Here, via email, we hear from singing actress Joaquina Kalukango, who will be seen in Holler If Ya Hear Me, the new Broadway musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur that will begin previews June 2 at the Palace Theatre. She is also a recent recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in The Mountaintop.
What show recently impressed you?
Since I've been out of town for a while, the last show I saw was The Lion King in London, and I was so moved. As soon as the animals came down the aisle, I was a mess! And you could tell that they loved what they were doing, which made me want to be a part of it.
What production are you most excited to see?
That's easy. Audra McDonald in Lady Day... She has one of the most spectacular voices of our time, and she gives so much life in every breath when she performs. There's absolutely no way I would miss it!
What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
I'd most like to revive Once On This Island and play Timoune. It was the first musical I ever saw at Tri-Cities High School. Everything about that production was magical, and I remembered how much love and excitement I felt as an audience member, and I wanted to make other people feel like that.
What are your current/upcoming projects?
I am currently writing my first play. I am very excited about it! Also, I've been a part of the workshop of the new musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, which will be going to Broadway this summer. Kenny Leon is directing, and Todd Kreidler wrote the book. It's a fresh and relevant show, and I look forward to sharing Tupac's music with more people!