OBIE and Drama Desk Award Winner Mandy Gonzalez continues to be a rising performer who defies gravity with her extremely powerful vocals! I had the pleasure of speaking with Mandy Gonzalez in person when I attended the premiere of "One Night Stand," a documentary, filmed by Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton, chronicling the creation of the 2009 edition of the 24-Hour Musicals. Delightful and sweet, I was so excited Mandy took the time to talk with me.
Well known for her OBIE Award-winning performance in the Off-Broadway production of "Eli's Comin'," the musical based on the lyrics and music of songwriter Laura Nyro, Mandy made her Broadway debut in Tim Rice and Elton John's "Aida" where she played "Princess Amneris." I was first introduced to Mandy's talent when I saw her in Michael Crawford's "Dance of The Vampire" on Broadway in 2002 and then I had the pleasure of seeing her again in 2005 in the Broadway production of "Lennon." Since then Mandy has continued to work non-stop. She originated the role of "Nina Rosario," for which she received a Drama Desk Award, in the Off-Broadway production of "In The Heights." She then transferred with the production to Broadway where the show won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical. Most recently, Mandy was seen on Broadway as "Elphaba" in the Tony Award Winning Musical "Wicked."
Mandy starred in the 2007 Korean Tour of "Jekyll and Hyde: The Concert" as "Lucy," and has participated in numerous theatrical workshops. Her film and television credits include Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe," "In God's Hands," NBC's "Third Watch," and CBS' "The Guiding Light." She can be heard on the film soundtracks of "Mulan 2" and "Urban Legend."
1. What was it like for you to do the "24-Hour Musicals"? It was thrilling and terrifying. I had done the 24-hour plays, but the musicals were a little bit more intense because I had to learn music as well as a play. I had a great time doing it, though.
2. What was it like to be filmed while were doing the "24-Hour Musicals"? It's great to get to see the film now because it was such an intense experience, that I am excited to see how it was all put together.
3. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I would say Judy Garland. When I was a kid, I would listen to Judy with my grandmother and watched all the movies and wanted to do the show in the backyard.
4. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Everybody…Barlett Shear, Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell.
5. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That anything is possible and if believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Travel where there is no trail. You blaze the trail as you go. You can’t follow anybody. Go with your own journey.
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? While pregnant, I’ve been doing yoga, but I normally run..
8. Favorite skin care product? Neutragena. When I was doing “Wicked,” I used a lot of Neutragena and it really worked.
9. Favorite website? Facebook.
10. “Glinda” or “Elphaba”? Elphaba! Me: Because you played it? I like both characters, but I do have a soft spot for Elphaba.