Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Woman Crush Wednesday: Karen Olivo

Karen Olivo in: Tick... Tick... Boom!, In the Heights,
and West Side Story
This past weekend I discovered this amazing new musical- maybe you've heard of it. It's called In the Heights, and it's by this genius Lin-Manuel Miranda...

Ok, yeah, I know it's not a new musical, and Miranda is certainly not a random guy! I finally listened to it a few days ago and fell absolutely in love! And of course one of the side-effects of my finding new favorite shows is I often develop a new crush. So my newest girl crush is Karen Olivo.

She played Vanessa in the original Broadway cast of In the Heights, but she also famously played Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. Olivo has an incredible voice and acts with this powerful stillness that undeniably draws you in. Oh, and she's gorgeous!

So check out some of my favorite clips from her theatre career!

"It Won't Be Long Now," In the Heights
She's a good percentage of the reason why I have been listening to that show on repeat for the last three days.

"Come to Your Senses," Tick... Tick... Boom!
While Broadway fans may know her best for In the Heights and West Side Story, they may not have seen clips from her turn in NY City Center's ENCORES production of Tick... Tick... Boom. This all-but-forgotten musical written by Rent's Jonathan Larson took place just last June. Yet again, she played opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda. And I'm totally ok with that. (The quality of the video isn't great, but that's what happens with bootlegs, right? But just listen to her earnestness!)

"America," West Side Story
Because Anita IS America, y'all! Part of the reason why I love her so much in this role is due to the choreography and the costume decision. The choreography in the first WSS revival underwhelmed me completely, and I definitely wasn't a fan of the short-hair they gave Anita in previous Broadway productions and the movie. But this totally remedies those! Her long hair shouldn't make me this excited, but it's just so perfect, don't you think? Oh, and of course she won the Tony Award for her role.

Currently, Karen Olivo is helping out with Chat4Charity, raising money for BC/EFA by taking phone calls from and autographing memorabilia for fans. Check out her Chat4Charity page here.

I hope to see her back on Broadway very soon! Can you tell why?

Sally Henry // Twitter: @BwayGinger // Facebook:

Photo credits: NY City Center; Joan Marcus; Joan Marcus

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