PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Candide Star Lauren Molina | Playbill

News PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Candide Star Lauren Molina
Lauren Molina, who reprises her performance as Cunegonde in the Mary Zimmerman-directed production of Candide at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Lauren Molina
Lauren Molina

Molina made her Broadway debut as Johanna in the 2005 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and created the role of Regina in the Off-Broadway and Broadway stagings of Rock of Ages.

She was featured in The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim concert with Barbara Cook and Patti LuPone at the Westport Playhouse and performed with Sarah Brightman on the La Luna tour. In 2010 she released her first full-length album, entitled "Sea For Two."

Full given name: Lauren Alexis Molina
Where you were born/where you were raised: Detroit, Michigan
Zodiac Sign: Aries
What your parents did/do for a living: My father Stephen Molina is the Assistant Principal Bassist and Personnel Manager of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. My mother Judith Molina is the Director of the Institute of Music and Dance at Marygrove College and is a dancer and teacher of modern, ballet and jazz.

Current audition song: I like to keep it fresh, and mix it up. I often sing songs from the shows in which I'm auditioning.
Special skills: Gotta love the special skills. Playing the cello was the reason I got my big break in the revival of Sweeney Todd. I also play ukulele, guitar, bass, a bit of piano, saxophone, percussion. I just got a mandolin and I'm excited to improve.


I can do a variety of dialects, and speak French, some Spanish and Italian. I don't know if these count, but I paint, draw, do yoga, bike, rollerblade and surf.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Folding fitted sheets. Playing anything brass... I sound like a wet fart or a dying cow. Also, pirouettes are my nemesis.
First Broadway show you ever saw: The Goodbye Girl when I was 11 years old. My cousin Lisa Molina was one of the kids in it. I met Martin Short and Bernadette Peters backstage (both who would later become idols of mine), and they couldn't have been nicer. At the time, I didn't know my future would lead to me becoming an actor, though I loved to perform. At 9 years old, I saw the national tour of Les Miserables and immediately "Castle on a Cloud" was my favorite song to sing.

If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? The original Sweeney Todd
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: The Book of Mormon and Sleep No More
Favorite showtune of all time: At the time I read this question, I was stumped. I have so many favorites. But then my friend and castmate Jessica Wright pulled conjoined green gummy bear twins out of a bag of gummies, and we instantly broke out into "I Will Never Leave You" from Side Show. That's a pretty good one... but seriously, anything Sondheim writes is gold in my book.

Some favorite musicals: Cabaret
Into the Woods
Once On This Island
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Avenue Q
Book of Mormon
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Not in this order: Uta Hagen, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Judy Garland, Chris Farley, Charlie Chaplin, Danny Kaye, Fred Astaire
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead Hard to say, from Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker, to Joni Mitchell, to Natalie Dessay, to Laura Marling and Janelle Monae.
One performance - attended - that you will never forget: Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Amazing!
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Barber's Adagio for Strings. Always gets me.
MAC or PC? MAC, duh.
Most played song on your iPod: I have been listening to the new album from The Hollows, "Belong to the Land," a lot recently. Great songs.
Most-visited websites:
Last book you read: "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk" by David Sedaris
Must-see TV shows: "Modern Family"
"Arrested Development"
"Six Feet Under"
Last good movie you saw: "Midnight In Paris"
Some films you consider classics: "Singin' In the Rain"
"The Princess Bride"
"Cinema Paradiso"
"Annie Hall"
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Beyonce and Rihanna
Favorite cities: In the US: New York, Chicago, San Francisco
In the world: Berlin, Paris, Florence
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: New Kids on the Block was my first CD. My first tape was either The Bangles or Wilson Phillips.
Favorite non-theatre musicians/bands/groups: The Black Keys, Regina Spektor, Adele, Broken Bells, Mumford and Sons, The National, Arcade Fire, Dirty Projectors
When did you first realize you could sing? In 5th grade, I was cast as Maria in our elementary production of The Sound of Music. It was hilarious because I was so tiny. All of the Von Trapp children were much taller than me.
First stage kiss: I was 16 years old and played Lady Larkin in Once Upon a Mattress.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: My sophomore year of high school, I encouraged my older brother David to audition for the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. When the cast list went up, I saw that I was cast as Hodel and David was cast as Perchik. We were to play opposite each other! I thought there must be a mistake, but after storming into my theatre teacher's office, he said, "No, there's no mistake. You won't have to kiss, just dance with each other." The rest of the cast was incredible, and after getting over the brother awkwardness, it ended up being an incredible role to act and sing.

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: My freshman year of college. I was undecided in my major, taking a smattering of liberal arts classes, but doing tons of extracurricular student-produced shows. I got up the courage to audition for the music school as a voice major, then transferred into the Musical Theatre Program at University of Michigan the following year.

How you got your Equity card: Theatreworks' The Just So Stories. I played the Leopard grin
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Post-show Toloache for fish tacos and the signature margarita!
Favorite liquid refreshment: Coconut water (vita coco) and the Basil Lime Daiquiri at ABC Kitchen... so refreshing.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Singing along to my pre-recorded vocal warm-up with my voice teacher Candace Goetz.
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Cunegonde in Candide
Worst job you ever had: I was a chambermaid at a resort in Maine where I woke up at the crack of dawn, cleaned rooms, scrubbed toilets, made beds and did laundry during the hot daytime hours, and then performed for the guests at night.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress
Something about you that surprises people: I can sing whistle tones, in the Mariah Carey land. I just discovered this ability in the last year. I find it hilarious and so fun.
Something you are incredibly proud of: My comedy webseries "Rock of Ages Productions," and collaborative sketch and film work with Mitch Jarvis and Wesley Taylor.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I hate scary movies (I have to close my eyes), and haunted houses. I once was in a haunted house in Niagara Falls, the room was pitch black and suddenly something jumped out at me. I screamed and ran/leaped away with full force right into a wall. I broke my thumb and hurt my knee pretty badly.
Career you would want if not a performer: Writing music. I would also love to direct. On the opposite spectrum, I think I would be a teacher or start a business.
Three things you can't live without: Trader Joe's, my MacBook Pro and Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream
Words of wisdom for aspiring performers? Enrich yourself by exploring everything possible, travel the world, and be true to who you are.

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