Tweets & Things

"Do You Hear the People Sing" with Utah Symphony

Last April 2012 I joined the cast of Do You Hear the People Sing - The Dream Concert tour showcasing the music of Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schonberg. Since then we've had the pleasure of playing with various Pops Symphonies including Pittsburgh Pops, Baltimore, Sinaloa Symphony in Mazatlan, Mexico and most recently with Utah Symphony Orchestra last week. We had an incredible time with the UTO under the baton of Maestro Gerald Steichan! (And singing this beautiful music while in your 3rd trimester was especially fun! Plus the elevation in Utah?! It's incredible I didn't pass out!)

You can click on image or link below to see some fun press with KSL NBC, interview with Jennifer Hardman. She talked with my musical theatre heroes Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schonberg about their recent 2013 Golden Globe and Oscar wins and about the evening of their music. Stay tuned for future bookings of DYHTPS! Hopefully we'll be coming a city near you! Meantime, check out KSL interview - Utah Symphony Highlights show tunes. Thanks for stopping by! 

Pictured: front - (8 months preggars) Jennifer Paz, Alain Boublil & Claude Michel Schonberg (creators of Les Miz, Miss Saigon, Pirate Queen), back - Jerry Steichan and Eric Kunze. Abravanel Hall, 3/1 & 3/2.

"Do You Hear the People Sing" post show cast meet and greet, L-R: Eric Kunze, Sarah Uriarte Berry, Alain Boublil, Jennifer Paz & Marie Zamora. Abravanel Hall 3/2/2013.



12th Annual Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals

Recently I got to participate in one of my favorite annual events at one of my favorite places to "work" - Village Theatre's Annual Festival of New Musicals. Coming home to Seattle and Village always makes me happy and seeing so many familar faces alone is enough to seduce me into moving back home. I consider it everytime. This year I got to be a part of reading called Great Wall, book by Kevin Merritt and David Henry Hwang, and music and lyrics by Kevin So. Here is a recent blurb about Village and the festival on Playbill. I had a great time and I hope to see this groundbreaking show move forward, stay tuned...


March forth!

No, I'm not one of those people who mis-uses "your" and "you're" (if I can catch myself)  - I just thought the title was appropriate since it is, indeed March 4th. Wait, it's March 4th already?! And the last entry I made was sometime in December 2011. Slacker. Well, I've been doing stuff. What kind of stuff you ask? Well, I've settled back to Los Angeles, after a quick trip to Hawaii to visit my bro in January. I ate, hiked, watched some whales, learned Ukulele tunes at the local mall food court, flew home to Seattle, packed, then made the 21 hour drive to LA from Seattle. Oh, and I also went to NYC to visit friends and watch some amazing theatre. That was February. While I was there, I made time with old friends, like I said, and met some new ones too, had rehearsals for a concert I'm doing in April, and ate some awesome meat balls at a hip Williamsburg eatery. Now back in LA, I've had a few auditions, pilot call-back, and am now getting back in a nice groove with class, actor business stuff, time with family and friends, and plenty of visits to Cost Plus World Market - where I can easily spend hours orbiting a piece of furniture - leave store, dream about it - then come across the exact piece selling on Craigslist at a fraction of the cost and in mint condition - SCORE! I've also clocked some time at the As-is section at Ikea - scored there too with some goodies. That pretty much brings us to March 4th - which is exactly what I'm doing. Marching forth...until next time. 

Oh, and I heard this joke on NPR today while driving:

Question: What do you do when you get into a fight with a circus clown?

Answer: Go for the jugular. 

You're welcome. Have a nice day.



Cindy and the The P on New Day Northwest

Happy Friday ya'll! Last week was a fantastic opening week of shows and we're now in our second week of holiday madness and pyro poofdom. I'm grateful and a little bit exhausted. But always grateful. Kendra Kassebaum and I participated in Seattle's annual Great Figgy Puddy Caroling Competition event in Westlake Plaza last week and it was a blast! We kicked off the night with "Impossible" and waved hello to a few of the kids. Adorable. I'm just gonna gush a little bit about Fairy Godmother cuz she's kind of the bomb. I saw Kendra twice as Glinda in Wicked in LA and became an instant fan of hers and am so thrilled to able to play with her onstage every night! I told her the second day of rehearsal that I was a huge fan and probably sufficiently freaked her out by looking like a stalker. But whatevs. If I like you and your work, I'm gonna tell you to your face. Anyway, there I said it. 

