Not two years ago, you made your Broadway debut in “Hamilton” and received a Tony nomination for playing Eliza, the wife of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s title character. Now you’re starring in a Broadway musical adaptation of “Amélie.” You graduated from Juilliard in 2012 — what does all of this feel like?
There’s the cool factor, right? You see your face on a sign or your name on something, like: “Ahh! Here I am!” And then there’s a huge responsibility and the scary part of it, which is like, “Now what happens?” And then you realize, “Oh, yeah, this is my job.”
I’m sure you had many more illustrious visitors during your run in “Hamilton.”
When the Obamas came, that was pretty special. When we visited the White House, I got to watch Chris Jackson sing “One Last Time” right in front of the portrait of George Washington, while Barack and Michelle Obama are sitting right there.
The final scene in “Hamilton,” where Eliza reconciles with her dead husband’s legacy, is pretty emotionally overwhelming. Did you need to rush back to your dressing room and decompress in silence?
Some days. Doing a show eight times a week is kind of like doing yoga or tai chi. A vinyasa is the same every single time you do it, but depending on how you’re feeling, it tells you a lot about what’s happening in your life. So, there were days where I’d come offstage and be like, “Let’s go out and drink.” But you learn little tricks here and there. Some nights I’d say to myself, “I don’t know if I can watch my son die.” But you learn that you don’t have to go there every night; the writing does that.
You reunited with your “Hamilton” co-stars Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones to sing “America the Beautiful” at the Super Bowl. Was it a different experience to perform for tens of millions of people?
I’m looking out and going, “That’s a lot of people.” But I didn’t really get nervous. Once we got up there, we couldn’t actually hear anything. All we could hear was our own voices. And I was like: “O.K., well, hopefully it sounds good. Am I even performing? Can you guys hear me?” […]
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