DIVA TALK: Brenda Braxton, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Mandy Gonzalez, Kenita Miller, Lynne Wintersteller On New Musicals, Revival Roles, Upcoming Projects

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27 Jun 2014

Brenda Braxton
Brenda Braxton

News, views and reviews about the multi-talented women of the musical theatre and the concert/cabaret stage.

This week's column spotlights five of the women featured in the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival, which runs July 7-27 at various venues around the city. Diva Talk posed the same set of questions to each talented artist; their answers, via email, follow. For ticket information visit nymf.org.

Brenda Braxton
PTC Performance Space
July 18 at 8 PM, July 19 at 5 PM, July 20 at 8 PM, July 22 at 5 PM and July 26 at 9 PM

Question: How did you get involved in this production?
Braxton: I became involved in Wikimusical in an interesting way. I interviewed with Richard Hinds for a Smokey Joe's Café he was working on. While that didn't work out, a few weeks later he offered me the role of Spam King. I'm looking forward to working with him as director/choreographer.

Tell me a little bit about the show and the character you are playing.
Braxton: Since I've only read the script once so far, the only way I would describe it is a modern-day Alice in Wonderland! The character I play, Spam King, was originally written for a man, so it should be interesting to see the adjustments that will be made for a female actress. "Alice in Wonderland" is one of my favorite stories. I even performed in a version years ago called Alice starring Debbie Allen, directed by Vinnette Carrol, choreographed by Talley Beattyl and produced by Mike Nichols.

What other NYMF productions have you been a part of, or is this your first?
Braxton: I'm happy to say I have been a part of two NYMF productions. Travlin' in 2010 and Plagued in 2009.

If you could star in a Broadway revival of any play or musical, which show and role would you choose and why?
Braxton: I would love to do Victor/Victoria in the title role, of course!! It's a role that allows an actress to show so many levels. It has also never been performed by an African American woman. Now that would be fierce!!

Why do you think NYMF is so important? 
Braxton: I believe NYMF is important because it's one of the few ways new bodies of work can be seen in a full production form.

Do you have any other projects in the works?
Braxton: Yes! I'm developing a reality TV show and writing a book on women starting over after 50! I've had several "setbacks" in the past few years and I never thought I would feel like I'm having to start over at this point in my career and personal life. I realize there are millions of women feeling this same thing. I want them to know that it's ok and they're not alone. I want to be an example for them to be the Leading Lady of their new lives!! 


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