PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Carrie Star Molly Ranson

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Carrie Star Molly Ranson
Molly Ranson, currently taking on the title role in MCC Theater's revival of the musical Carrie, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Molly Ranson
Molly Ranson

Ranson has appeared on Broadway in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem and the Steppenwolf production of August: Osage County. She continued with August: Osage County at the National Theatre in London and at the Sydney Theatre Company in Australia.

Other theatre credits include The Burnt Part Boys and Pride and Prejudice.

She is a graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School, where she was the recipient of a Drama Desk Scholarship Award.

Full given name: Molly Abigail Ranson


Where you were born/where you were raised: Upper West Side of Manhattan
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
What your parents did/do for a living: My mom works in the pharmaceutical advertising industry. My dad was a carpenter. He helped build many a movie set and also a lot of the furniture I still use today.
Current audition song/monologue: I tend to try to find a song that fits the show perfectly and will often drive myself insane clicking through iTunes.
Special skills: I have some nifty levitation tricks up my sleeve, thanks to Carrie.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Getting rid of things. I attach way too much sentimental value to everything.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Hello Dolly! with Carol Channing when I was 5. I enjoyed it but remember being confused as to why it was so different from the movie.
If you could go back in time and catch any performance, what would it be? Original cast of A Chorus Line and Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl
Current shows you have been recommending to friends: Sleep No More and Once
Favorite showtune of all time: “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady
“Hello Dolly” from Hello Dolly!
“Maybe this Time” from Cabaret
“Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music
Some favorite modern musicals:

Movie musicals I grew up on like My Fair Lady, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof... I also love pretty much everything by Sondheim, and more recently I loved The Light in the Piazza.

Favorite contemporary plays: I’m a big fan of Stephen Adly Guirgis and Martin McDonagh
Stage or screen star of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Charlie Chaplin
Your personal acting idols, living or dead: Marin Mazzie is a huge inspiration to me. I also have learned so much from and deeply respect my castmates in August: Osage County and Jerusalem.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: The final performance of A Normal Heart
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Show overtures. The lights go down, the music starts, and that's it.
What you learned from Mark Rylance: The beauty of being spontaneous and how to take a bloody curtain call!
Most played song on your iPod: "Blue Ridge Mountains" by Fleet Foxes. I listen to the whole album a lot.
Most-visited websites: YouTube
Last book you read: "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass
Last good movie you saw: "The Artist"
Some films you consider classics: "The Graduate"
"The Wizard of Oz"
Favorite horror films of all time: "Rosemary’s Baby"
"Paranormal Activity"
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
What was your experience with/knowledge of the Carrie musical prior to becoming involved? I didn’t know anything about the musical but had always been a fan of the movie.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Mark Rylance performing Shakespeare
Pop culture guilty pleasure: “Jersey Shore”
Favorite cities: New York is obviously my favorite, but I also love Paris, Sydney and London.
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Spice Girls
Favorite non-theatre musicians/bands/groups: Beatles, Beck, Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, Buena Vista Social Club, CocoRosie, Astrud Gilberto, Regina Spektor, David Bowie, Queen, Arcade Fire
First stage kiss: The boy who played Danny to my Sandy in Grease at Long Lake Camp for the Arts circa 2004.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Most memorable: A tree in New York City Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty when I was 9. I had to wear a hooded brown unitard and my head got stuck in the costume. The wardrobe women had to cut it apart to get me out of it.
How you got your Equity card: Understudying in August: Osage County
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: I’ve recently taken up eating organic baby food from a squeeze tube. I buy it from Health and Harmony down the block on Hudson. It’s a quick, nourishing pre-show snack. My castmates enjoy making fun of me for it.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Anything from Juice Generation. My current favorite is Mate Zen.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Stretching, vocalizing, breathing and drinking hot water with apple cider vinegar
Most challenging role you have ever played: Carrie!
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

Before we mastered all the quick changes, I had a few hilarious costume mishaps for the volley ball section of the opening number, "In." I've performed the section wearing the knee pads I use for "And Eve Was Weak" since I put them on too early, and I forgot to wear my gym shorts once and played volley ball wearing my long skirt.

Worst costume ever: The unitard tree costume
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Annie... I think I missed my chance.
Leading man role you wish you could play: Tevye
Something about you that surprises people: I'm quite a handyman. I love fixing things.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Being a part of this show for the past two years.
Your New Year's Resolution for 2012: To be in each moment
Career you would want if not a performer: A plumber. I LOVE unclogging drains.
Three things you can't live without: Food, water and oxygen.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Value and trust your uniqueness.
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