentrating on not tripping on my large dress. It felt very surreal and yet I felt very present.
What has been your favorite role to play and why?
I really don’t think I can pick one. I have had so much fun.
What is your fantasy role to play?
I really feel like I don’t have one right now as I feel so fortunate in the roles I have gotten to play. I think it’s the one I don’t know of yet. However, down the road I would love to play Mamma Rose or Dolly Levi.
Describe yourself in three words?
Silly, loving, and thoughtful.
What does the future hold for you?
I don’t know, but I would like to spend more time with the people I love and am looking forward to unexpected opportunities. I would also like to live in a world with people that are more peaceful and understanding.
Why should our readers come out to see you in the Broadway Concert Series?
I just want to work with people I enjoy and Seth is definitely one of those people. This show, with Seth, has that special spark, and anything can happen. It is so much fun playing off of him. I enjoy watching people have fun and that’s what this concert is to me. Come-on out and enjoy our concert of fun that we are going to have for like two hours. I promise you won’t regret it. We are so pumped to come down south Florida!
For tickets, which start at only $37, and information, visit Parkerplayhouse.com or call (954) 462-0222.