From theatre to film to television, Helen Hayes Award nominee, Lauren Cohn is an actress to go see! Known as "Coco" to her friends, Lauren is currently making her triumphant Broadway debut in the international smash hit "Mamma Mia!" (click here for my review)
Lauren's other theatrical credits include "Glimpses of the Moon" (MetroStage - 2011 Helen Hayes Award Nominee), "The Drowsy Chaperone" (Gateway Playhouse), and "up the week without a paddle" with her theatre company Neurotic Young Urbanites. Lauren has been seen in such film and television series as "Bored To Death," "Royal Pains," "Desperate Housewives," "House," "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," "Monk," "Morning Glory," "Catch Me If You Can," "Secretary," and "Legally Blonde II."
"Mamma Mia!" plays at the Wintergarden Theatre in New York City (1634 Broadway at 50th Street). Click here for tickets and follow the show on Facebook!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I don't recall a time when I didn't want to perform. Born in a trunk, I guess. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Andrea McArdle though. "Annie" was everything!!!
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? My stock answer used to always be Jack Lemmon. Hmmm. After seeing Christian Borle in "Peter and the Starcatcher," I would love to chew the scenery with him.
3. What does it mean to you to be making your Broadway debut in "Mamma Mia"? What made you want to join this show? I have been waiting a loooong time for this Broadway moment. After NYU, I spent a decade+ in LA, working in film and television, and creating original theatre with my company, Neurotic Young Urbanites. I had somehow veered away from chasing the footlights and then in 2008, decided to move back to New York to make the dream come true. "Mamma Mia" was not previously on my radar, but once in the mix for "Rosie," I got very invested and pursued the show for nearly three years...many rounds of auditions until the role became available.
5. What is it like for you to step into the role of "Rosie," a character that has been played by others before you? How do you make "Rosie" your own? The great thing is, the creative team had no expectation that I do anything but bring myself to the role. No one was comparing me to "Rosies" past. It's been liberating and endlessly fun.
6. I had the pleasure of seeing you and your talent in "Mamma Mia." You, Judy McLane, and Felicia Finley have great chemistry together and come across as really being friends for a long time. What is the best part about performing with them every night? Thank you! That is the best compliment we could ever receive. It evolved rather organically. It's all about trust and mutual respect. The three of us fit together so happily. We really couldn't be more different, and yet somehow we make sense as lifelong pals. I am so grateful for our wonderful working relationship. I love every minute of stage time I have with those two fabulous women.
7. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse on your own? Exploration...experimentation...failing and trying again...discovering a moment and looking for ways to do it over and over again like it's never been done before. Comedy is math in some ways and truth be told, you can't really know what you have until there is an audience. They are the other character in "Mamma Mia!" Since I moved into an existing show, my "previews" happened in the deep end. Sink or swim. I did a little of both.
I do some brilliant work (and auditions for that matter) in my living room and some of my best rehearsing in the shower.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I am resilient. Physically and emotionally.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be kind and respectful to the assistants. They will be running the company soon enough.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Mind reading.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Doing as little as possible.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Doing "Mamma Mia!" It's virtually a marathon every nite. Plus I like to use a weighted hula-hoop (and do the minimum I can get away with at the gym).
13. Favorite skin care product? Ole Henriksen TRUTH SERUM. And SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN!