Welcome to Simply Kelli, a fansite dedicated to Kelli O'hara.
Simply KelliMobile version
March 12, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on BWW TV: Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase & Company Explain Why They’re So in Love with KISS ME, KATE! 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate

March 12, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on No Hate in This Kate 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate
TEXT BY PAUL WONTOREK | PHOTOS BY CAITLIN MCNANEY | ILLUSTRATIONS BY RYAN CASEY
Tony winner KELLI O’HARA and her Tony-nominated friend and co-star WILL CHASE have been testing out their chemistry for a big Broadway musical like Kiss Me, Kate! for a dozen years now. First they teamed up for a five-day run of Oklahoma! actually in Oklahoma in 2007, followed by a four-day concert run of Bells Are Ringing at City Center in 2010, and then a week-long in Nice Work If You Can Get It when Chase covered for O’Hara’s vacationing leading man Matthew Broderick in 2012. But Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham, the sparring lovers at the center of Kiss Me, Kate!, are the kind of robust classic roles that allow these two stage faves the chance to do what they do best: sing beautifully and make us (and each other) laugh. 

BROADWAY.COM: This revival started as a one-night thing. 

KELLI O’HARA: We did that concert in… ’16? Gosh, in 2016. We had a blast. And then they said, “Let’s do it!” 

WILL CHASE: Well, they actually said let’s do it in the fall of 2017. [Points to O’Hara.] Not available. “Let’s do it in 2018!” [Coughs.] Not available. She’s been busy! 

O’HARA: And then they said, “Let’s do it in 2019!” [Points to Chase.] He gets a TV show. We’ll see how long he lasts. 

CHASE: Steven Pasquale wasn’t available so I was! But the main point is, we needed a comedy. We need a good, old-fashioned musical comedy. 

– Read More –

March 8, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on Kelli O’Hara, Alex Timbers & Taylor Mac to Receive Special 2019 Drama League Awards 2019, awards, Broadway

 

The Drama League has announced a trio of theater stars who will be recognized for their achievements at the 2019 Drama League Awards. The 85th annual ceremony will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 17.

The three 2019 special honorees are Tony-winning actress Kelli O’Hara (Kiss Me, Kate) who will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; Tony-nominated director Alex Timbers (BeetlejuiceMoulin Rouge!) who will be honored with the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; and Pulitzer-finalist playwright Taylor Mac (Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus) receiving the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award.

These honors are in addition to the five competitive Drama League Awards: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award. The 2019 nominees for these five awards will be announced on April 17 at 11:00am at Sardi’s Restaurant.

First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America.

 

 

https://www.broadway.com/buzz/195051/kelli-ohara-alex-timbers-taylor-mac-to-receive-special-2019-drama-league-awards/?fbclid=IwAR395eLEFPVbE9r7AVsHHLp3YCnwME9mi-vejnSHWcnzoFNQJG7H2hu9L4I

February 11, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on New Concerts with Kelli announced in London 2019!! 2019, Concert

 

10 NOVEMBER 2019, 2.30PM & 6.30PM

Broadway’s KELLI O’HARA returns to London in November 2019 after the smash hit run of The King and I at London’s Palladium to play her debut London solo concert engagement at Cadogan Hall.

GET TICKETS HERE

 

Kelli O’Hara recently received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series “The Accidental Wolf”. On Broadway, Kelli’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League and Outer Critics nominations.

O’Hara reprised her Tony Winning role while making her West End debut this past summer for which The Times hailed her as “Broadway musical’s undisputed queen” adding “Kelli O’Hara does not just play Anna, she owns the part”.

January 21, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on 5 Untold Stories From Kelli O’Hara’s Broadway Career 2019, Concert, Kiss Me Kate

From Sweet Smell of Success to The Light in the Piazza and more, the Tony-winning actor reveals little known facts and embarrassing tales.

 

hen Kelli O’Hara took the stage at New York City’s Town Hall January 14, she had just finished a full day of rehearsal for Roundabout Theatre Company’s upcoming Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate. As a mom back on Broadway, O’Hara said that she was careful about scheduling too many outside things, but that a concert with Rudetsky is too special to turn down.

O’Hara joined Seth Rudetsky in another evening of unfettered conversation and unrivaled musicality in Broadway at The Town Hall. Through his long history with the Tony-winning actor (a six-time Tony nominee) and his quick wit, Rudetsky put O’Hara at ease—much as he did Audra McDonald at his inaugural concert in the series—and it was the audience’s gain. In between her soaring soprano (singing tunes like “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “This Nearly Was Mine,” and “The Light in the Piazza,”) O’Hara revealed some gems from the beginning of her career through today.

