Christy Altomare, who previously played Sophie in the long-running international hit musical Mamma Mia!, can currently be seen as Anya, the role she created, in Anastasia at the Broadhurst Theatre. Altomare, who possesses a crystal-clear alto, also played Sue Snell in MCC Theater's Off-Broadway production of the cult classic musical Carrie and Wendla in the first national tour of the Tony-winning Spring Awakening.
We recently asked Altomare, whose regional credits include Daddy Long Legs and Camelot, to recall the performances that most affected her as an audience member.
All of Hamilton
I saw Hamilton at the Public during a Saturday matinee performance. I left the theatre crying so hard because it was one of the most moving things I had ever experienced.
There is a moment in the show where there is a spotlight on Christine and she just starts to cry in the most honest way. It was like nothing I had ever seen in my entire life on a stage. It was no longer acting but tapping into something so deep from within. It moved me to the core.
Jessie Mueller Singing “She Used to Be Mine” in Waitress
When Jessie Mueller performs, it’s like everyone has the privilege of getting to witness someone actually going through something. There is an energy in the air, and it’s palpable.
I just remember watching most of that show and her performance with my jaw open. Her intensity and heart that she brought to the role was so inspiring. I remember thinking, “God, she is a true embodiment of a star.”
This is one of my favorite musicals of all time. I remember during the song “The Movie in My Mind” when all the female singers came in, all of my hair stood up in place. It made me want to be a performer.
There is a scary element to Mark Rylance’s acting. It’s as if he is towing the line constantly between utter freedom in a moment and quite literally becoming the person. There is a moment at the end of the show where he is just walking around in a circle while screaming with a stick. It was incredible.
Bob Lenzi singing “Why God Why?” from Miss Saigon
We had gone to high school together and it was the Thespian Dessert Theatre show during our sophomore year. I had never seen someone my age perform so in the moment. I felt grateful to get to perform with him throughout those years of my life.
I got to see her in Ragtime on a school trip. “Back to Before” is not only a flawless song, but Marin was born to sing it. She was one of the most moving performers of our generation. I am going to miss her so much.
Sara Sheperd in Little Women
Sara Sheperd is quite possibly one of the most amazing talents I know. We went to college together, and she is currently in Beautiful. She played Jo in our college production of Little Women. Her acting just makes you feel, and she commands a stage like she was born on it.
I am in awe of everyone who I get to work with in Anastasia. Watching their performances from the wings and getting to play on stage with them night after night is a massive thrill. I love this show. The artistry, the creativity, the heart. It is beautiful, and all the people in it are beasts.