Here, via email, we hear from Tony nominee Andrea McArdle, who created the title role in the original Broadway production of Annie and returns to 54 Below Feb. 10 for a limited engagement. The acclaimed singing actress is offering Dream Roles Feb. 10 and 12-13 at 7 PM and Feb. 14-15 at 8 PM. Click here for ticket information.
What show recently impressed you?
I just caught up with the fantastic Jessie Mueller in Beautiful. She's stunning — that girl can do no wrong. As if her brilliant turn in Drood wasn’t thrilling enough, she’s so authentic and organic and real. She is not doing an imitation; she is channeling the youthful energy and promise of who Carole King was destined to become, and that is no easy task — I love her. The entire cast is pretty wonderful. I really was swept up in the whole production and truly enjoyed it.
What production are you most excited to see?
Well, as a former Cabaret gal, I’m most excited, jazzed and 1,000 percent eager to see the upcoming revival with Michelle Williams, who I believe will be amazing. What inspired casting — she’s gonna rock that role. Then, of course, you have the delicious gift of Alan Cumming returning to the role of The Emcee. I cannot wait to see how he brings it to life this time — the whole revival cast is pretty fabulous. I’ll be there cheering them all on from day one. And, I gotta say I’m looking forward to Bullets Over Broadway — it’s one of my favorite films, and I’m especially excited about watching Marin Mazzie portray Helen Sinclair. Marin really deserves the chance to wow in the show — I adore her performances.
What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
Oh, so many. Hmmm, well I have to say, after recently playing the title role in Mame in PA, with my beloved Lea Delaria as Vera — she was awesome by the way — I’d love for the powers that be to bring it back in the great, big Broadway revival it deserves. Then, and I don’t think it’s ever too soon with this show, I’d “kill” for a grand revival of Sweeney Todd. I remember the magic of seeing the show when Dorothy Loudon took over for Angela Lansbury and was just transported by its murderous melodies and passions. The pairing of Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince brought us such iconic moments. I mean, is there anything more glorious than “A Little Priest”? And, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to play both Mame Dennis Burnside and Mrs. Lovett in those revivals. Haha, I’m greedy when it comes to those great roles! I’d also love them to bring back Hairspray because Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s joyous “You Can’t Stop The Beat” finale should always be available for Broadway audiences — it was like musical cotton candy. I adore those two boys.
What are your current/upcoming projects?
I’m busy rehearsing for my return engagement at one of my favorite rooms to play, 54 Below. Steve Marzullo and I — he’s my genius musical director and partner in crime, haha — we're building a real Broadway baby of a show. It's songs from the shows I’ve done, the shows I’ve loved and the shows I’ve dreamed of. I’m having a wonderful time getting it all set. I’m also so blessed to be a part of the upcoming tour of 4 GIRLS 4 alongside, drum roll please, Donna McKechnie, Faith Prince and Maureen McGovern. I mean, talk about the very best — these ladies are the cream of the crop, and you cannot imagine my excitement at having the chance to play in the sandbox with them. Our first performance is in March. My sweetie pie of a manager Wayne Gmitter and that sexy maestro John McDaniel came up with the idea of bringing this piece back, and I couldn’t be happier that they brought me along. I’ve also got a few surprises brewing in the works — 2014 is looking to be a quite the year!