Kendra Kassebaum and me at the Figgy Puddy Caroling Competition @ Westlake Plaza

It also has be to be said that I have a huge talent crush on my leading man, 'toph, or The P as some like to call him. Brandon O'Neill and I stopped by the King 5 studios on Wednesday to sing and play, and say hello on New Day Northwest with host Margaret Larson. Again, another fun filled event and I was thankful to have the 5th peeps with us making sure the morning ran smoothly. Thank you Bridget, Lauren, Deb, Heather, Faith, and the driver for getting B through West Seattle traffic! 

We got to sing "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful", talked about the costume designer's fabulous buttons, Treehouse shoe drive and other fun stuff. In case you missed it, here is the video link above. For those who have come to the show - thank you for your raves and support! And for those who have yet to see - tix are still available! Check out some promos on 5th Ave's website. See you at the ball!

Sound check with the P and me on King 5's New Day Northwest 



Parade, Preview and Pyro!

I woke up this morning to a quiet house. It was weird. Considering the busy week that just happened. My sister and her family of 5 kids and hubby from Northern California, brother from Hawaii, and other family friends...have left the building. We had a quick but fun filled Thanksgiving holiday with family pouring in from Sunday through the week, making the days closer to Thanksgiving more and more chaotic and real, and well quite frankly, noisy. And it wasn't even a full reunion. My other sister and hubby and 2 kids from San Diego couldn't join us this year. Sad face. Anyway, Thanksgiving came and went, but it also marked the start of other events to end my week: Parade, Preview and Pyro! Oh my! 

Friday morning after Thanksgiving I got to report bright and early at 7am to the 5th to get into full beat and hair for the Macy's Day Parade. It was my first time participating in the event and it was a blast! I was joined by my 2 brilliantly wicked Stepsisters (Nick Garrison and Sarah Rudinoff) and together we waved perky eyed to the anxious little girls and boys excited to see our happy fairy tale (dysfunctional) family. I could hear Nick and Sarah behind me giving the crowd silly banter (basically talking crap about their sister, Cinderella aka "Patches" their pet name for me) and I tried my best to join in a couple times by asking if they were any available single men out there - "Any takers? My sister's are looking for husbands?" while waving endearingly to the excited little ones on mom or dad's shoulders in the sea of bright eyed Parade goers. 

5th Avenue Theatre's Cinderella wicked stepsisters (and crowd favs) Nick Garrison (Joy), Sarah Rudinoff (Joy) = BRILLIANT!!!

In the beginning of the parade route I had my coffee with me in the carriage and my iPhone and took a couple of pictures of my sisters and the crowd to which I heard a little girl say, "Mommy, Cinderella is texting!" I put away my phone after that. 

Happy Holidays! wave with the right, (and not texting with the left)

The Parade was awesome and I had a great time. It ran just over an hour and I hurried back to the theatre, out of Cinderella costume by around 10:30a, napped with my stepsisters for about an hour at the hotel room courtesy of the 5th before our 12 noon call for a 1pm final invited dress. It was a success with just over a 1,000 invited audience members from different charity organizations, underprivileged youth and cast family & friends, and of course the creative team making all the behind the scenes magic happen smoothly and seamlessly. And it did! By the end of the dress rehearsal, however I was starting to feel the possible wall I could hit. But there was no time for that nonsense! It was off to the Westlake Tree Lighting Ceremony! This was so much fun! Thousands of people gathered for this annual Seattle tradition. 

I got so sing a familiar Rodgers and Hammersteins ditty "My Favorite Things" to a crowd of more screaming little boys and girls, and holiday shoppers. Exhilarating. I even ran into Santa! He asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told him "a trip to Hawaii." He said "I was there just last week, so I'll see what I can do." I'm holding you to that Santa. Thanks. 

L-R: Megan Hilty (NBC's upcoming Smash), KING5 Anchor Joyce Taylor, Miss Seattle Lauren Kuhn, and Jennifer Paz

One Song, Santa, and Sparkling tree later, the event was done and off I went back to the theatre by 6pm to have quiet time and dinner in my dressing room before First Preview that night at 8pm. Again, no time to hit that wall. We had a great first preview and I was so grateful the day was a success, and that it was over! 16 hours. Whoa. I know Hawaii was probably asking Santa for a lot, but after this day, a girl can hope.




"You have brought me from the lightening, you have watched me from afar..."

Saturday morning...

Last quad weekend here in Ogunquit; watching OWN (I cannot get enough of this Miss Representation Documentary), having breakfast, sipping my coffee and reflecting on my last 2 months here with Ogunquit Playhouse, and well, my experience with this show.

