PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Phantom of the Opera U.S. Tour Star Julia Udine

By Matthew Blank
January 14, 2014

Julia Udine stars as Christine Daae in the newly re-imagined U.S. tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. She fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.



Udine's theatre work includes Jack's Back (Jenny) and West Side Story (Maria). She has appeared on the small screen in "Law and Order: SVU" and "All My Children."

This marks her touring debut.



Full given name:

Julia Rose Udine

Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Camden, NJ. Raised in Voorhees, NJ.
Zodiac Sign: Leo the lion!
What your parents did/do for a living: My dad is a financial advisor and my mom was an O.R. nurse.
Siblings: I have two older brothers, Joe and Ryan, and an older sister, Michelle. Joe and Ryan used to play sports (baseball and soccer), and now they are both financial advisors. My sister was a dancer growing up and now she is in her fourth year of medical school, applying to residencies for Pediatrics!
Current audition song/monologue: "I Have Dreamed" from The King and I, "The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress" by Jimmy Webb or "Take Me to the World" by Stephen Sondheim.
Special skills: I have no idea! I can do pointe? Is that special?
Something you're REALLY bad at: Driving. Well okay I’m not THAT bad… maybe just parking ;) Basically I should just stay off the roads altogether.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. I fell in love with it! I wanted to be Belle for the longest time, and got to play her in 8th grade. Would love to do it again!
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? My Fair Lady
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out? My voice teacher, Melissa Daniels, and my dance instructor, Andrea Duffin. They both taught me discipline. I still go back to both of them whenever I am home because they continue to inspire and challenge me.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Pippin is amazing!!! Definitely worth seeing. Also, I just loved Newsies and it is a show that I always recommend!
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: Anything West Side Story: ”Tonight" or "A Boy Like That/I Have a Love"
Some favorite modern musicals: In the Heights, The Light in the Piazza, The Last Five Years, A Chorus Line, Chicago
Some favorite classic musicals: West Side Story, Les Miserables
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Audrey Hepburn
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Audra McDonald and Lea Salonga. Both have so much color in their voices, and they always sound so beautiful and healthy.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Audra McDonald in Porgy and Bess. I’m getting chills even thinking about it now!!
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Adele! So much heart and soul. Depending on the kind of day I’m having, I definitely listen to her when I need a good cry!
MAC or PC? Definitely MAC!
Most played song on your iPod: Beyonce's "Love on Top" and Justin Timberlake's "Pusher Love Girl"
Most-visited websites: Google and Facebook
Last book you read: "The Phantom of the Opera" novel by Gaston Leroux
Must-see TV show(s): I’m obsessed with "Homeland" right now! But pretty much every time I turn on my TV I end up watching "Friends," "Boy Meets World," "That 70s Show" or "Gilmore Girls."
Last good movie you saw: Hmm I haven’t been to the movies in a while, but I remember loving "We’re the Millers"… so funny.
Some films you consider classics: "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," "Titanic" and "The Notebook" (obviously my favorite movie)
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Beyonce. I was lucky enough to see her twice in concert this summer and I’m obsessed.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Jersey Shore." I can’t resist watching it every time reruns are on. That, and "America's Next Top Model." I could watch marathon after marathon and my eyes would still be glued!!
Three favorite cities: NYC, Philly, and… I think I’ll have a better idea after this year what number three will be!
Favorite sport/team/player: I come from a big Philly fan family! Go Eagles!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: It was either Britney Spears or NSYNC
First stage kiss: Alex Cunningham. He was my prince in Cinderella in 7th grade. Then his younger brother, Brian, was my second stage kiss in Beauty and the Beast the following year. Haha!


Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Cinderella! It was my first lead in a show ever, and a wonderful memory.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I can’t remember a specific moment, but I think I always kind of knew this is what I wanted to be doing. I didn’t really think there was anything else TO do.
How you got your Equity card: I am getting my Equity card through this tour of The Phantom of the Opera!!
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) I like a nice plate of pasta before the show with my mom’s homemade tomato sauce and meatballs, or with some yummy vegetables.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Mmmm grande soy Chai Tea latte from Starbucks!
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I usually do a short ballet barre to warm my body up, listen to some good music and I drink hot water with honey!
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Velma in Chicago was pretty challenging, but I’d have to say Christine takes the cake so far!
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: When I was about 11 years old I played Baby June in Gypsy, and there was this walkway that came right out into the middle of the pit. During some of the choreography I had to do passé marches moving backwards and I went on a diagonal and fell directly into the pit onto the man playing the cello! Thank god he caught me and I only broke a few lightbulbs!
Worst costume ever: My spring ballet one year. I was a jester and we had to wear these awful patterned unitards and hats that looks like an octopus on our heads with bells attached! Yikes...
Worst job you ever had: Does being a student count??
Craziest audition story: I haven’t had any crazy auditions yet! *fingers crossed*!
What was your first experience with Phantom? When did you first see/hear it? I first saw the show when I was about 12 years old with my whole family, and remember singing the songs from then on. I used to sing "Think of Me" and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" in my voice lessons as a young girl!
Do you have a favorite moment in the show for Christine? Definitely "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" and "The Point of No Return." You see her really grow into a woman in "Wishing" and you get to see a totally different side in "No Return."
What are some other Andrew Lloyd Webber roles you'd love to play? I think it would be really wonderful to play Jemima or Jellylorum/Griddlebone in Cats!
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Ahhh I think it would have to be one of the managers. Either Andre or Firmin… they are so fun!!!
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Maria in West Side Story. I got to play her when I was in high school, but it has always been a dream role of mine!
Leading man role you wish you could play: Jack Kelly in Newsies
Something about you that surprises people: Three quarters of my iPod is rap music!!! I love Eminem, Drake, Nicki Minaj.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Coming from such a supportive family. I have 31 cousins on my mom’s side alone, and three on my dad’s side. I love them and all my aunts and uncles dearly. And, of course, I’d be nowhere without my siblings, parents and grandparents. They are my backbone.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I can finish an entire box of Cheez-Its in under an hour.
Career you would want if not a performer: I think I’d be a hairdresser. Whenever I go out with friends I always do everyone’s hair, and I think it would be so much fun to do that and talk to people all day and hear their secrets ;)
Three things you can't live without: My niece, chai tea and my Palmers cocoa butter Chapstick!!!! It is with me everywhere I go!
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Never stop learning and stay humble.