CUE & A: Wicked Star Kara Lindsay on Her Pop Culture Obsessions, Burping Skills and High-Note Mishaps

News   CUE & A: Wicked Star Kara Lindsay on Her Pop Culture Obsessions, Burping Skills and High-Note Mishaps Kara Lindsay, seen in the original cast of Newsies, now stars as Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked. She fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Kara Lindsay
Kara Lindsay

She reprises the role she recently played on the national tour of the long-running musical.

Other theatre work includes Little House on the Prairie (Laura) at the Guthrie, Newsies at Paper Mill Playhouse, Cinderella (Cinderella) at Kansas City Starlight, Cabaret (Sally Bowles) at Kansas City Rep and Lone Star Love (Miss Anne Page) at 5th Avenue Theatre.

She is married to Broadway actor Kevin Massey.

Full given name: Kara Lynn Lindsay
Where you were born/where you were raised: Rochester, NY
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
What your parents did/do for a living: My mom is the category manager for cosmetics for Wegmans stores (and she is a full time BRILLIANT mom!)
Siblings: I have an older sister named Jessica and she is my best friend in the whole wide world! smile
Who were you main mentors/inspirations when first starting out?

Donna Lynne Champlin went to my high school and to my university and she is a brilliant human! She came back to speak at both high school and college and I was/am so inspired by her experiences, journeys, life approach and of course her insane talent!

Current audition song/monologue: Recently I've been singing "The Story Goes On" even though it's rarely appropriate, because the character is singing about her pregnant belly... and no I am not pregnant!

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I just love the song so much!

Special skills: I can burp really loud?
Something you're REALLY bad at: There are too many things to mention! But I'm notorious for killing plants. :(
First Broadway show you ever saw: Grease, starring Brooke Shields and Billy Porter
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder because it's awesome AND my husband is in it!
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: The whole original Broadway cast album of Titanic
Some favorite modern musicals: Light in the Piazza, Once, Memphis, Urinetown
Some favorite classic musicals: Kiss Me, Kate; Cabaret; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Carousel
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would have most loved to perform with: Judy Garland all the way!
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Kate Baldwin, Kelli O'Hara, Lea Salonga
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: August: Osage County
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Celine Dion always makes me weepy! It was my go-to cry music in high school:)
MAC or PC? Dude, MAC!
Most played song on your iPod: "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas
Most-visited websites: webMD cuz I'm a hypochondriac
Favorite Tweeters: Tim Federle, Russell Simmons and... Buzzfeed has controlled my life!
Last book you read: Currently reading "I Am Malala"
Must-see TV show(s): "Orange Is the New Black," "Parenthood," "Scandal," and some nasty reality TV (I know, I know)
Last good movie you saw: "Birdman," "The Imitation Game," "Wild"
Some films you consider classics: "Forrest Gump," "WALL-E," "It's a Wonderful Life"
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "The Bachelor," Kardashians, "Access Hollywood"
Three favorite cities: Dingle (town in Ireland), Vancouver, Cinque Terre in Italy
Favorite sport/team/player: Pittsburgh Steelers!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Debbie Gibson or New Kids on the Block
First stage kiss: Kevin Greene, who is now basically one of my agents. Ha!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense at Greece Athena High School
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Seeing the tour of Ragtime in my hometown in middle school. It moved me to tears and I realized the importance of live theatre in this world.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: A spoon in a jar of peanut butter or almond butter.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Coffee
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: A sensible plank and some stretches to wake up my body. And a check in with my green girl, Caroline!
Most challenging role you have ever played: I think it's a tie between Glinda and Sally Bowles for different reasons, obviously:)
What drew you to this new project and what has been the biggest challenge so far?

Everything drew me to this project! This is an absolute, pinch myself, dream! I am not used to singing soprano so that part is a definite challenge, but I'm so grateful for it! Also, the expectation of what Glinda should be is an always present fear. There are so many BRILLIANT women who have played this role and stepping into their ginormous shoes is terrifying. Just hoping to do it justice!

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

There's an embarrassingly long list! I've whacked myself in the head with the big Glinda wand multiple times when twirling it like a baton in the 2nd act and the whole audience goes, "oooooooohhhhhh ouuuuuchhh" (really enhances the moment). I've messed up the words in "Popular" and began laughing at my idiot self. I threw a broom into the pit/audience during Newsies... I repeat lines sometimes when I forget what's next so it can really be confusing.

Craziest audition story:

This is also a long list! I'm a disaster in auditions! I have to stop and start over a lot, and it stops being funny after the 8th time. My favorite audition disaster is when I was auditioning for Maria in the international tour of West Side Story in 2007. I had to sing the high C at the end of the quintet and like I said earlier, I have a hard time with high soprano stuff. Particularly with a high C... my voice cracks into this really loud high scream sound a la Mariah Carey except obnoxious and terrifying.

So we get to that high C and it CRACKS. The panel of casting folks literally jumped. Then they asked me to try it again. And it cracks AGAIN even louder. They asked if I'd like to try it one more time and I said no thanks. I swear they wanted to hear it again for their own enjoyment!

I cried so hard from embarrassment. My friends ask me to do "the crack" for them often. They know this story well. It may be one of those "ya had to be there" stories. smile

Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Belle in Beauty and the Beast, ever since I was a little girl.
Something about you that surprises people: I can burp like a man.
Something you are incredibly proud of: My husband
Career you would want if not a performer: I wanted to go to school for nutrition but that's way too many math and science classes. Maybe a travel writer so that I could be paid to travel and explore a ton of cool places around the world:)
Three things you can't live without: My family, peanut butter, coffee
"I'll never understand why…" … people spread hatred instead of love.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Just be the best YOU you can be! You are enough! And persevere!
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