I was first introduced to rising performer, Patti Murin, when she starred in "Xanadu" on Broadway. At that time, I was impressed with what I saw. Then this past summer, I saw what Patti was really capable of when she reprised her role of "Lysistrata Jones" in the Transport Group's Off-Broadway premiere, after creating the role at Dallas Theatre Center. Now, to see Patti yet again in the role of "Lysistrata Jones" on Broadway, reminds me and reinforces the reason why she is "Lysistrata Jones." Her strong vocals coupled with her fine acting skills and positive energy, really make Patti shine! In addition to Broadway, Patti has delighted audiences around the country in "Emma" at the Old Globe Theatre (Emma Woodhouse), "The Little Mermaid" at the MUNY (Ariel), and "Beauty and the Beast" with Theatre of the Stars (Belle). Patti holds a BFA from Syracuse University in Musical Theatre, where she was also a cheerleader.
Be sure to catch Patti's triumphant performance in "Lysistrata Jones" (click here for my review) at the Walter Kerr Theatre in NYC (219 West 48th Street, between Broadway & 8th Ave). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I have taken dance since I was 3 years old, so I was always performing for people. Plus my sister, brother, and 2 cousins would always make up dances and write plays and perform them for our relatives, so I was taught to be very creative at a young age. And then when I started doing school plays and shows in high school, I realized that you CAN actually go to college to study theatre, and that pretty much sealed my fate. Plus my parents were always incredibly supportive of me, so that helped more than anything.
2. If you could perform alongside anyone, who would you choose? I think the answer to this question will always be my husband, Curtis Holbrook. We have actually done a lot of shows together, including "Xanadu", playing opposite each other when he was playing the role of Sonny and I was on for Kerry Butler as Kira. I just love being able to share the stage with him and be able to see his incredible talents from right next to him!
3. What attracted you to "Lysistrata Jones" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I love this show because it has so many wonderful messages of being who you really are, going for your dreams, and being passionate about life. The same things that can be so hard for every human being to remember from day to day, we try to share in just over 2 hours with an awesome score and a hysterical book. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but at the same time, people are getting really inspired to reach for the stars after seeing our little show. So anytime we can make people smile as they leave the theatre and spread the joy that we feel every time we do the show, we know we have done our job for the night.
4. "Lysistrata Jones" started Off-Broadway this past June before making the transfer to Broadway. What is it like to be part of a production that has transferred to Broadway and what excites you about being part of this experience? It is SUPER exciting! One thing that most people in the business know is that almost every single new musical that is written has the aspirations of going to Broadway. So the longer you work on something, the more hopeful you are that it will go to Broadway, but more often than not, it doesn't. So to finally have one hit, and one that I love so much, is just overwhelming. Every so often I have to take a minute to step back and look at everything we have all accomplished with this show and realize how lucky we are.
5. What do you identify with your character "Lysistrata Jones" the most? I identify with so much! One thing is that both of us are absolutely incapable of sitting still and not DOING things. I mean, we always need to have a project or something to be working on, or else we get extremely antsy and unhappy. We are both extremely energetic and peppy, and like Lysistrata, I was also a cheerleader in high school and college! Ironically, at Syracuse, which is our big rival in the show!
6. What is your favorite part of the preview period/rehearsal process in a show? I love that if something isn't working for someone, they can ask to change it. It feels amazing to have a show basically written for the current cast. So there are lines in here that are there for reasons that only the original company will ever know, and from now on when the show is performed at other theatres or in colleges, they will be working with the very thing that we all poured our hearts and souls into. That's a pretty neat feeling!
7. Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I like to rehearse in my own bedroom. It's set back from the hall of the apartment, and our building is pretty quiet, so I'm fairly certain you can't hear me when I sing. And I can't rehearse when my husband is home! I share so much with him but when I'm rehearsing a song, it has to be just me or else I get too self-conscious!
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned that I do this because I truly love performing. This business is so hard that if you don't truly love doing it, there is basically no reason to stay in it. It sounds weird to say, but to be able to go through all of the hard times and the ups and downs and the roller coaster of this business and still be able to say that I truly love it, is a really wonderful feeling.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? My dad has two pieces of advice that I have never forgotten! He told me that most people in the world don't have jobs where people stand up and clap for them at the end of every day, and to really appreciate every minute of that and to know how lucky I am. He also told me to be nice to every single person I meet on the way up, because I'll meet them again on the way down! Luckily I really like people and I'm nice anyway, but that bit of advice puts the entire industry in perspective right there!
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? These days, I like to sleep so deeply that my mind completely shuts off and I don't dream about anything! It's an important part of being able to do this show 8 times a week :)
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to stay in shape? Catching up on my DVR, and spending good quality time with my husband and dog. Mainly resting! Favorite way to stay in shape is doing "Lysistrata Jones" 8 times a week! I'm not really a gym kind of girl :)
12. Favorite skin care product? The moisturizer that our makeup designer for the show turned me onto! It's called Embryolisse and is it AMAZING. My skin has never been better, even though I wear a lot of makeup 6 days a week.
13. Favorite website? This season it has been the ESPN Fantasy Football website....I'm a football girl!
14. "Glinda" or "Elphaba"? I'm a little bit of both since I can sing like Elphaba, but I have to say my spirit is more a Glinda spirit. Plus, she gets to wear the pretty dresses :)