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Know Your Countess

by:  Carolyn MacLeod at 09/18/2015

Lauren Molina returns to the Huntington stage as Countess Charlotte Malcolm, the hilariously unhappy wife to the unfaithful and brutish Count in Sondheim's A Little Night Music. We had a chance to ask her about her about her first experiences with musicals, and with Sondheim in particular:

 

You clearly approach music and performance from many different angles - where did it all start and what does each form offer you?

I grew up in Detroit where my father played bass in the Detroit Symphony and my mother was a ballet and modern dancer. From an early age I was exposed to all forms of music, from classical to musical theatre to jazz to Motown to rock to hip hop. I am fascinated by finding connections in different genres. Since music is so evocative of memory, I often use different musical forms to relax, energize, or inspire me. 

What was your first interaction with theatre in particular?

I remember experiencing Peter and the Wolf at a very young age at the Detroit Symphony. I loved story telling. I would create full out puppet shows when I was four. As a little kid, I loved listening to cast albums of everything from West Side Story to Guys and Dolls to anything Disney. I was in first grade cast in the school play as Gus Gus the mouse in CINDERELLA. I fully knew I wanted to perform when I saw Les Miserables in fifth grade. 

 

When did you first hear/learn of Sondheim?

I can't recall the first moment I knew about Sondheim, but I grew up hearing his songs and loving his melodies and lyrics. I remember at a very young age, dancing in my grandparents living room and singing along to "Comedy Tonight" from A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. Another hilarious memory was when I was 6 yrs old and I went over to my next door neighbors to play and they had the PBS filmed SWEENEY TODD on television. I watched about 10 minutes and was so terrified I ran home crying. So funny that 18 years later I made my Broadway debut in Sweeney Todd. 

What about his work (in particular, A Little Night Music) speaks to you and why did you decide to try out?

I love this show so much. It epitomizes beautiful music and gets to the root of the human condition. The characters are all so specific and have such strong desires.

 

What do you hope to bring to this role?

I hope to bring a sense of honesty, dry humor, heart and I can't wait to sing this stunning score. 

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