Friday, September 5, 2014

Interview: Elena Shaddow Talks BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, 54 Below, and More!

I did not publish a blog post on my usual day this week, Monday, because I wanted to wait to bring something extra special: an interview I did for! Last week, I got to talk with an amazing performer who basically has the voice of an angel. Elena Shaddow will be performing at 54 Below tomorrow night, and I'd say it's about time that she had a solo concert!

So check out some excerpts below, but make sure to read the whole interview on!

"So you have a 54 Below concert coming up on September 6; can you tell me about that?

"Yeah! It's titled "Always Better: The New Golden Age of Broadway," and it's sort of a combination of some of my favorite things that I've sung over my career, but also I'm singing songs by composers that have really inspired me, and whose music speaks to me as a performer. I like to explore some of the newer composers that are out there... I'm opening with an Andrew Lippa song called "Spread a Little Joy," and then I'm singing a song that I was supposed to be singing on Broadway this fall, in TITANIC. I had booked TITANIC also, the smaller, scaled down version of it, and they were adding songs back in to the revival. They were adding a song in that had not been in the original, and I was going to premiere it. So I'm singing that, and that whole show has been sort of put on a shelf, unfortunately. I was hoping to sing it on Broadway, but I'll sing it at 54 Below. And then, I'm singing a trio with my friends Caitlin Kinnunen and Jessica Vosk, who are my friends from BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY...

"So there's quite a spread of styles in there. I'm also singing a Sara Bareilles song. I'm pretty much staying very true to the Broadway core, though, and staying true to the fact that I called it "The Golden Age of Broadway," so there's like a reason for the other songs I'm singing, which will be detailed in the show when I perform it. There are some very beautiful, lyrical, interesting, very acting-based songs. I always like to choose those...

"I've seen you use the word "legit" to describe the singing style of the songs your singing and how you sing, so can you explain that concept?

"Yeah, well for me, "legit" is, I mean, it's a voice type. A legit soprano is a voice type, so usually it's a singer who doesn't usually get into their chest voice as much, or they sing in a more lyrical fashion, and it's not as quote, "belty," and, you know, that doesn't mean that a legit soprano can't be contemporary, but it's a voice type more than anything. I think that in a world of Sutton Fosters and Idina Menzels and Lea Micheles that have these incredibly strong, powerful voices, sopranos tend to be thought of as maybe not as exciting, and I think that couldn't be further from the truth, it's just what our pop culture has supported lately...

"And then of course, you also did the premiere of Bridges of Madison County. How did that go?

"Bridges was complicated, and I think it something probably a lot of people are hearing about, what my experience was with that, but the thing is, that I knew going in that Kelli O'Hara was going to take the role back to Broadway, when I had the chance to originate it out of town. And for me, that alone was the payoff, just having the opportunity to create in a room with Jason [Robert Brown] and Bart[lett Sher] and Marsha Norman.

"I know that my influence on the staging and my influence on the book and on some of the acting detail was in the Broadway production, for sure, and that's something that I can be proud of and say that I created that. I created that walk, or that was my idea to go back around that way or whatever, or that inflection. I didn't expect to connect to it so deeply. And that's not to discredit Kelli, who is an incredible actress and a beautiful singer, obviously, and the kindest, strongest woman I've ever met, and so for her to step in so gracefully and to be A. a new mother, B., have to be like, "Ok, well now this is mine," I think that she is incredible, and she taught me a lot. And so overall, the experience was wonderful, and I wouldn't change a thing. It was just, like I said, it was just complicated. But beautiful and so, so special."

Watch her sing "One Second and Million Miles to Go" from Bridges of Madison County!

"Besides that, you've gotten to do some great ingénue roles in your career. Which ones have really stood out to you?

"Well, I really loved playing Lili in CARNIVAL. For me, that was a huge step forward in my acting and in my singing, because the character, the way that our director envisioned the show, was a little bit darker, a little less conventional. I got to really explore the darker side of- if there could be a darker side of- an ingénue. And that was fun for me. I think a lot of people were on board with my portrayal of Lili, but there were some people who were not happy about my portrayal."

This talented actress could not have been more gracious when speaking about her career, and particularly those she has worked with. If you're in NYC, definitely try to go see her!

Sally Henry // Twitter: // Facebook:

No comments:

Post a Comment