Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spotlight On...Rachel Stern

Name: Rachel Stern

Hometown: Montville, N.J.

Education: NYU, Lee Strasberg Studio.

Select Credits: Jean in Missionaries at BAM, Liz in High Fidelity at the Imperial Theatre, and Jeanie in Hair at North Shore Music Theatre.

Why theater?: It saved my life.  I had 2 choices.  Fall into the abyss of kids who didn't realize their potential, or pull my head out of my.....sand and dive in.

Who do you play in Madame Infamy?:
Madame Tussaud

Tell us about Madame Infamy:
It's some riveting, beautiful theatre!  One of the most interesting people in history, Madame Tussaud, introducing a story of two opposite women, in similar, emotional peril. And physical peril! One rich and powerful, and one poor and in servitude.  I don't want to give too much away.  I also don't want to give any incorrect information.  I'm still learning about the piece everyday.

What is it like being a part of Madame Infamy?:
I must say, the room is electric.  I only knew a couple of people, and everyone is so sweet, and talented.  The creative team greeted us with open arms and made it very clear that it was going to be a safe and creative room for everyone.  That's really all you can ask for when you do new theatre.  Especially, when they bring snacks!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: This is tough.  I have dabbled in any and every type of theatre.  As an actor and as an audience.  Each style and experience moves me and speaks to me in different ways.  The first time I saw Les Miz, I knew I needed to get on that big stage.  When I saw The Fantasticks downtown, I knew a perfect, small show.  I saw Alice at BAM with Robert Wilson's direction and Tom Waits' music, and I had a glorious headache for 3 days.  When I saw the most recent production of The Normal Heart, I ugly-cried in the theatre until I was dehydrated.  So, it all speaks to me.  If it doesn't then it's not theatre.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I love playing original roles, but my musical theatre heart would love to sing the role of Lily in The Secret Garden.  I want to play Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, but who doesn't?  I really, really want to play Mad Margaret in a production of Ruddigore.  Not sure that'll ever happen, but hey, a girl can dream.

What’s your favorite show tune?: I like the mushy ones.  I can't pick one.  I love Sleepyman from The Robber Bridegroom, Poor Sweet Baby from Snoopy, and Unusual Way from Nine.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: SO many people!!!  Alan Cumming, Neil Patrick Harris, Gorgeous Jackman, I mean Hugh!  There are non-musical theatre actors I adore, like Sam Rockwell, and Judith Light, who SO rock on stage.  I would love to work with them too. 

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: HA!  Old me or young me?  I think Helena Bonham Carter.  People say I look like her sometimes, but more for her energy.  Plus I just love her!  Let's call it "HOW THE HELL DID I GET HERE AND WHERE AM I!"

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I recommend any show my friend's are working on!  I'm a big fan of supporting each others' work.  If the ticket for a particular show is too steep, I tend to recommend a less expensive show. These days, i send them to Beautiful, Violet, Kinky Boots, or If/Then.  I got lotsa pals in those and they're great.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: It's a three way tie between "Jam On It" by Nucleus, "Under Pressure" by Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, and "Why" by Annie Lennox.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
CANDY!!!!!!  I eat tons of candy.  Maybe that's more of a problem than a guilty pleasure but I don't care.

What’s up next?: I'm devoting a lot of time and energy to my voice over, commercial, and recording part of my career.  I'm more and more in love with the booth every day.  It gives me the freedom to work on my own music, which I'll be bugging people with as soon as I get my website up!