PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Paper Mill's Little Mermaid Star Jessica Grové

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18 Jun 2013

Jessica Grov
Jessica Grov

Musical theatre favorite Jessica Grové, currently starring as Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid at Paper Mill Playhouse, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Grové has appeared on Broadway in A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George (Celeste), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Dorothy) and Les Misérables (Eponine).

She starred as Dorothy in the 1990s national tour of The Wizard of Oz opposite Eartha Kitt and played Polly in the Julie Andrews-directed production of The Boy Friend.

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Full given name: Jessica Grace Grové

I did not add the accent over the e to make my name fancier... my dad is Afrikaans!

Where you were born/where you were raised: I was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, and raised in Columbus, Ohio.
Zodiac Sign:Aquarius
What your parents did/do for a living:My father is a financial advisor. My mother was a realtor while I was growing up, then my "stage mom" (but not the terrible kind!) and now she designs bags and accessories. Shameless plug:
Siblings: I have one older brother who is a video game designer living in Vietnam.
Current audition song/monologue:One of my favorites is "Is It Really Me?" from 110 in the Shade.
Special skills: A couple of them are eye crossing (which I have subtly worked into this role) and scuba diving (which is also coming in handy under the sea).
Something you're REALLY bad at: Riffing
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out as an actor? I grew up watching all of the old Judy Garland musical films, so she was probably my biggest inspiration.
First Broadway show you ever saw: The Secret Garden, and it is still one of my favorite shows of all time. I think I ended up seeing it 3 or 4 times as a kid.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? The original West Side Story
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Once ... loved it. And I really enjoyed Kinky Boots, too. And everyone should see Mamma Mia! because my husband is really great in it!
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "Till There Was You" from Music Man, "You Are Love" from Show Boat, "Say It Somehow" from Light in the Piazza and "Sunday" from Sunday in the Park
Some favorite modern musicals: The Light in the Piazza, The Drowsy Chaperone, anything Sondheim.
Some favorite classic musicals: Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, Anything Goes... I could go on... I love the classics.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: I have had amazing opportunities working with some living legends (Julie Andrews, Shirley Jones, Mickey Rooney, Eartha Kitt [who is no longer with us, sadly], but I would have loved to have worked with Gordon MacRea and Judy Garland.
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Living: Judy Kuhn. Dead: Ella Fitzgerald.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Anything that is a mother singing to her child. That song from "Dumbo" - "Baby Mine" - gets me every time.
Most played song on your iPod: "ABC" by The Jackson 5. We have dance parties to MJ with our son, Gavin, daily.
Most-visited websites: NY Times Real Estate page (I have a small obsession with real estate), and, of course!
Last book you read: Well, this is kind of embarrassing, but I just read my first James Patterson, "Now You See Her." I read it in 2 days... it is a page turner!
Must-see TV show(s): "New Girl," "The Voice," "American Idol," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Grey's Anatomy." And anything on HGTV that satisfies my real estate hunger.
Last good movie you saw: "Silver Linings Playbook"
Some films you consider classics: "The Sound of Music," "Gone with the Wind," "Beatle Juice"… that is a classic now, isn't it?
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "The Bachelor"… I know, it is terrible, but it just sucks you in.
Three favorite cities: Other than NYC: Chicago, Boston and San Francisco.
Favorite sport/team/player: Um...sports?! I really am not into sports at all! But I am always happy for NY when the Yankees are doing well.

And I care a little about how OSU's football team does since I am from Ohio.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Les Misérables cassette tape, but I also stole my brother's Counting Crows ("August and Everything After") cassette and have been a big fan ever since.
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