Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anything Goes at the Tony Awards

Posted by Bruce Miller
Part of what makes watching the Tony Awards so much fun is when you know someone involved with a nominated show. The theatre community is relatively small. If you stick around in the business long enough, you wind up knowing a lot of people who work on Broadway. When it comes to Anything Goes, Sunday night’s Tony winner for Best Revival of a Musical, there are at least two representatives of the Richmond theatre community working in the production.

Michelle Lookadoo joined the company of Anything Goes last night, and she was there on Sunday to experience the thrill of victory with the rest of her cast. Michelle is in the ensemble and covers the leading role of Hope Harcourt, the beautiful socialite who wins the heart of Billy Crocker, the dapper hero of the show.

Michelle began her musical theatre career in Barksdale’s 1999 production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She moved to New York immediately thereafter, and her career has been going great guns ever since. She was in the Broadway casts of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and then Mary Poppins. While in Mermaid, she was the stand-in for the leading role of Ariel and played the role during several performances. Michelle returned to Barksdale this past season to star as Judy Haynes in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

On Sunday night, she celebrated the Tony win with the company of Anything Goes, including Tony-winning director and choreographer, Kathleen Marshall. (See the two of them together in the photo above.)

Also working on Anything Goes is Monica Costea (her self-portrait photo is posted to the right). Monica worked for Theatre IV, TheatreVirginia and King's Dominion in the 1980s and 90s. Like Michelle and a large number of Broadway professionals, Monica tends to flow from show to show. She is a hair stylist. She joined Anything Goes this winter, leaving the hair styling department at Billy Elliott, where she had been working since that show opened in 2008.

When Phil and I led our group of theatre patrons to New York last March, both Michelle and Monica came to speak to our hearty troop of Richmond theatergoers about their extensive experiences on the Great White Way.

We wish the two of them, and everyone in the company of Anything Goes, years of success.

--Bruce Miller

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