1. O’Hara played two roles in Follies in the same performance.
As part of the 2001 Broadway revival of Follies, O’Hara played Young Hattie and understudied the roles of Young Sally, Young Phyllis, and Young Heidi. When the actor who played Young Phyllis left the show, O’Hara fought to be officially moved up to the role. (The powers that be had wanted to keep her as the cover and train a new actor in one role, rather than a new cover and teach them four.) O’Hara won the battle and replaced as Young Phyllis, but in one performance the actor who was Young Heidi was out and the new cover hadn’t learned that role yet. So O’Hara played Young Heidi and Young Phyllis in the same performance.

2. She earned the part of Susan in Sweet Smell of Success after snapping at Marvin Hamlisch.
O’Hara dashed to the audition for Sweet Smell of Success while on her lunch break from working on another show. She pounded on the door until someone answered and begged to be seen, even though everyone was technically on their lunch break. (Remember this is before she was “Kelli O’Hara.”) The creative team agreed but the accompanist had gone to lunch. So the composer said, “I’ll just have to play for you.” (It was Marvin Hamlisch.) O’Hara didn’t recognize Hamlisch by face, and when she started singing and he played too slowly, she snapped to get him up to speed! She got the role and it was a story Hamlisch often told when the two of them performed together at future symphony concerts.

3. Though she wound up with a Tony nomination for The Pajama Game, she was not the first person offered the role of Babe opposite Harry Connick, Jr.
Mary Stuart Masterson (NineFried Green TomatoesBenny & Joon) was originally offered the role of Babe Williams in the 2006 revival of The Pajama Game. O’Hara believes that Masterson decided not to move forward with the role—feeling she wasn’t the right choice. Director Kathleen Marshall called O’Hara, who decided to leave The Light in the Piazza to take the role. Marshall wasn’t the only one to call her. While walking in the village, O’Hara got a call from an unknown number and answered. “Hey Babe” said a deep voice. Taken aback O’Hara remarked, “Who is this?” and hung up—not realizing it was Harry Connick Jr. calling her by the character’s name!

4. South Pacific looked a lot like The Light in the Piazza.
In the earliest workshops of Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza, O’Hara played Franca, Celia Keenan-Bolger played Clara, and Victoria Clark played her mother Margaret. (When the show debuted on Broadway, O’Hara originated the role of Clara and earned a Tony nomination.) Years later, when O’Hara was up for the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific she learned she was up against Keenan-Bolger and Clark for the role as the creative team waited to see what age their Emile de Becque would be.

5. Years before she starred in The Bridges of Madison County, one of O’Hara’s first professional offers was a different Jason Robert Brown show. 
In 2014, O’Hara bowed as Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County, a role Tony-winning composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown wrote for her. But, early in her career, one of O’Hara’s first offers was an out-of-town production of The Last Five Years—though she did not end up playing the role.

Seth Rudetsky returns for another Broadway at the Town Hall concert with Jeremy Jordan March 11. Click here for tickets and information.

 

December 14, 2018 By simplyk   Comments Off on The Making of Lerner & Loewe’s Brigadoon Brigadoon, Cd, Recording, Video

Get a behind the scenes look of the making of the New York City Center 2017 Cast Recording of Lerner & Loewe’s Brigadoon…

Slået op af Ghostlight RecordsOnsdag den 12. december 2018

December 14, 2018 By simplyk   Comments Off on Kelli O’Hara Will Perform Benefit Concert for the New York Pops 2019, Concert

The intimate cabaret performance will honor New York Pops Music Director Steven Reineke at Feinstein’s/54 Below.

 

Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara will celebrate Steven Reineke’s tenth anniversary as Conductor and Music Director of the New York Pops with an intimate concert performance at Feinstein’s/54 Below on January 31.

O’Hara (The King and I, The Light in the Piazza, The Bridges of Madison County) was a soloist at the first New York Pops concert Reineke conducted in 2008. She has returned to headline concerts in 2010, 2012, and 2014—appearing with Reineke and the Pops a total of eight times at Carnegie Hall. She has also served on The New York Pops Board of Directors since 2012.

O’Hara and Reineke have curated the concert with songs from some of their memorable career highlights and work together over the past decade.

The event begins at 5:30 PM with an open bar with passed hors d’oeuvres, continues with a performance by O’Hara, and concludes with a dessert reception and toast to Reineke. Tickets to the event begin at $300 and are available through The New York Pops’ office at (212) 765-7677.

 

http://www.playbill.com/article/kelli-ohara-will-perform-benefit-concert-for-the-new-york-pops?fbclid=IwAR1CzesXVLVH0ybEs2yq3V-6at_9nri7GzHr9D0Dd1vN50xCD2aptsgfjNQ

December 4, 2018 By simplyk   Comments Off on New video for Kiss Me Kate 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate, Video

November 27, 2018 By simplyk   Comments Off on Kelli O’Hara on Her Emotional The King and I West End Reunion, and What She Has Learned From Anna Uncategorized
 

Three years after Kelli O’Hara took the stage in The King and I on Broadway, American audiences will have a chance to see her Tony-winning performance as Anna Leonowens once again. On November 29 and December 4, film distributor Trafalgar Releasing is screening a taped version of O’Hara and Ken Watanabe’s performances in the London Palladium production of the musical in movie theaters across the U.S. Ahead of the film’s release, Vulture called up O’Hara in her London dressing room to discuss how her perspective on the character changed over the course of three years, what it was like to reunite with her castmates for her West End debut, and her plans for the upcoming revival of Kiss Me, Kate.

Is there much of a difference from performing on the West End than on Broadway?
Well, I think we’ve all heard about the West End always and dreamed about coming over here, but it’s also such a change of life and the history here, and the touristy things to do here are so beautiful. My kids and my husband and I have been over here all summer and tried to do as much as we possibly could between showtimes for a great little break from the world. We kind of found ourselves one weekend at a place called Botany Bay, where we just went to the beach. It was white cliffs of Dover-looking. We stayed at this beautiful little inn. For us that was a great little getaway to the British seaside.

The 2018 version of this feels very different than the 2015 version, in a way. I find Anna to be one of these women who, when playing her, it makes you also stand up a little straighter. I definitely love her more deeply as a mother, as someone who has a lot to learn in coming to teach. She’s also learning at the same time, and this idea of understanding and education about “the other” is very important. I think in 2015, with the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for president, we wanted to have a bit of a feminist story. Now, in 2018, we have that, as so many layers, but then on top of it, I was really reaching for equality and understanding.

Politically, with Brexit and Trump, that’s certainly something people have turned against.
I feel so heavy about all that, and I feel like instead of being angry and very barky and difficult about it, I’m starting to feel so much in my own life that there has to be some sort of gentleness, openness, understanding, and eye-opening.

I was moved to see Ruthie Ann Miles come back onstage, after the terrible tragedy she lived through. What has it been like to work with her again?
Ruthie and I are great friends. I’m glad to be here with her right now. It’s one of the bigger honors and purposes in my life right now, and she’s amazing.

You’re doing Kiss Me, Kate in the spring. Have you thought about how you will approach that show? 
Definitely. This experience makes me look at what I’m about to do differently. We’re going to meet in October to talk about how we make this revival fresh and why there is reason to do it at all. The score, everything like that, will be intact and respected, but I think there’s also things we need to look at in the scenes and kind of give it a reason for being. I also think a great deal about the last time I saw it, with my good friend Marin Mazzie playing the role, and keep her in mind in my performance.

I was thinking about Marin Mazzie’s performance in The King and I, where she replaced you, after hearing about her death. Has her version of Anna been on your mind? 
Marin was one of my very first real inspirations. The month I moved to New York, I saw her in Ragtime about eight times. She and Audra McDonald were my first musical-theater heroes. To pass, if you will, the role of Anna over to her, and come back and watch her do it was really one of the bigger honors of my life, to share something with her. Then she came and sang at Carnegie Hall for me the next spring, and it’s been hard to think of our whole community having lost her. I especially feel for my good friend, her husband, Jason Danieley, who has been a rock of a husband. I wish him all the best, and he knows that of course.

Is there any shift in what to West End audiences tend to react to in the show, as opposed to those on Broadway?
I have found them to be such beautiful listeners. People tried to warn me about British, London, audiences being different. I don’t feel that much of a difference. They still come to their feet at the end, they listen, they seem engaged. I think they’re enjoying this particular production. We reference the English so much in this production that there are little laughs we get even more: “I’m from a civilized land called Wales.” They enjoy that more than maybe American audiences did.

What were your thoughts on having the production filmed?
As much as I get nervous about something like live theater being filmed, I also am the result of having never seen live productions as a kid. I grew up in western Oklahoma, where we didn’t have live theater for the most part, so my love of this art form came from watching movie musicals, and that was how I learned about this art form at all. I keep thinking of the one kid out there somewhere who can’t make it to London or Broadway but sees this in a movie theater in their small town, and says, “I love this art form, and I either want to go someday to do it or see it, or I want to support it here in my local town.” It would be silly to assume that everybody who wants to be involved in and see theater can. This is the way to get it to people, and I think that’s important.

