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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Meet the People of Pippin Part 1

By • Feb 6th, 2009 • Category: Interviews, Pippin

Mike is stage managing Prince William Little Theatre‘s production of Pippin. The show opens Friday, February the 13th, runs for two weekends, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00, Sundays at 3:30. The performance will be at Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, VA.

Over the next week, we’ll be posting some interviews with the cast, crew and orchestra, to help you get to know the wonderful people working on the production.

Lanny Henzell, the Leading Player

Q: Is Lanny your real name?
A: Yes, my real name–NOT a nickname.

Q: How are you like and unlike your character?
A: I think I am most like my character because I am certainly the life of the party. I like to make sure everyone’s having a good time and enjoying themselves. I think we differ on a bunch of different issues, but I don’t want to give away all my secrets. 

Q: How long have you been acting? What was your first role?
A: HA!! I have been acting for forever. My first role was in 1986 when I played Charlie Brown in Charlie Brown’s Christmas in elementary school.

Q: What role would you kill to play?
A: THIS ONE!!! I have wanted to play this role for well over 15 years. Other than that. . . Effie in Dreamgirls. . . hey, it could happen.

Q: What’s been the most challenging part of participating in Pippin
A: I think the hardest thing is just making sure that I’m on my game as much as possible so that I never let down my castmates. 

Q: What’s your next show or production? 
A: Next up I’m directing Aida at Osbourn High which opens in April. After that I’ll plan out my next season and see.

Q: What superpower would you want to have?
A: I wouldn’t mind being able to read someone’s mind every once in awhile. I am never certain what others are thinking. 

Q: What non-theater-related life goal do you have?
A: I just want to be happy. As long as I can manage that, I’m doing okay. 

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: I have wanted to go to Budapest for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure why, but it just seems like a cool place. 

Q: Would you rather have $1,000,000 or know the date you are going to die?
A: Oh, neither! I don’t think either would make life better. 

Q: What candy bar are you most like?
A: Whatchamacallit. No one knows what’s really in there, but it’s fan-frickin’-tastic!

Q: Would you rather have a kangaroo or a giraffe?
A: Um. . .kangaroo? Because a giraffe would be a horrid apartment pet. 

Q: If you could go back to high school but keep all the life lessons you’ve learned since your time in high school, would you do it?
A: Naw, I’m good thanks!

Melanie Gibson, Player, Dance Captain

Q: How are you like and unlike your character?
A: My character takes on many different roles throughout the show depending on the situation, much like we do in everyday life. Although I think that my character is far more over the top and obvious with her intentions than I am in real life…although my sisters would probably disagree…

Q: How long have you been acting? What was your first role?
A: I have been on the stage and dancing since I was like 2 or 3 years old. My first acting role was probably an angel (true acting it took there) in a church Christmas Pageant. My favorite roles though have been my characters from Metropolitan Performing Arts Theatre’s All in the Timing and Raggedy Andy in Metropolitan Performing Arts Center’s Santa’s Frosty Follies.

Q: What role would you kill to play?
A: I would kill to play Velma Kelly from Chicago or Sally Bowles from Cabaret. Both are roles of strong, smart and funny women, and I would love to know what it is like to have that kind of confidence and abandon. Plus the dancing in those shows is amazing!

Q: What’s been the most challenging part of participating in Pippin?
A: The most challenging part of Pippin for me has been the singing…and it’s a musical! I know, irony, right? But I have been working on it (Bless Milton and the altos for their patience) and having fun.

Q: What’s your next show or production?
A: Well, I hope to audition for PWLT’s Noises Off, so we will see…

Q: What superpower would you want to have?
A: As dorky as this sounds, I would like to have super communications skills. I want to be able to clearly (and tactfully) express what I am thinking, and more importantly understand completely what message someone else is trying to convey.

Q: What non-theater-related life goal do you have?
A: Although quite cliché, I just want to be happy and give back as much as I can (and to be a pirate).

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: A life long cruise, travelling the world, with fantastic food and an unlimited budget.

Q: Would you rather have $1,000,000 or know the date you are going to die?
A: Could I have both? I’d probably prefer the money; I worry enough as it is.

Q: What candy bar are you most like?
A: A Peppermint Patty: decadent on the outside and refreshingly minty inside (just kidding).

Q: Would you rather have a kangaroo or a giraffe?
A: A kangaroo. I am tall enough and have always wanted to be able to jump better.

Q: If you could go back to high school but keep all the life lessons you’ve learned since your time in high school, would you do it?
A: Never.

Cana Jordan Wade, Ensemble (Sin: Lust)

Q: How are you like and unlike your character?
A: I’m like my character during the goofy moments in the show – ‘cos I feel like a goofball most of the time anyway. I am unlike my character when I try to portray the ‘Lust’ deadly sin….which goes back to me acting like a goofball 😛 So it’s a challenge.

Q: How long have you been acting? What was your first role?
A: Since high school. I consider my first role Dr. Rolanda T. Finsdale in Lil Abner. I also worked tech in high school for other shows.

Q: What role would you kill to play?
A: Satine in Moulin Rouge, Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. These are all roles that are close to my heart for one reason or another.

Q: What’s been the most challenging part of participating in Pippin?
A: Stepping out of my comfort zone.

Q: What’s your next show or production?
A: Noises Off! I’ll be doing something with it I’m sure. But not auditioning. Working tech.

Q: What superpower would you want to have?
A: A body of steel that can withstand anything. There would be no injuries ever!!! 😀

Q: What non-theater-related life goal do you have?
A: To be content. It’s the ultimate peace.

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Ireland. So I can walk every where and tread on the ground where my ancestors lived.

Q: Would you rather have $1,000,000 or know the date you are going to die?
A: The money. Too afraid of death. It’s like having surgery. I just want the surgeon to do what they are going to do. I don’t want to know the details or the process.

Q: What candy bar are you most like?
A: Chocolate fiber bars. ‘Cos I’m just that boring 😛

Q: Would you rather have a kangaroo or a giraffe?
A: Kangaroo. Easy storage space.

Q: If you could go back to high school but keep all the life lessons you’ve learned since your time in high school, would you do it?
A: Nah. High school was the exact time to learn all the lessons that I did. They shaped me into the person I am today.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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