PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Mamma Mia! Star Beth Leavel

By Matthew Blank
June 22, 2010

Tony Award winner Beth Leavel currently starring as Donna in Broadway's Mamma Mia! fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.


Full given name: Lizabeth Lynne Leavel... I could never have a monogram because it looked like a bunch of swirls.
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio!!
Audition song/monologue: "I Got Rhythm" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." I have not done a monologue in years!
Special skills: I have quite the flair for decorating.
First Broadway show ever saw: Hello, Dolly! with Pearl Bailey
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Would love to catch opening night of Funny Girl. Can you imagine?
Current show you have been recommending to friends: Our Town, Everyday Rapture and South Pacific. Now if I could only find a night off and go SEE them!
Favorite show tune: I have so many favorite show tunes, but I am humming "Steppin' to the Bad Side" from Dreamgirls right now.
MAC or PC? PC
Most played song on your iPod: James Taylor's "Wichita Lineman"
Web obsession: Blasterball. That's right...
Last book you read: Still reading them... one day I will finish.
Must-see TV show: "Modern Family" and "American Idol." I got so addicted... sigh.
Last good movie you saw: I don't see nearly enough movies, but I really enjoyed "Avatar" and "Up."
Favorite card game: Kings in the Corner. Don't get me started with the computer card games! i.e. Spider Solitaire....
Performer you would drop everything to go see: I would drop everything to see Earth, Wind and Fire... then James Taylor.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "American Idol"!
First stage kiss: Brigadoon, senior year of high school. Wow...
Favorite post-show meal: Homemade nachos!
How you got your Equity card: As an intern with the Penn Stage Company.
Worst onstage mishap: Summer stock, Pajama Game. Heard my cue line and came running on stage... two scenes too early.

Talk about making up lines to help the audience figure out the plot!

Worst costume ever: College. Couldn't find a "club act" outfit so I wore my dorm mate's reject majorette outfit. Silver. Sequins. Fringe.
Pre-show rituals: They change with every show. With Mamma Mia! it is a lot of stretching and vocal warm up, then hanging out back stage with cast and crew when the show begins, until my entrance.
Pets' names: Toby, Louie, Nicky and Joey
Dog, dog, cat, cat.
Favorite junk food: See above mentioned "homemade" nachos. And french fries.
Worst job you ever had: Gift wrapping at a drug store during the holidays. I wrapped an ironing board.
TV or commercial gig you most enjoyed: Loved doing the finale of "ER" last year. Such a privilege. Also had a blast filming a commercial about a heating product where I just soaked in a bathtub all afternoon.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Mamma Rose
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition? I was the mom who finds the dead body in the park on "Law and Order: SVU"
Favorite ABBA tune: "The Name of the Game"