When I first met Alexa Green, she was a DIVA, well, one of the lead singers in Marty Thomas presents DIVA that is! Well, the minute I heard her sing, I was hooked! After seeing her this past summer in Adam Overett's Popesical: A Papal Musical, I knew now was the time for us to do an interview together! I am thrilled that we finally got the chance to sit down and talk!
If you did not get the chance to see Popesical: A Papal Musical this summer in the NYC International Fringe Festival, you have four more chances to confess your sin and see this show, now playing at SoHo Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street) as part of the Fringe Encore 2015 which will run through October 26! Click here for tickets!
1. This past summer you starred in Adam Overett's Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy as part of the NYC International Fringe Festival. Now, the show is part of the Fringe's encore series from September 28-October 26! What initially made you want to be part of this show? You mean besides Adam Overett's biceps? Okay seriously, I met Adam years ago when I filled in for my good friend Kristine Reese in one of his concerts. He then he asked me if I would sing a bit on a demo for his new show, Popesical. He said I would be playing the part of "Cardinal Robin" (think Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny), who was a basic girl from Jersey, obsessed with her clothes and was DYING to become pope, like the REAL pope. He played me the music, I read the script, I was hooked. Count me in.
2. Popesical takes place after the pope dies, and Cardinals, locked in the Sistine Chapel, compete in "Papal Challenges" to succeed him. With Pope's Francis' visit to NYC just days before the show started, did doing this show now take on a new meaning? If so, how? The timing could not be more perfect. Actually, I'd like to thank Pope Francis for coming to New York and really increasing our social media presence, I mean, coincidence? I think not.
3. If the Pope came to Popesical, do you think he would like it? I do. This show has a huge heart. It speaks of love and compassion and you don't necessarily have to be Catholic or even religious to relate, understand or appreciate the story we are telling. I don't know him personally, but Pope Francis seems like a pretty cool guy and our show is not only hilarious but hip, especially in our world today and I think he would totally dig it. I have some friends who had the honor to sing for him when he was at Madison Square Garden last week and one friend of mine shared with me this brief tidbit of what he said and your question, Adam, made me think of it. It was something to the effect of, "I am going to discuss a lot of things here today and you don't have to be Catholic, but I ask you to pray for me." That is so cool and profound and really, really gives me a sense of peace, unity and love. It is just so simple and beautiful and that is sort of what our show does too.
4. If you became Pope, providing a Jewish girl could be Pope, what changes would you make in the Vatican? Welllllllllll, I'm actually a cashew. I was raised Catholic, my mother is Catholic and my dad is Jewish so we celebrated both holidays and I grew up learning about both religions. It was actually amazing for me as a child and I am so thankful that now I have such a deep appreciation for religion in general. As far as changes, I don't know if I have enough life experience to really make CHANGES at the Vatican but I'd like to put forth the idea of maybe a sensible rosé option at communion? Or gluten free hosts? Like, we need some updates. Oh, actually there is one thing, I did get a chance to visit the Vatican in 2008 when I went to Italy and I felt a huge sense of profound peace and connection to my faith inside the walls there. I felt that same way when I went to Israel on birthright in 2013 and went to the Western Wall inside the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem. I think it would behoove us as humans to delve a bit deeper into our spirituality. I think it should be a thing for all of us to travel and really experience our religion. I like the fact that if you're Jewish, birthright is an option, the idea of getting to experience it firsthand is super special. I think the Vatican should get on that train and bring us Catholic kids over for a visit! If you're not religious or whatever, that's fine too, but there is something to be said about the connection to faith, whatever that means to you, and I can say that I am a better person because I got to experience the roots of my faith(s). I got to feel the earth, the vibe and the atmosphere of where it all came from. Yea, I would make that change.
