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We thought it would be fun to share a few stories from each of our Sondheim fanatics in the cast of our upcoming Cabaret @ the Circle, February 16 at The Play Circle at the Memorial Union.

Tamara Brognano spends most of her FST energies on our outreach programming, where we bring musical theater performers to libraries, senior centers, schools, and other community locations.

Favorite Sondheim show: SWEENEY TODD

Favorite Sondheim song: “Anyone Can Whistle”

Favorite Sondheim role I’ve played: Sally (FOLLIES)

Sondheim role I want to do: Madame Armfeldt (A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC)

Sondheim role that I want to do but will probably never get to do: Sweeney Todd (“At last my arm is complete again!” Best. Line. Ever.)

Best Sondheim experience: Being in the chorus for SWEENEY TODD as an undergrad

Worst Sondheim experience: Having to go down the barber chair/chute in SWEENEY TODD as the Beggar Woman, and being injured pretty much every time I did it (I’m clumsy)

Theater ritual or good-luck charm: I am compulsive about being one of the first to the theater, and can get very rigid about my prep (what I eat, what I wear to the theater) in the hours before a show. When I did SHE LOVES ME for FST a few years ago, I listened to the same playlist (a Mumford and Sons album) each time I did my hair at home before going to the theater. One evening I started the wrong playlist by accident and got more than a little wigged out.

Theater mishap or embarrassing story: Once during a tech rehearsal my mic suddenly (and unexpectedly) went live in the house while I was back in the dressing room bitching about something or other and using some rather colorful expletives. After I was told that my mic was live, I came out into the house and gave a blanket apology to everyone, but to this day, I don’t remember exactly what I said before I found out that the mic was on and have never quite worked through the residual anxiety about that.

As a Sondheim fanatic, I confess that… I feel a strange possessiveness over my favorite Sondheim tunes. For example, I feel a certain ownership of “Losing My Mind,” since I’ve done the role of Sally and have done the tune elsewhere several times. Part of me growls a little bit when other singers do that tune, because there’s a slightly feral voice inside of me snarling “Mine.”

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