Friday, March 28, 2014

Spotlight On...Karen Kohler

Name: Karen Kohler

Hometown: Born in Frankfurt, Germany - raised in Amityville, Long Island, NY. Hometowns Today: Berlin & NYC.

Education: BA in International Relations, Minor in Music from the University of Arizona. My husband Robert MacLean Kohler and I have endowed the world's only collegiate scholarship for cabaret at Long Island University where we met.

Select Credits: Cabaret: Little Death, Vienna To Weimar, Moons Of Venus, Jam & Spice, Das Kabarett, and more...Theater/musical Theater: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Night Of The Iguana, Fiddler On The Roof, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Annie...

Why Theater?: Our stories are what connect us as humans beings, and in every culture and every language, we actors tell those stories.

Tell us about Nicholas Nickleby, A New Musical: It's light, it's dark - it's good fun!

What is it like being a part of Nicholas Nickleby?: We have a large and talented cast. Everyone is easy-going and creative in bringing to life this classic tale. I'm delighted to be playing such two very different shades of Victorian femme.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I chose cabaret as my medium because of how beautifully it blends serious theater with serious music. It permits me to lower the fourth wall and address my audience directly. For a singing actress, there is no other artform more intimate. The best cabaretists that I know or have studied have all had a strong sense for the dramatic. As performing artists go, my heroes are Yvette Guilbert and Charlie Chaplin. As to what inspires me: My family (born and chosen) and all our very human lives and joys and pains; and anyone who is willing to overcome themselves.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Morgan le Fey. I don't know...has anything really fantastic been written for her yet?

What’s your favorite showtune?: "All That Jazz" (Chicago)

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Musician - Lyle Lovett; Dancer - Acia Gray; Filmmaker - whoever is channeling Hitchcock.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The movie would be called "Fin" which is my nickname (Fin Kohler) in the fine art circles of NYC where I also work and model. In French this means "the end," which for me is another way of saying "the beginning." I suppose I would play myself, or else I would direct someone else to play me. That would be illuminating...

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Venus in Fur

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: As a singer, I'm in the business of songs and this is almost impossible to answer. Maybe Massenet's "meditation" which I chose to accompany me up the aisle on my wedding day. But for me, every day brings its own song. My recordings are on iTunes, but I don't use iTunes that much. As an actress, I'm constantly watching and listening to people, and so I keep myself unplugged from my phone in public. At home, I prefer to listen to CDs and vinyl because the fidelity is just so much better. My top five favorite musicians are Beethoven, The Boswell Sisters, Etta James, Leonard Cohen and Pink Floyd.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: If there's guilt involved, it's not a pleasure. I love chocolate after any strenuous physical activity.

What’s up next?: A trip to Germany, recording my fourth solo album, and curating European cabaret.

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