PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Wicked and Kinky Boots Star Jeanna de Waal

By Matthew Blank
April 8, 2014

Jeanna de Waal, who plays the role of Lauren in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

She has appeared on the New York stage in American Idiot (Heather) and Carrie (Chris Hargensen).

Other stage work includes We Will Rock You (West End), Glinda in the national tour of Wicked and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show at the Old Globe.

De Waal trained at the Arts Educational School, Tring Park, and has a BA degree from the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts.

Full given name: Jeanna de Waal
Where you were born/where you were raised: I was born in Germany. I lived in a small town near the Austrian border until around the age of 6, before moving to England. I moved to New York in September 2010.
Siblings: I have one sister, Dani de Waal, who is also an actor. She is currently playing the role of "Girl" in the 1st national tour of Once.
First Broadway/West End show you ever saw: I think the first West End show I ever saw was Cats. If it wasn't the first, it was very near the beginning. We sat very close and I remember being really scared.

Growing up, my parents would bring my sister and me to New York almost once a year. We would normally come for a long weekend and we would cram in as many shows as we could. Until I moved here I didn't realize there was more to New York than Times Square! (joke, but for realz)

These vacations consisted only of eating tons of food and seeing shows. We were obsessive. Quite a few times our plane got in a little early and we would make our parents taxi straight from the airport to an 8 PM show and just leave all our suitcases in the theatre foyer!!!

Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Spring Awakening! I still have never seen a production of it. One day I will make a trip to the Lincoln Center archives and watch it.
Some favorite musicals: Pippin. I thought that show was one of the best productions I've ever seen. I bought full priced house seats to it three times. $$$ ouch! But so worth it. I died, I died.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: One! I can't do it! Here are the finalists:

Dv8 - The Cost Of Living - London, UK

Frantic Assembly - Pool No Water - Liverpool, UK

The first time I saw Jerusalem, Royal Court, London. Standing room, restricted view, my ticket cost £2!

The Color Purple, New Year's Eve, original cast. Broadway.

Megan Hilty's Glinda - which was also the first time I saw Wicked. Broadway.

Pippin!! Broadway revival.

Boeing-Boeing - Broadway 2008

The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time. London

Most played song on your iPod: "The Human Stain" by Philip Roth. Two books I have recently read and LOVED are "One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest" and "The Wind Up Bird Chronicle."
Last book you read: "The Science of Good and Evil" by Michael Shermer
Last good movie you saw: All the Oscar movies, what a brilliant year!
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Queen B! #flawless
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "Dance Moms." I don't watch them regularly but if they happen to be on, they will win over most other things. And reruns of "Friends" and "Sex in the City."
First stage kiss: Bugsy Malone
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: A nearly all female production of 12 Angry Men.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Seltzer water, coffee and beer
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Different for every show. I like a good neck roll before a Kinky performance.
Most challenging role you have ever played: Glinda
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: In “Popular” I hit my head with the green bottle when I pulled it out of Elphaba's hand. An egg swelled up on my forehead almost instantly. It was absolutely huge, so big it was casting a shadow over my face.

Christine Dwyer, who was playing Elphaba, didn't know what had happened and initially thought I was having an allergic reaction. When she finally realized what had happened, we got the giggles so badly we couldn't even look each other in the eye.

A very challenging but brilliant show, holding in my giggles. My stomach was sore for days.

Worst job you ever had: Catering, I hated every minute of it.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? One of the Angels
Career you would want if not a performer: Jim Cramer's
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Follow your bliss.