What do you think you learned from playing Anna?
This show sits very heavy and deep for me as far as what it means to be a woman — that you can be strong, that you can take care of yourself, support yourself, but you also can have love. That you can also depend on others, that you can also learn from others. I think there are a lot of ways to just think things are black and white, and we have to be one thing or another, but in all my life I will look for the reasons to know that I can be independent, and that it’s okay to have a partnership in life, to learn, to collaborate. That’s in everything. It’s in being a parent, being a spouse, being a friend. You walk onto the stage with a script in your hand and you start to just bark around, “This is how I am, this is what I believe, and I am unchangeable.” By the time you’re done with it, by the time you’ve played it 500 or 600 times, you start to go, “I have so much to learn.”

November 27, 2018 By simplyk   Comments Off on How Kelli O’Hara Radically Changed Her Pre-Show Ritual for London’s The King and I 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate

The Tony winner shares tales from the West End production of The King and I revival—ahead of its cinema screening—and preparing for Broadway’s Kiss Me, Kate.

Kelli O’Hara is home from London after completing her first ever West End run, starring in the Lincoln Center Theater production transfer of The King and I. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens, the British schoolteacher brought to Siam to educate the wives and children of the King, won O’Hara her first Tony Award in 2015 after having been nominated five previous times. Before leaving Britain, O’Hara and her King and Icompany were filmed live at the London Palladium for global cinema releaseThe King and I: From The Palladium will be screened in theatres November 29 and December 4. (Click here for information on local screenings and tickets.)

Read: WHY NA-YOUNG JEON AND DEAN JOHN-WILSON BRING A MORE INTENSE TAKE ON STAR-CROSSED LOVERS IN LONDON’S KING AND I

Here, O’Hara talks about her West End debut, her reaction to London audiences, and the London rule she wishes Broadway would adopt:

On simultaneously performing for the stage and the camera:
“This isn’t my first time filming a show,” she notes. “We broadcast South Pacific when I was in it at Lincoln Center. The director both times was Bart Sherr. Bart did change some things in South Pacific because we were on a thrust stage at the Vivian Beaumont [Theatre]. He told us to be a little more subtle, that he was going to come in close on us with the camera. He didn’t do any of that for The King and I. It’s shot full front, from the house, all proscenium, just as if you were there in the audience. I can’t say that I changed a thing.”

On playing for London audiences:
O’Hara brought a discovery from her time abroad. “I loved my time there,” she says. “I loved the London theatre community especially. People say that the audiences in London are different; that they don’t cheer as much, that they don’t stand up. Well, ours did. I didn’t find London audiences that different, honestly, or the London theatre in general.”

On best adjustment she ever made to her pre-show ritual:
“London Equity has a rule for a mandatory warm-up before every show: a physical warm-up and a vocal warm-up for the full company. They’re very strict about it. A lot of American actors go over and just hate it. It changes up your pre-show schedule. But I began to obsessively love it.

“When I did King and I on Broadway, I had a lot of injuries because of the huge, heavy, hooped dresses I had to wear. In London I had not one injury. In fact, I felt better than I have for a long time. That warm-up rule made a big difference for me. It changed my experience of the show. I loved that it forces you into a better routine for your body and your voice. I also loved that it forces you to spend time with your cast. Anna can be a lonely role. I was almost always onstage, and when I wasn’t on the stage, everyone else was. Offstage, I was stuck in a hoop and couldn’t roam the hallways. I found those warm-ups to be my gathering time with my company.

“Our conductor, the musical director, would step into it and run a very serious vocal warmup. Whether you think it’s all working for you, or not, you learn after a while that it is. Your voice is stronger, you have a cleaner show, vocally, and, God, my back and my ankles were in really good shape.

On her upcoming turn in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Kiss Me, Kate on Broadway:
“We start rehearsals in January,” she says. “I don’t usually do a revival against a revival; I like to jump into something else that is very different, but that’s how it has worked out. I’m excited. Kiss Me, Kate is a big, old musical comedy—very different from King and I. I’ll have a bit more social life backstage. And the costumes will be way more comfortable.”

 

 

http://www.playbill.com/article/how-kelli-ohara-radically-changed-her-pre-show-ritual-for-londons-the-king-and-i?fbclid=IwAR28oKwoPJifdtFbMls3khBh9BI2lmZ74zMulcoEuljHKxa4EysmfXtCj7U