Chase's past theatre credits include the Off-Broadway production of The Toxic Avenger and First Wives Club (San Diego Theatre Critics Award, Best Supporting Actress).
She has appeared on screen in "The Other Guys," "Arthur," "Hello I Must Be Going," "Little Black Book," "The Office," "Michael & Michael Have Issues" and "Arrested Development."
Full given name:
Sara Elizabeth Chase
Where you were born/where you were raised:
West Hartford, CT
What your parents did/do for a living:
Mom is a museum docent/Michael's Arts and Crafts VIP customer. My father is an entrepreneur.
William, Allison, Melissa
Unintentionally making people feel uncomfortable, putting foot in mouth.
Something you're REALLY bad at:
Crafting. I want to be good but I stink.
First Broadway show you ever saw:
Meet Me in St. Louis when I was 7.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?
Gilda Radner Live From New York. I listen to it on vinyl.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:
I've been in L.A. the last year so I'm sorry to say I haven't seen much, but I did see Cinderella which I loved (plus as a bonus: you can see over the heads of most of the audience members.)
Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
"True Love," "Hello Young Lovers," "At The Ballet," "Talk to Me," "Lida Rose," "They Were You," "If I Loved You," "You Walk With Me," "What More Can I Say," "Something Good"-- all perfection.
Some favorite modern musicals:
I love anything Rupert Holmes.
Some favorite classic musicals:
A Chorus Line and The Fantasticks. Both perfect.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:
Carol Burnett. I go to the Paley Center for Media on 52nd Street to watch old "Gary Moore Show" episodes, her specials with Lucille Ball, and her specials with Julie Andrews. She never needed to be crass or swear to be hysterically funny. (Oh, it's so high up here on my soapbox!)
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead:
Rosemary Clooney. She delivers lyrics astonishingly well.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
Tie: Reba McEntire in Annie Get Your Gun. She was perfect for the role and her voice was spectacular. Gary Sinise in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I saw it with Santino Fontana when we were 18 and it was the first Broadway play either of us had ever seen. I never saw a performer so in command of a stage before.
Music that makes you cry, any genre:
Bagpipes! I do not know why.
MAC or PC?
Most played song on your iPod:
Doris Day's "It's Magic" (Can you tell my tastes run 90-year-old woman-like?)
My startup page has been Playbill.com since I was 16, so this Q&A is my nerd fantasy come true.
Last book you read:
Rick Steve's "Europe Through the Back Door." I just traveled Europe by myself.
Must-see TV show(s):
I'm too embarrassed to answer this. My taste in television is questionable.
Last good movie you saw:
I finally saw "Gone With the Wind."
Some films you consider classics:
"Troop Beverly Hills"
Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Martin Short or Melissa McCarthy
Pop culture guilty pleasure:
"Dance Moms." I know. I hate me, too.
Three favorite cities:
Salem, Mass (My sisters and I go every year for Halloween.) Salzburg, Austria (Stunning. I did the "Sound of Music" bike tour alone!) Marrakech, Morocco (Adventure + great food.)
Hartford Whalers. RIP.
First stage kiss:
As Sandy in Grease at summer camp at age 14. Totally uncomfortable. I remember counting the seconds in my head until it was over.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
My dad and I watched "Amadeus" when I was 6 and I knew I wasn't going to be an engineer.
How you got your Equity card:
Paul Daigneault of The SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston gave me my Equity card playing Marta in Company right before I graduated Boston University. He knew my next stop was New York. I cannot say enough good things about the SpeakEasy Stage Company.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
My only ritual surrounding food or drink is cutting myself off from liquids 90 minutes before curtain because I never leave the stage the entire show and I've made that painfully uncomfortable mistake before.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:
Sometimes at "places" I call our cast into the stairwell to sing a little ditty by the incomparable David Josefsberg (the title of which is way too dirty to print).
Most challenging role you have ever played:
Playing all three mistresses in First Wives Club the Musical because I had to change wigs and costumes so frequently and so rapidly that I have a tiny permanent bald patch on my hair line from sharp bobby pins.
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition?
I think "Criminal Intent" and my character's name was definitely Sarah.
Craziest audition story:
I sang that cheesy Peter Allen ballad "Don't Cry Out Loud" as a crazy woman trying desperately not to cry for a Broadway audition. I thought it was hysterical but the director (who shall remain nameless) did not and I most definitely did not get that job.
What has been the biggest challenge about this project?
Fighting off Zach Levi's advances. Enough already. Jeez! The biggest challenge is definitely not laughing during shows. Kristoffer Cusick and I sit together at a table on stage the entire show and he is always whispering the funniest things. The producers might let us start live tweeting from our table but only if we stay on good behavior and we don't miss any cues.
What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect?
Everything. I am so grateful for what I get to do and whom I get to do it with. This has been my dream since I was 6 and I can't imagine nicer people I get to do it with. Truly. Everyone from the producers to the crew are the nicest people I've ever worked with.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
This is very unprofessional, but at The Toxic Avenger, Demond Green, Matt Saldivar and I had a contest to see who could say the word "ochre" the most times during the show. Well I had a song called "Choose Me Oprah" so I just said ochre instead of Oprah the whole time… Oh excuse me, the Actors Equity police just showed up and are taking me to Equity prison as I type this...
Worst costume ever:
Whew I'm back! Equity jail was scary. The lighting is unflattering and they only give you five minute breaks to use the bathroom. Ok. Worst costume. Um, string bikini in First Wives Club (because I could only eat broccoli for three months.)
Worst job you ever had:
Interning at Upright Citizen's Brigade in New York was absolutely amazing, but a few nights it meant cleaning up people's vomit and sweeping up frozen rat carcasses. That, or being a camp counselor for theatre kids whose parents took some of them off their Ritalin for the summer. I think I cried every day.
If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be?
I love my track, but I'd love it more if I got to do it in slippers and a muumuu.
Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about?
My friend and I wrote an Amy Sedaris-like entertaining book about theme parties. We're shopping it around.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play:
Phyllis Neffler in Troop Beverly Hills the Musical. It doesn't exist yet, but can you imagine such numbers as "They Cut My Credit Card in Half," "Khaki Wishes and Caviar Dreams" and of course the 11 o'clock number "Getting Over the Log"?
Leading man role you'd like a shot at:
Finch in How to Succeed. What girl doesn't want to sing into a vanity?
Something about you that surprises people:
I am actually a shy homebody and a huge social cripple.
Something you are incredibly proud of:
Going to Europe by myself last month. I thought it would be weird or scary but it was wonderful. I went to Amsterdam, Holland, Prague, Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest and had a marvelous time.
Something you're embarrassed to admit:
Once I attended someone's birthday party because I wanted free food. Then they were so touched I came. I feel bad about that now.
Career you would want if not a performer:
Three things you can't live without:
My family, Starbucks, my phone
"I'll never understand…"
… sleeveless turtleneck sweaters. Are we cold? Are we hot?
Words of advice for aspiring performers:
Have a life outside of performing and be kind to everyone!