Theatre work includes The People in the Picture, The Look of Love, How to Succeed..., Curtains, Sweet Charity, Contact, Fosse, Candide, Crazy for You, A Chorus Line and Pippin.
Lewis has also appeared in Encores! stagings of Fanny, Damn Yankees, Sweet Adeline and Tenderloin. She is married to actor Marc Kudisch.
|Full given name:||Shannon Nicole Lewis|
|Where you were born/where you were raised:||Born and raised just outside of Toronto Canada in a town called Pickering|
|What your parents did/do for a living:||My mom taught kindergarten until I was born and then was a stay at home mom, and my dad was an elementary school teacher and then became a successful businessman|
|Siblings:||One younger brother- who's not in show biz|
|Special skills:||I can do a mean velociraptor. Really. I can.|
|Something you're REALLY bad at:||I am terrible at tennis! I am the biggest tennis fan and I think it's because I can't even hit the ball when I play.|
|First Broadway show you ever saw:||Crazy story: the first Broadway show I ever saw was Crazy For You… the week before I joined the company as Vera. I was cast in a Broadway show before I even saw one.|
|If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?||Ooooh- being able to see Gwen Verdon in the original Damn Yankees would have been pretty amazing I think.|
|Current or recent shows you recommended to friends:||I never get to see anything! I have wonderful talented friends in everything on and off Broadway. Go see everything!|
|Favorite showtune(s) of all time:||Anything from Kiss of the Spider Woman, "At the Ballet" from A Chorus Line, "Unusual Way" from Nine, "The Old Red Hills of Home" from Parade, all three sections of the "Rich Man's Frug" from Sweet Charity…. there are too many!|
|Some favorite modern musicals:||
I gave myself 30 seconds to think, here's what I came up with: Kiss of the Spider Woman, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza, Nine, Contact
|Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:||Can you believe that I get to perform next to Chita Rivera every night? I also got to be mentored by the late, great Gwen Verdon. I would have loved to play with Cyd Charisse, Bob Fosse, Michael Jackson, Vera Ellen, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.|
|Your personal vocal or acting idols, living or dead:||In addition to the above, I am a gigantic fan of dancers Sylvie Guillem and Suzanne Farrell. Very inspired by the brilliance and power of Patti LuPone and totally in awe of Chita Rivera.|
|The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:|| Okay I have two:
The gypsy run-through of the original cast of Ragtime was pretty earth shaking! The opening number alone changed my life. I also went to see the Jackson 5 in their "Victory tour" when I was 8 years old. Seeing Michael Jackson live on stage in his prime was incredible. I have always held him as a pinnacle of a star performance in my mind.
|Music that makes you cry, any genre:||I have always said I am first inspired by the music of any piece I am working on. That's where it starts for me. All music moves me, but the sound of stringed instruments cuts right to my soul.|
|MAC or PC?||MAC!|
|Most played song on your iPod:||Right now it's "Locked out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars followed closely by "Quarter Chicken Dark" by Goat Rodeo.|
Playbill.com! Also, goop.com, gilt.com, nytimes.com
|Last book you read:||I loved "Gone Girl." Right now I am halfway through the Steve Jobs biography and I am fascinated by him…. and heartbroken that such an original is gone.|
|Must-see TV show(s):||"Downton Abbey!" Also, "The Daily Show/Colbert Report," "American Horror Story," "The Walking Dead," "Game of Thrones," "The Newsroom"... My DVR works overtime!|
|Some films you consider classics:||"The Bandwagon," "The Natural," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Shawshank Redemption," "All That Jazz," "Waiting For Guffman."|
|Performer you would drop everything to go see:||My husband Marc Kudisch!|
|Pop culture guilty pleasure:||Not a fan of the housewives shows or "The Bachelor"… but I think the way "The Soup" makes lighthearted fun of them is hilarious.|
|Three favorite cities:||
Only three? NYC, Toronto, anywhere in Maui.
