Friday, December 30, 2011

Secret Garden Reviews

"Its holiday season production by the company, featuring elegant direction and choreography by Stacey Flaster (one of several women who have emerged in recent years as major musical theater talents in this city), it is being beautifully sung and acted...Flaster’s staging expertly captures the contrasts in Eastern and Western visions of magic and death."
-Chicago Sun Times

"This very well-meaning show surely delivers the most beautiful garden one could expect. There were gasps of pleasure in the audience, especially from the young."
-Chicago Tribune

"The expert staging by Stacey Flaster works  to create just the right tone and atmosphere to create a ghost story."
-Chicago Theatre Critic

Light Opera Works does a stellar job with its large scale musicals using a full orchestra in the marvelous Cahn Auditorium located on the campus of Northwestern University. Roger L. Bingaman brings this hauntingly beautiful music to life as he conducts this orchestra and the voices that Flaster has assembled fill the theater with the richness and tone of the music and lyrics in this sterling piece...The ensemble players are up to the highest of standards:Barbara Clear,Maggie Clennon Reberg,Erin Thomas Lobo,Phil Higgins,Kristin O’Connell,Patrick Byrnes,Rob Riddle,Peter Oyloe,Harmony France,Jon Landvick,Maggie Clennon Reberg,Daniel Spagnuolo,Jennifer T.Grubb,Christen Boulette,Loren J. Connel, Kirsten Lendyke and Amy Orman- great job!
-Around the Town Chicago

There are four chances left to see The Secret Garden at Light Opera Works.  Friday, December 30th at 8pm,  Saturday December 31st at 2pm and 8pm, and closing on January 1st at 2pm.  Purchase your tickets now.

Image from:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Secret Garden Opening

Secret Garden opens tonight!  Come see show for a heartwarming evening filled with gorgeous music (...and find out what the rest of my costume looks like).  Runs through January 1, 2012 at Light Opera Works.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Merry Christmas CD

My holiday album of songs for friends and families was a hit last year, and a second one was requested.  So I recorded some more classic Christmas songs and make another cd.  This year I selected songs that reminded me of Christmases at home.  Here are my front and inside cover designs.  And of course, a special thank you to my pianist, Marta Johnson, for taking time out of her crazy December schedule for me.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Tech Week Essentials

Tech week can be a long process...especially in tech heavy shows with lots of moving parts (like the Secret Garden).  Lots of late nights mean our dressing rooms have to be filled with things that make us feel good.  Here are my tech week essentials that you'll always find in my dressing room.

Alka Seltzer Plus Tablets -for staying healthy, and keeping colds at bay among sick cast mates
Magazines - for reading during offstage time.
Mini Notebook - for jotting down blocking changes and director's notes.
Cheese Its - my current backstage snack.
Super Chill Sparkling Water - Keeps me hydrated backstage when I want a little flavor in costume.
Organic Throat Coat Tea - Soothes my throat after a long day of singing or when I'm feeling tired.
Silk Robe - for covering up during snack breaks or when wandering around in a corset and tights.
Vitamin Water Zero 

That's what's in my backstage bag on any given day.  What's in yours?

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Secret Garden Opens December 26th!

Purchase your tickets for the beautiful, haunting story of the Secret Garden.  "Part Victorian thriller, part enchanting love story."  It has one of the prettiest scores of music around and is sure to leave you feeling full of love...and a little teary eyed.  Secret Garden runs from December 26, 2011 through January 1, 2012 in Evanston, Illinois.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Understudying Mary Lennox

I've been understudying the role of Mary Lennox for my upcoming production of The Secret Garden and it has been fun and challenging to channel my inner ten year old.  Last night's rehearsal was an understudy work through and I had a surprising amount of fun romping about the stage as Mary.

Purchase tickets to the show here, opening night is 12/26/11

The Secret Garden
Music by Lucy Simon
Book & Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Photo credit:

A little preview of the show...Here's a recording of me singing Mary's act two opening song, "The Girl I Mean to Be" at a vocal coaching yesterday morning before rehearsal.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Secret Garden Character Inspiration

My character inspiration board for the dreamers of Secret Garden...ghosts of Victorian people who have died of cholera in British colonized India in the early 1900s.

"They are only a ghost if someone on earth is holding onto them."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Secret Garden Rehearsals Have Started!

Rehearsals for Secret Garden have started!  It's going to be a fabulous show, with a great concept and cool set.  We started with dialect, music rehearsals, and design presentations and had our first staging rehearsal the other day.  We're also rehearsing in the brand new Light Opera Works' Rehearsal Studio, which is lovely!  The sprung dance floor is the full size of the stage and the rooms are filled with props and photos from past productions.  Read more about the new space here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hello, Dolly! Photos

Better late than never...some photos from last year's winter production of Hello, Dolly! with Light Opera Works.  That's me on the right front in the light light green skirt and pink sash during the production number of "Dancing."

"Before the Parade Passes By," the end of act one production number that was preceded by the dance number above and a three minute quick change into a marching band uniform.  It was a great number that often received mid-song applause and ended with a high D6 for the sopranos.  I'm on the left in the second row of band members, the second person of Dolly's shoulder.

Photos by Ocken Photography

My Resume...Visualized

I read about this super cool website in a recent issue of Marie Claire.  You can create colorful visual resumes by linking to your Linked In account.  There are my professional credits laid out in graph from (from 2005-2011).  You can pick different formats and colors.  Kind of cool.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cinderhood: A Children's Musical

Tonight is opening night for the children's musical Cinderhood with Chicago Opera Playhouse.  It's a fun, short musical of what would happen when half the cast prepares to perform Cinderella while the other half want to do Little Red Riding Hood.  Come see me as Little Red who even has her own lament song "There's No Fair in Fairytales."