5. What has been the best part about working with this cast? What are some funny moments that happened either during the initial run during the Fringe Festival or in rehearsal? The best part about working with this cast is, THIS CAST. They are BEYOND. I can't say enough good things about these people. Thank God for them, literally. Basically, we crack each other up constantly. One of my favorite things that happens is Rachel Coloff, like all the time. We were in rehearsals and she would make Stephen Anthony break, without fail which then snowballed into all of us breaking and us basically laughing from 10-5 and then going home. These people are not only professional and seasoned actors, but we are all SO different and bring such funny characters to the table it is such a joy to come to work, I've made some really stellar friends, this cast is good people, inside rehearsal and performance and outside as real, beautiful humans.
6. Why did you want to be in a show that was part of the Fringe Festival? What do you love about the quick ride the Fringe is? I did a show last summer at Fringe and had a terrific experience. I love that Fringe is a platform for new art to emerge and make a real mark in the theatre scene. I have a passion for developing new works, especially with new, up and coming writers and Fringe gives them wings to fly. It IS a super quick ride and sometimes that is a good thing, it doesn't give you a lot of time to think, you just have to go and rely on your instincts. It creates a family real quick and sort of just throws you out there, but it is extremely rewarding to see the finished product and you never know what could be next!
7. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come see Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy, what would that reason be? Danette Holden's legs. I mean, have you seen them? We joke about it, but really. Also, because Adam Overett is a star, the work he has done on this piece, writing and composing it is genius. It is funny, it has heart, it is SO fun and I hope everyone gets the chance to experience it!
8. If you were sentenced to performing alongside one performer for the rest of your career, who would you choose? Oh dear, well Bernadette Peters is my childhood idol, I've always looked up to her and would love to play opposite her in ANYTHING. Also, Orfeh because I kind of want to be her in the sense that I feel like we are the same person and it would be hilarious to work together in all the things. Also, Steven Pasquale because I just want to sing the phone book with him. Oh, and Meryl Streep, because, obviously. Well, that's four, but who's counting?
9. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? It's already created, it's called Champagne. I also really dig a dirty gin martini with Hendrick's.
10. I've started a new section on "Call Me Adam" about inspiring people to improve their life by one percent. What part of your life do you want to improve by 1%? What do you think is preventing you from achieving this change? You know, I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I don't necessarily think anything is preventing me from achieving it, I think it's more like all in due time. I'd like to improve upon my patience, with myself and with others. Just to breathe more and live in the moment, that doesn't mean slack off or get lazy but give yourself a break, after all, patience is a virtue. Oh, I know what I could improve...my bedtime. If I tried to improve that by 1% each night I might actually get to bed before midnight once in a while!
Alexa Green is a New York City based singer, actor, dancer and recording artist best known for her turn as "Glinda" in the Los Angeles and San Francisco companies of the hit Broadway musical Wicked. After playing to sold out audiences for nearly two years, she went on to appear alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone in the international cinematic release of Stephen Sondheim’s Company with The New York Philharmonic live from Lincoln Center.
Alexa has toured both nationally and internationally as an actor and singer, known for her wide vocal range and expressive musical flexibility. She toured as "Martha Cratchit" on the national tour of SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL and played "Mary Magdalene" in the Italian musical EMMANUEL in Rome Italy. Alexa was recently nominated for two Carbonell Awards (South Florida's regional theatre honor) alongside her cast for her work as "Hedi" in The Arts Garage's production of CABARET VERBOTEN. Favorite regional productions include FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, SHENANDOAH, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, LES MISERABLES AND INTO THE WOODS. Alexa's passion is working on the development of new musical theatre and she is currently involved with pre-Broadway productions and recordings of JAWBREAKER THE MUSICAL, PUMP UP THE VOLUME, DUST AND SHADOW, SMALL TOWN STORY, MADLIBS LIVE, and BLooM!. Her dance single UP (We Are Free) is featured on iTunes and she was most recently seen as a guest soloist with The South Shore Symphony, the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey and with her band, Cover Girls Live. This past fall, Alexa debuted her solo show, A SHINING HOUR to a sold-out audience at 54 Below in New York City and is currently working on her debut album set to be released this spring! Check out www.alexagreen.com for more and follow Alexa on Twitter and Instagram @atalexagreen