. i love it here. i've always thought of colorado as my home .
Beth was born in Auburn, Nebraska, and raised in the town of Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado. She claims that she was never a "theatre kid", and spent most of her childhood outdoors — indulging her love for horseback riding and winter sports. To this day, she still considers the Roaring Fork Valley in Aspen her home, although she has since relocated to Los Angeles and New York.
. musical theatre doesn't speak to everyone. but when it speaks to you, that's how you find your people .
Beth's musical theatre epiphany came in the form of Singin' In The Rain - the classic 1952 MGM musical starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. The film, quite literally, changed her life: "I went running into the kitchen, told my mother, ‘I just saw the most amazing thing!' Like I had discovered it. I went to my mom and told her, ‘I found my people!'."
Thereafter, Beth was bitten by the theatre bug — she won the title role in her Douglas County Junior High School production of Annie. At the age of 16, she found herself at the Country Dinner Playhouse, a theatre institution in Englewood, Colorado — first as a hostess, and eventually as one of the main players. "To everyone else it was a summer job... Me, I was geeked out. I watched Evita 20 times. And then I got to audition for the cast, and did 20 shows there."
Over the next few years, Beth pursued an undergraduate degree in acting — first at Loretto Heights College, which closed while she was there, then at the University of Northern Colorado (from which she graduated magna cum laude). Her education was interrupted by professional jobs at the Denver Centre Theatre Company and the Arvada Centre... not to mention a year spent on the road with the Janes Gang playing '80s hits by George Michael and Terence Trent D'Arby.
. i misspent my 20s here in aspen... while other people were doing 'les mis' and 'rent', i was here learning how to finish my turns .
At this point, Beth also spent a great deal of her time in Aspen, where she devoted herself to honing her skiing skillls. Even so, she found the time to work at the old Crystal Palace dinner theatre: not only did she wait tables, she got to perform and entertain the crowds. She still counts these years as being among the best of her life.
But eventually, after deciding that waiting tables wasn't enough, Beth went back to grad school at the drama department of the University of California, Irvine. Graduating in 2000, she settled in Los Angeles and became a fixture on the west coast theatre scene, originating roles in quirky new musicals like Bingo while serving as a regular player in the reinvigorated Reprise! productions of older shows such as Babes In Arms at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. At the same time, she built up a healthy list of credits in television and commercial work.
. that's why i'm not a big broadway star... i'm an entity — people know who i am — but i'm not a star .
Notwithstanding Beth's relatively late foray into theatre outside her home state of Colorado, New York and the Great White Way were about to come calling. Beth had originated the role of Alison in Heitzman and Reid's Bingo way back in 2001, and followed the show through numerous productions across the country until it wound up at the St Luke's Theatre in New York in the fall of 2005. Beth's official Broadway debut was not far behind.
Several years back and completely unbeknownst to her, she had wowed a producer for then-gestating Johnny Cash musical revue Ring Of Fire during an impromptu karaoke performance. So impressed was he that, years later, he called her in for an audition that eventually saw Beth being cast as one of the three female leads in Ring Of Fire. Soon, she was dashing between New York and Buffalo, balancing rehearsals for Bingo with the out-of-town tryouts for Ring Of Fire. In March 2006, the latter show opened to poor critical reviews, playing just over a month before it closed.
Beth has since continued to originate roles in offbeat shows (Pest Control) and big crowd-pleasers (Sister Act), and even returned to New York to reprise a role she first played in 2003 — Betty Jean Reynolds in The Marvelous Wonderettes. After playing an extended ten-month run in the show from August 2008, Beth has described Wonderettes as "a crazy huge New York phenomenon"... and indeed the show played well over a year at the Westside Theatre in New York, closing on 3 Jan 10, long after the members of the original off-Broadway cast had all left the production to seek other opportunities.
. and that will lead to other things... nothing i've ever done ends there .
For Beth, that would be The Break Up Notebook — a new rock musical featuring a book by Patricia Cotter and score by Lori Scarlett, in which she plays Helen Hill, the "Mary Tyler Moore of lesbians". The show, with Beth as the star, had a short run at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego in 2007, before it was shopped to the New York Musical Festival in October that year. The role — which is "funny, real and written pretty much for me" — was to prove significant in years to come. Lisa Kron, the writer of Fun Home's book, first saw Beth onstage in the part in a 2011 production.
It was at this point that Beth's agent contacted her with an audition request from New York's Public Theatre - it was for Fun Home, the critically beloved show that would eventually bring Beth back to Broadway. As she worked on the part in intense workshops, crafting and recrafting it through various iterations through the years, Beth also displayed her considerable range in several established musicals, including 9 To 5: The Musical, Les Miserables and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (for which she won an Ovation Award). She also scored the lead role in a completely reimagined production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, which debuted at the Denver Centre Theatre and is eyeing a possible Broadway run.
On 28 April 2015, Beth was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress In A Musical for her role in Fun Home.
Sources: Aspen Times, Playbill, Huffington Post
. vital statistics .
. singer . actress . recording artist .
. hometown .
. colorado native.
. based in new york and los angeles .
. first role .
annie in annie
(castle rock junior high school, 1984)
. solo album .
the lunch shift
. cast recordings .
. ring of fire . bingo .
. the marvelous wonderettes .
. fun home .
. commercials .
. clarinex . grand's . walmart .
. epson . target . etc .
. film .
. twist of faith . the interview .