Show Details:
Wednesday, October 12th @ 6:30pm
North Park Covenant Church, 5250 North Christiana, Chicago
Free Admission

Monday, October 10, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood Character Inspiration

Loving this quirky photo inspiration for playing Little Red Riding Hood in the upcoming production of Cinderhood with Chicago Opera Playhouse.  My sassy Little Red will be debuting October 12th on Chicago's north side.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grand & Glorious Wooden Boat Show

Photos from our little Music By the Lake musical revue before singing the opening of the  36th Meeting and International Boat Show in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

With Linden Christ, Michael Brown, Timothy Rebers, Taryn Whipple, and Matthew Richardson
Directed by Christine Flasch (below)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An AEA Inspirational Tweet

"Do it for love. Do it for money. 
Do it for both, if you can, but never for neither!"


Monday, September 12, 2011

Special Skills: Brings Baked Treats to Rehearsal

One of the special skills I have listed on my resume is "Brings Baked Treats to Rehearsal."  Something that is 100% true!  I believe in the joy of baked goods and their power to bring lifted spirits and happiness to any rehearsal (Do a show with me and you'll surely see a batch of my cookies during tech week).

Here is a recent, super easy, cookie recipe I made and brought to a Music By the Lake rehearsal that was a big hit.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 36 cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops of green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

1.  Mix cookie mix, butter, extract, food coloring, and egg in a bowl, until soft dough forms.  Stir in the creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

2.  Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3.  Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Serve warm or cool completely.  Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Bon Appetite!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Seaside Photo Shoot

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Brigadoon Wedding Photo

Act One Wedding Scene
with Matthew Richardson as Charlie Dalrymple
and Jerry Miller as Mr. Lundi

Monday, August 1, 2011

There my heart forever lies...Brigadoon Closing

Brigadoon had a spectacular run at Music by the Lake this past weekend.  The setting was as beautiful as the show!  This particular production has been especially hard to let go of.  I so enjoyed everyone in the cast and crew and loved getting to figure out who Jeannie Dalrymple nee MacLaren was.  I'll always hold her in a special place in my heart.

"Brigadoon, Brigadoon, there my heart forever lies..."

with Dan McNeil as Harry Beaton

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Brigadoon Wedding!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brigadoon Trailer

I don't usually like to watch or listen to movies or recordings of shows I'm working on, but this trailer for Brigadoon is so deliciously retro, I just had to share.

Opening night is in less than two weeks!  Learn more here or purchase your tickets at the Music by the Lake website...hurry!  The shows are almost sold out.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Brigadoon Opening Soon!

Brigadoon rehearsals have begun!  The cast arrived at the beautiful Music By the Lake setting this past Wednesday and have started the rehearsal process.  Everyday we get to live in "real Brigadoon" as we rehearse in the pavillion right by Lake Geneva.

Below is a taste at the beautiful setting that is in store for you!  Opening night is in 14 days!  Saturday evening is selling well and the 4pm Sunday Matinee is almost entirely sold out!  Only terrace seats remain for Sunday, so purchase your tickets soon!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last Summer's Show - Arizona Lady

As I prepare to start rehearsals for Brigadoon next week, it's hard to believe it's been a year since my last big summer show, Arizona Lady.  Here's some fun clips from that production that were just released.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Senior Recital Memories

As graduations bloom all over, I'm reminded of my college senior vocal recital, "A Little Bit Diva."  Hard to believe it was so long ago!

Here are some photo memories, courtesy of 5th Floor Photography.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A New Project

I am pleased to announce that I will be appearing as Jane and understudying Mary Lennox in the winter 2011 production of Light Opera Works' The Secret Garden.  I am excited to be working on my 4th show with Light Opera Works!  They are a fabulous company and I've been thrilled to appear in their productions of Iolanthe, Pirates of Penzance, and Hello, Dolly! in the past few years.

More information and tickets can be purchased here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Coming Soon


I received my dialogue book in the mail this past week and I am getting excited for my summer show at Music by the Lake.  I can't wait to read the script and dig into all the details of Jean and Brigadoon.

I also love that we received old school dialogue books.  If you've never seen them, they contain true sides of your part with lead in lines only.  And the stage directions are written in first person.  Very cool.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Park District Benefit

Come see me sing for Charity at the Palos Park Recreation Benefit this Sunday.  I'll be singing selections from Phantom of the Opera with the Phantom himself, Edward MacLennon.  Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"It's over now, the music of the night..."

Phantom closed to a fabulous, standing ovation crowd on Saturday, May 14th.  Hopefully, it won't be my last "Masquerade."  This is one show I would love to do again!  I'll miss those pretty tutus.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Improv & Star Wars Love

I love Star Wars!  And I love theatre.  So what happens when the two are put together?  Love.  Check out this awesome Improv Everywhere video and then click on over to their blog here to see some fun outtakes.  A very appropriate way to celebrate Star Wars Day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Phantom of the Opera Inspiration

Some character inspiration for my role in the upcoming Phantom of the Opera....

Corps de Ballet - a permanent part of the ballet company, often working as the backdrop to the principal dancers, working as one in synchronized movements.  Think all those gorgeous swans in Swan Lake.  And the photo above from Martha Stewart, that I just love totally and screams corps de ballet to me.

And of course, The Joffrey shows off a perfectly tied pointe shoe in an ad for their upcoming Spring Gala in the CS Men's Book...something I'm aspiring to at every rehearsal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Phantom Postcard