Tennis! Rodger Federer, Nadal, Williams sisters are some of my faves! I also love watching gymnastics- including rhythmic gymnastics. I was a serious gymnast until my teens and I am amazed at where the sport has gone now.
|First CD/Tape/LP you owned:||
My first cassette tape was WHAM! And I loved it. My second was Duran Duran and I loved it too. Not embarrassed to admit it. Side note: My parents owned an 8 track of Harry Chapin that I used to choreograph to and put on shows for my friends. Yup. Apparently my lyrical solo to "Cats in the Cradle" was very moving.
|First stage kiss:||I am realizing that I have had lot of kisses onstage. Can't remember the first! Haha I can tell you that in my current show, we just did a student matinee for 1000 high school kids and the onstage kisses and sexual situations in the opium den ballet was like being at a pep rally. Hilarious.|
|Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:||I have been performing since I was very young as a dancer but, at age 10, I made my musical theatre debut as "Brigitta" in The Sound of Music and I am told she was very saucy.|
|Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:||It seemed like the most natural thing. I never made that decision... I was always performing- you couldn't keep me off the stage!|
|Favorite pre-/post- show meal:||Here's the truth, I usually go home and ice my body while hanging out with my dog and hubby BUT-- every now and then you can find me at Bar Centrale or Landmarc with friends having my favorite "wine and fries." Perfect meal in my opinion.|
|Favorite liquid refreshment:||Dirty martini or Supa Dupa Greens from Juice Generation... I strive for balance.|
|Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:||I do 20-30 mins of yoga before every show and I always find a quiet corner and do a little focus exercise before I hit the stage.|
|Most challenging role you have ever played:||My track in Fosse - including "I Gotcha" -- was the most physically demanding role I have ever played hands down. Playing the "Wife" in Contact was emotionally challenging and remains one of the most cherished moments in my career.|
|Craziest audition story:||
I was in a very important callback once and the casting director had his/her lunch delivered during my audition while I sang. I finished and the delivery person applauded. Really. I got the job, so I guess all's well the ends well?
|Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:|| I had a costume mishap when I was playing "The Wife" in Contact… I wore this large flouncy skirt with many layers. In the first fantasy section when she dances for the first time, I stood up from the table I had been sitting at and realized there was a large hole in one of the ruffles. I accidentally stepped through it and it started to unravel, becoming longer and longer until I had a 6-7 foot "tail" dragging behind me.
As the "Wife" you don't leave the stage for almost 40 minutes so I ended up twirling it and wrapping it around my body and using it like a feather boa at one point. I had cast members trying to pull it off as it danced by and I believe it finally ripped off near the end of her story. I was told after that stage management was close to stopping the show because it was so terrible, but they thought I was making it work so they didn't. Longest 45 minutes of my life.
|Worst costume ever:||I admire and adore all the costume designers I have had the honor of working with... but there is a certain pink onesie that I was happy to never wear again. I should note that in the same show, I wore one of the most beautiful costumes I have ever worn.|
|Worst job you ever had:||Working as a living mannequin in store windows and then at corporate parties from age 15-17. Awful and uncomfortable. And to the people who think it's fun to try to make the living mannequins laugh.... it's not funny.|
|A show you would love to star in opposite Marc:||I think it would be fun to play Lola and Applegate in Damn Yankees or Adelaide and Nathan in Guys and Dolls.|
|Leading lady role you've been dying to play:||Spider Woman in Kiss of the Spider Woman. A girl can dream...|
|Something about you that surprises people:||That my mom's side of the family are Mennonites!|
|Something you are incredibly proud of:||Being on Broadway for 20 years.|
|Three things you can't live without:||Laughter. Yoga. Possibilities.|
|Words of advice for aspiring performers:||Don't ever let anyone tell you who you are and what you are capable of. Have a strong center and know who you are outside of everyone else's opinion. Be open to criticism and use rejection to learn and grow but never, ever let it define you.|