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April 24, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on BCEFA Easter Bonnet 2019 finale & fundraising total! 2019, Broadway

March 15, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on Women of Theater: Catching Up with Kelli O’Hara & Deadria Harrington | New York Live TV 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate, Video

March 15, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on BWW TV: It’s Wunderbar! Watch Highlights of Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase & More in KISS ME, KATE 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate

March 15, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on Curtain Call on opening night 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate

Another opening, another show! We’re live at the opening night curtain call of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Kiss Me, Kate!

Slået op af BroadwayWorldTorsdag den 14. marts 2019

March 12, 2019 By simplyk   Comments Off on Kelli O’Hara on Returning to Broadway in ‘Kiss Me Kate’ 2019, Broadway, Kiss Me Kate

The last time Kelli O’Hara appeared on Broadway, she won a Tony for her performance as Anna in “The King and I.” Four years later, she’s back in an updated “Kiss Me Kate,” opening March 14 at Studio 54. The musical is about an actress feuding with her co-star, who’s also her director and ex-husband (Will Chase). Their backstage bickering mirrors their source material: Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” 

What’s different about this “Kiss Me Kate”?

It’s still the great Cole Porter score and the wonderful classic humor, but we’ve adjusted to take out some of the blatant misogyny. We needed to give the women more agency and more space to stand up for themselves. Lilli is a woman behaving with intelligence and with class but is commenting on what she’s surrounded by. She’s not just crazy. 

Why does the story still resonate? 

As a society now, we’re not prim and proper; we’re not holding anything back. We’re saying what we want to say, we’re doing what we want to do, because we’ve waited too long to do it and now it’s all coming out. I think this revival is right on time. We’re putting some misogynistic behavior out on display and looking at it as a real problem and saying, “Wow, I guess that is how we behave sometimes.” 

You play Lilli playing Kate. What’s that like? 

I like to think of Lilli as much more of a shell — much more vulnerable, more insecure — whereas I think of Kate as a woman who knows a lot. Layering these two women on top of each other, they enhance the other. Kate gives Lilli voice when she’s hurt and angry, and Lilli eventually gives Kate a softness and understanding. 

Is preparation for a revival different from a new show?

I don’t ever study the way they’ve been played before. I don’t ever go back to visit it or watch it again. It’s no different than an original role. I think about it as this brand-new journey. 

What challenges did you face developing this character? 

I learned from this script that it’s pretty clear the female voice has been fairly underwritten. As a young person, especially playing the ingénue, I was always grappling with how to play something where I had no words — I was just playing the essence of something. As I’ve gotten older and have gotten to help create more roles, I’ve gotten to ask for more to say. We’re able to find more voices for these women.

With musicals, opera, film and TV, is there a medium that you haven’t tried? 

Whether it’s good or not, I’ve tried to do everything. I’ve been doing theater for 25 years, and theater is where I breathe; it’s my life source. But I think it makes me a better theater actor to spread my wings and get into other things. I love the fact that I’ve been able to do all of it here or there. 

What was your reaction to the Actors’ Equity Assn.’s settlement of its monthlong strike against the Broadway League

I’ve done a million workshops over the last 25 years, but I don’t get residual payments or payouts from tours of a show I might have helped create. We sign a contract to do it at that time, but as actors, we don’t get the future out of it. It’s not expected. You get the moment when you’re working eight shows a week, and then it’s done. When you’re bringing not just your singing voice but your intellectual and emotional voice to create a piece, it doesn’t make much sense to not have some stake in that. It’s a hard fight to have as actors because we just feel so grateful to be working. But we become people who have children and mortgages, and need to be compensated for the time we put in. It was a bold and brave fight, and it’s an important outcome to have.

Things You Didn’t Know About Kelli O’Hara

AGE: 42 HOMETOWN: Elk City, Okla. NUMBER OF BROADWAY STARRING ROLES: 11 MENTOR: Voice coach Florence Birdwell FAVORITE ROLE: Francesca in
“The Bridges of Madison County” 



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
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.




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.



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.