Caroline Innerbichler knows how to let the sunlight in, lyrically and energetically. As the young actor prepares to make her Broadway debut in Shucked, Innerbichler lights up the performance studio with the ballad “Walls,” as part of Playbill’s Spring Preview video series (sponsored by Cadillac). Watch her perform "Walls" in the video above, accompanied by Jason Howland and Kevin Rammesar.
Shucked follows Maizy (Innerbichler), a resident of Cobb County, where growing corn is the townspeople’s livelihood. When farming troubles threaten their way of life, Maizy must travel outside the town’s limits and find help. After having played Anna on the Frozen national tour, Innerbichler knows something about feel-good musicals and she says Shucked is exactly the joyful piece audiences need right now.
“Maizy is not your typical young ingenue,” Innerbichler says. “The thing I love about her is that she is flawed. She’s not perfect. And I find that a lot of her quirks are some of the things that end up helping her in the end. It feels really good to play [Maizy] because everybody could use a little looking on the bright side.”
Shucked began previews March 8 at the Nederlander Theatre, with opening night set for April 4. The company includes Alex Newell (Once on This Island), John Behlmann (Tootsie), and Grey Henson (Mean Girls). Shucked features music and lyrics by songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, a book by Robert Horn, and direction by Jack O’Brien.
In the context of the show, "Walls" takes place toward the beginning of the musical, when the corn crops are threatened by disease and Maizy recognizes her community’s livelihood is at stake. In order to save the town, she realizes that they will have to change their ways.
“[During 'Walls'], Maizy is thinking about why it’s so hard for them to ask for help, and why it is so hard to ask for help in general,” Innerbichler says. “Why does our pride get in the way of us improving our lives, or solving our problems? It shows what a small-town mentality can do on the negative end.”
The song she’s singing may be a slow ballad, but Innerbichler emphasizes that she wants those who attend Shucked to experience joy. The musical comedy is sure to lift audiences’ spirits with a collection of corny jokes (and we don’t mean that figuratively).
“I want people to laugh again. There’s a lot of negativity in the world,” Innerbichler says. “We need a moment to relax and laugh together as a community. I think theatre serves us so well as people that need to heal.”
See photos of Innerbichler's exclusive Playbill shoot below.