DIVA TALK: Chatting with Spring Awakening's Alexandra Socha Plus News of Chenoweth, White

By Andrew Gans
29 Aug 2008

Alexandra Socha with co-star Hunter Parrish
photo by Cass Bird

Question: As you mentioned, you've had a few different co-stars in the past few months. Is it difficult adjusting to a different person playing opposite you, or do you find it keeps you on your game?
Socha: It was certainly an interesting few months! It was a great challenge for me, trying to fit my character with their characters. It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work trying to do that, but I am very excited to sort of be set with one man for a little while! [Laughs.]

Question: How do you feel about performing with the audience onstage?
Socha: In the theatre group that I used to do a lot of stuff with, we were in a three-quarter thrust theatre, so there was audience on the side of us. So I'm kind of used to it, and I'm used to having them right there. That really wasn't a challenge for me. The challenge was performing in a much bigger space. I don't mind [having the audience onstage]. It's a lot of fun because you can really feel the audience's energy. You really can get a taste of it because they're sitting right next to you.

Question: Do you have a favorite moment in the show for Wendla?
Socha: Gosh, I don't even know if I can pick one. The very first part of the show with "Mama Who Bore Me," standing on that chair in a spotlight, putting on a dress and trying not to fall over it's definitely scary, but once you're in it and it's going well, it's so exciting.

Question: Do you think the show has a message? What does it mean to you?
Socha: What I find is that [Spring Awakening] shows teens today that the things they're going through are okay because people over 100 years ago were feeling them, too. . . .You don't [often] think that teens were going through the same things that we are today. I think it's great that kids and adults can relate to the show. It shows them that, if you just figure out how to deal with what's going on, that it can come out all right. I think for parents, it's a great message to show that talking to your kids, as scary as it may be, really can have a great outcome. I really love the message of hope it brings for people today by showing that if we communicate with each other, we can deal with problems . . . . With teens . . . there are just so many things you can't avoid. Teens will always have angst, and they will always be rebellious, but it's just showing that there are ways to deal with it that don't include repression and negativity.

Question: Are you working on any other projects right now?
Socha: Just concentrating on this and seeing what's to come. We'll see what pops up in my future.

Question: Do you have an idea where you would like to see your career go?
Socha: Ever since my world turned upside down last summer, my motto has just sort of been, "We'll see what happens." [Laughs.] So we will. We'll see what I end up in and what I end up following. I've always done theatre and I've always loved it, so I think it will always be a part of my life in some form or another.

Question: Is any of your family here with you?
Socha: My mom did live with me for the first year I was here [in New York]. I turned 18 a few months ago, and she just moved out a couple weeks ago, so I've been trekking on my own, seeing how it's all working out.

Question: And, how has it been living on your own for the first time?
Socha: It's pretty good. I have to do my laundry today, so I'm a little nervous! [Laughs.] But it's been pretty good. It feels good to grow up.

[Spring Awakening plays the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, located in Manhattan at 230 West 49th Street. For tickets call (212) 239-6200 or visit telecharge.com or springawakening.com.]

Current "Pushing Daisies" Emmy nominee Kristin Chenoweth's third solo recording will feature a wide range of Christmas songs, including "Silver Bells," "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Come On Ring Those Bells." Entitled "A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas," the single CD is due in stores Oct. 14 on the Sony BMG Masterworks label. About the new disc, which was recorded at Capitol Recording Studio's legendary Studios A & B, Chenoweth said in a statement, "From the minute I signed with Sony Classical eight years ago, I wanted to record a Christmas album. I grew up listening to Barbra Streisand's Christmas album, and that was such an inspiration to me. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I am blessed and excited to be able to do my own Christmas album." The complete track listing for "A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas" follows: "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Christmas Island," "The Christmas Waltz," "Do You Hear What I Hear?," "Marshmallow Ride"/"Sleigh Ride," "Sing," "Silver Bells," "Come On Ring Those Bells," "What Child Is This?," "Home On Christmas Day," "Born On Christmas Day," and "Sleep Well Little Children"/"What A Wonderful World."

The fourth annual Broadway Loves the 80's concert, an evening featuring Broadway actors performing their favorite eighties hits, will be presented at Joe's Pub in September. Directed by Jamie McGonnigal and Xanadu's Marty Thomas, the Sept. 7 performance is scheduled to begin at 9:30 PM. Spelling Bee's Mo Rocca as well as Casey Erin Clark and Chris Dilley will host the one-night-only event. Among those scheduled to perform are Max von Essen, Hunter Foster, Annie Golden, Tony Award winner Cady Huffman, Chris Jackson, Emily McNamara and Wayne Wilcox. Tickets for Broadway Loves the 80's Vol. 4, priced $30, are available by calling (212) 967-7555 or by visiting www.joespub.com. Joe's Pub is located within the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

Singer Sarah Brightman, who created the role of Christine in the London and Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera, will release her first Christmas album this holiday season: "A Winter Symphony" will feature such holiday favorites as "Silent Night," "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Ave Maria." Amazon.com lists a Nov. 4 release date on the Manhattan Records label. For more information visit www.sarah-brightman.com.

Tony Award winner Lillias White will return to the Triad Theatre in Manhattan in September for a series of Monday-evening concerts. Part of Lee Summers' "Just a Piano" series, the Tony-winning actress will perform Mondays at the Triad beginning Sept. 1. She will be accompanied by pianist Mike Dalto for the 9:30 PM concerts. The Triad Theatre is located in Manhattan at 158 West 72nd Street. There is a $40 cover charge and a two-drink minimum. Call (212) 868-4444 for reservations or visit www.smarttix.com. For more information visit www.triadnyc.com or call (212) 362-2590.

The cast recording of the recent Off-Broadway musical Frankenstein co-starring Hunter Foster, Steve Blanchard and Christiane Noll will be released on the Friends of Ghostlight label (an extension of Sh-K-Boom and Ghostlight Records) in September. The single CD will be available on the Sh-K-Boom website and at all digital outlets Sept. 2 and will be available on Amazon.com beginning Sept. 30. The recording features the entire original Off-Broadway cast, including Foster as Victor Frankenstein, Noll as Elizabeth, Blanchard as The Creature, Jim Stanek as Henry and Mandy Bruno as Justine with Becky Barta, Nick Cartell, Casey Erin Clark, Struan Erlenborn, Eric Michael Gillett, Leslie Henstock, Patrick Mellen and Aaron Serotsky. Frankenstein is priced $14.99. For more information or to pre-order, visit www.sh-k-boom.com.

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.