THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Now. Here. This. and [title of show] Star Heidi Blickenstaff Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

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02 Jan 2013

Heidi Blickenstaff
Heidi Blickenstaff

Playbill.com's new feature series, Their Favorite Things, asks members of the theatre community to share the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience.

This week we spotlight the choices of [title of show] star Heidi Blickenstaff, who can be heard on the new Ghostlight Records release of the Vineyard Theatre's production of Now. Here. This.

(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)

 

The original Broadway cast of 42nd Street

 

"I was ten. It was my first Broadway show and my family and I were sitting in the nose-bleeds, having just gotten tickets from TKTS. From the second those taps started behind that curtain, I knew what I wanted to do."

 

 

Cats

 

"I never saw it on Broadway, but I saw the L.A. sit-down  company about five times. (I'm from California.) Cats rocked me so hard. I had been studying dance for years and I was obsessed with  Victoria, the white cat. I was on a dance team in 8th grade, and I talked my coach into adding a snippet of the Jellicle Ball into one of our routines. We were State Champions!!"

 

 

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Les Misérables

 

"In high school, I would race home and blast 'I Dreamed A Dream' over and over and over and over. I memorized Randy Graff's inflections and I swear to this day, I think there's a little Randy Graff filter in me. She's  still one of the best singing actresses I can think of."

Rebecca Luker in The Secret Garden

 

"What voice can break your heart faster than Rebecca Luker's? That luminous, delicate, gorgeously feminine performance is truly one of the most memorable I have ever seen on stage. She is incomparable. "

 

 

The Who's Tommy

 

"It changed everything I thought musicals had to be. It was so bold and loud and weird and vibrant — like an awesome sensory assault. I would go on to be in the National Tour of that show, which blew my mind. You don't always get to be in the shows you're obsessed with."

 

 

The revival of Chicago

 

"My first live Kander and Ebb experience. I was 20-something, at The Richard Rodgers Theatre, and I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole show. It was early in the run, before it won all its Tonys, and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was like magic. Something so simple and complex, so sexy and sweet, so funny and sad, all at the same moment. (And little did I know that there was a young, handsome, talented man, named Michael Berresse, in that show who would later become one of my collaborators and best friends.)"

 

Rent

 

"My first, and perhaps only, real fan-girl moment. In its first season, I waited in line to see this show probably about ten times. I know every word, every note. I recently taught a master class with Anthony Rapp, and I had to hold it together and not geek out."

 

 

Victoria Clark in The Light In the Piazza (and that whole show in general)

 

"It's still one of the only cast albums I ever listen to. 'Love! Love! Love if you can, my Clara! Love if you can and be loved!' Oh my God!!! It will make me cry every time! There is something about that show that has a direct pathway to my emotional core. It just kills me. It's obviously so romantic, but it's also so tragic and hopeful and desperate and lovely, and I don't think I'll ever get over it."

Spring Awakening

 

"There's not much I didn't love about this show. The music. The cast. The lighting design!! What was it about those blue hanging lights that still stick in my memory? So satisfying...  And that young cast was second to none. In particular I remember the  quietly ferocious Lilli Cooper. I think we're going to see a lot more from that girl. I love her."

 

 

The first preview of [title of show] on Broadway

 

"Is that creepy that I'm putting a show I was in on the list? It has less to do with me and more to do with what was shared on that particular night. I  have never, in my life, either as a performer or as an audience member, experienced anything like it. After we sang 'Nine People's Favorite Thing,' the applause just wouldn't stop. It. Wouldn't. Stop. I remember feeling like we were taking in the energy from every single person in that house. Like we became everything that everyone in that house wanted to be, whatever it was. We were living the dream for everyone. While we were succeeding, they were succeeding. It was this crazy energy circle that just kept going and going and going. We were little batteries that the audience was charging. I remember standing there, and tears rolled down my face. I was totally overwhelmed and proud to have made something that connected with people that night."