In The News
Jennifer Whitman pulls double duty as Actress and Assistant Director
Josh Drake has the WOW Factor at the MET Gala
Robby Clater is a featured performer at 54 Below
Natalie Kaye Clater is now a permanent part of the Hamilton Exhibition
Alexander Hamilton’s remarkable story has inspired millions of Americans. Now, you can see it through his eyes in this 360-degree immersive exhibition inspired by the revolutionary musical.
Debut of the Month: Welcome to Our World!
Robby Clater Makes His Broadway Debut in PRETTY WOMAN
by Caryn Robbins Aug 28, 2018
Robby Clater makes his Broadway debut as David Morse in Pretty Woman: THE MUSICAL, a new original theatrical take on the classic 1990's film. The love story follows unlikely soulmates Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis, who overcome all odds to find each other and themselves. Today Clater speaks to BroadwayWorld about making his Broadway debut in a show which takes the true spirit of the iconic movie and brings it to a whole new generation of theater-goers.
Many audience members arrive with a pre-existing adoration for this story and its characters. Does that add a certain amount of pressure on you and your cast mates to meet their expectations?
Absolutely it does, it's big shoes to fill. This movie is so iconic and I honestly think that the majority of the weight of that burden falls on Samantha Barks. She has such a high bar to hold herself up to, she has to hold herself up to the Pretty Woman, to Julia Roberts. And I think that's the biggest risk to doing a show like this, that people might say "oh, but she wasn't Julia so..." But we have not run into that at all because Samantha is brilliant - she is gorgeous, she's charming, she is everything, and she is one of the most consistent vocalists I have ever seen. The woman is flawless! And I tell everybody I know who is going to be coming to the show, I say to them, 'you gotta be careful because you're going to fall in love with Samantha Barks by the end of it!"
You really do. And it's so hard to believe that this is her Broadway debut.
Well she's been all over the world, she's an international superstar, so it's so great that we finally get to bring her to Broadway. And that I get to make my debut with her. It's fantastic.
Did they change the track of your character at all from the film version?
Well the Morse family is portrayed just a little bit differently in the stage portrayal than in the movie in that we are now an Afro-American family. They appeared in that iconic scene in the movie where they sit down for dinner and Vivian is having trouble with the escargot and she's fiddling around with it and the Morses are very friendly, very helpful to her. Yet at the same time they are having this very pivotal business meeting, this real battle of forces with Edward Lewis. And so that scene is actually very well balanced and I'm so happy I get to portray that on stage because the narrative of what is going on in the scene is so important and so powerful, while at the same time, everyone is just so captivated by the charm and beauty of Vivian Ward, who is Samantha Barks in our production.
What was it like to make your Broadway debut in Pretty Woman?
Oh man, that was really special, it was really quite fantastic. It's something that I've been working towards for such a long time. It's one of those things that telling theater is what I do, it's my passion. I do that on every stage. And if I didn't have a stage I'd lay down a piece of cardboard and do it on the street. But man, I gotta tell you that was probably one of the most exciting first steps on stage I ever took and one of the most exciting bows at the end of show that I've ever had in my life. The energy was just electric, so much support both from the audience and from my fellow cast mates. There was just so much love on stage and you could really feel that, and I felt like the audience could feel it coming out of me too, because I was just beaming, over the moon. A great landmark moment for me!
Excerpts from BroadwayWorld.com
I understand Julia Roberts did come to a recent performance.
Yes, she did come. We had a tribute performance for Garry Marshall and we did this thing where we all came out wearing purple, which was his favorite color. And we gave a seat in his honor at the Nederlander Theatere and Julia Roberts, as well as many other people who were part of that extended Garry Marshall family came down to see us before the show. And Julia loved it, she was beaming the entire time. She even volunteered to spend some time backstage with the cast and the creatives. She took some pictures and really talked with us and shared her own experience and told us how much she loved not only the musical but Garry and everything that this story represents to her. It was really special having her.
BWW congratulates Robby Clater on his Broadway debut in Pretty Woman! His other theater credits include Connected, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Dreamgirls, and Grease. Readings and workshops include The Time of Nick, First Kids and The Stephen Schwartz Project.
Leah Brooks Interviewed by the UNC Pauper Players as Assistant Music Director
Don't quite know how to settle the nerves before an audition? Meet Leah Brooks, our assistant music director, and check out her tips!
What are some warm up tips you have before an audition? Before every audition, I like to do a quick warm up with some ahhs, warm up to my highest notes and warm down to my lowest notes. I like to stretch even if I am not dancing because it makes me feel more relaxed. I will usually run through my song once or twice, but no more than twice because then I start to psyche myself out and think I will forget the words!! Also, drink lots of water, NOT coffee (although I am guilty of that whoops).
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
The advice I would give to a newcomer is to GET OUT THERE AND TRY THINGS! I was very nervous to audition for a show my freshman year at UNC, but cannot explain how thankful I am that I did. I have met some of the most wonderful, kind, compassionate, and talented people through UNC student theatre and it is such an incredible community to be a part of a Carolina. And don't be afraid to audition for multiple things, or come back and audition for another show if you do not get cast! Putting your name out there and becoming a part of the theatre community is so awesome, regardless of if you are on the stage, or working behind the scenes to make a show happen.
This world will remember me for...
being a coffee addict, an avid Harry Potter reader, a lover of music, a crazy Carolina basketball fan, and someone who is trying to change the world through THE ARTS! They matter!!!
Leah was one of our dancers in Dancing For The Stars 2016 and was showcased in several CBTC shows including Into The Woods, Footloose and High School Musical Jr.
Josh Drake Named One Of The 10 Hottest Men On Broadway by Out.com
Continuing to do more for others, Josh once again stars in Broadway Bares, a important charitable event on Broadway that helps make a real difference in the LGBTQ+ community. The annual extravaganza is back to raise money and awareness for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. For more information click broadwaybares.com
Josh was the first ever winner of Dancing For The Stars with Penny Black and starred in Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, The Stephen Schwartz Project, First Kids and Crazy For You for CBTC.