Miss Saigon. Where do I start with you? This is a show that has represented milestones in my life. It was my first professional show. A show that has been a part of my professional life for nearly 2 decades, and has given me the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows, both on and off stage. I’ve made some of my lifelong friends with this show, and it continues to re-unite me with friends of the show, and introduce me to new ones. This cast in particular crept into my heart with style, ridiculous talent, and a sick sense of humor that left me constantly cracking up, breathless offstage, and, well moments before getting onstage too (but that one time was really my fault. Note to self: never, I mean NEVER try to do your own lyrical gun dance in the wings for a laugh; complete with Tae Bo, and gangsta moves with your prop pistol you pull out of your spanks), only to begin “I Still Believe” with no breath support, and back-phrasing like crazy!!! And making sound and MD, and Kim covers perk up with worry that you’re losing your voice – I apologize again for my off stage shenanigans. But come on, silliness is sometimes needed. Not to do this show a disservice, but it is an incredibly heavy show, so those tiny moments where we can have a little fun is just a way to come up for some fresh air. Those of you who know, know.

As I was saying, you experience your first time only once with this show, truly, but I am blessed every time I get to experience this show with a new cast and through them I get to experience the magic of this show all over again. And each time I get a new appreciation for the talent and incredible spirits that help keep this story alive, a deeper appreciation and connection to these character’s stories, and to get a chance to do it 8 times a week in front of audiences who go through the journey with us - What a gift! We are all blessed.

I want to take a moment to thank some theatre patrons who have taken the time to write me and tell me how touched they were by the production. I am truly grateful for your kind words. Thank you. I especially appreciate the Veterans who take the time to write and express their gratitude. I am humbled by your service to our country and honored that you would take the time to reach out. I want to share an excerpt of a letter I received yesterday and it moved me to tears:

“As a veteran of the Vietnam conflict during the late 1960’s, this production as well as your performance (and that of Mr. Aranas) opened many partially closed doors in my memory.  I think it’s safe to say those doors may appear a little more open in the future.”

This is why I do theatre. It’s these sublime moments that make it all worth it. Thank you again for writing. And thank you Ogunquit Playhouse for giving us an amazing experience! Happy closing weekend.

One last thing, how do I negotiate the enlightenment of this outstanding Miss Representation Documentary with the protrayal of women in our show? Well, with that I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite women activists:

“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet.” -Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues

Miss Saigon is about sacrifice. At what price? 


Ogunquit mid-week 4

We're in the middle of week 4 here in Ogunquit and it's all moving along quite smoothly. Shows have been great. Audiences awesome. Plenty of cast parties and bonding times. (Hoping to join in on the next laser tag excursion). The cast enjoyed a nice couple of days off on Monday and Tuesday, some went to Boston, some handled their business in the City, others entertained out of town guests, while other crazies travelled across the country and jumped time zones to make a photo shoot happen and have a brief musical rehearsal. (I'm paying for it now - man. I. am. tired.) And on Tuesday night, I flew back from Seattle just in time to join the rest of the cast hear Travis and Katie perform their original material at Anchorage by the Sea, (backed up by some of our super talented crazies in this company). And they were awesome! You guys need to record your stuff soon! Anyway, I'm just about to take a quick power nap before the show tonight, but wanted to share this awesome BroadayWorld review. The entire cast, company and Ogunquit Playhouse team got raves. High five ya'll. "In a word, it is flawless." Thank you Ms. Jan Nargi. 

"From its tremendous cast to its brilliant design team, this Miss Saigon demonstrates that regional companies don't need Broadway budgets to create stirring and memorable theater. All they need is talent, vision, and a leader at the helm who holds everyone up to a standard of excellence that is unflinching and uncompromising. In Executive Artistic Director Brad Kenney, Ogunquit Playhouse has found that leader. Under his watchful eye, Ogunquit productions through the past several years have become increasingly more entertaining and exciting. This current revival of Miss Saigon is unequivocally the best one yet." -BroadwayWorld Boston


Week 2 of performances @ Ogunquit

Fall is here! Hard to believe just 2 days ago we were hanging out at the beach, enjoying 80 degrees, posing shamelessly in our swimwear, and making sand sculptures. Good times. It's a rainy Thursday morning, and I'm getting ready for another 2-show day. Good thing I joined the grocery run yesterday, because it was during the carpool that I was reminded we had a 2-show day yesterday as well. Might be a good idea to check the daily calendar, Paz. Anyway, we're having a grand time, and many of the cast friends and family have come to visit and will be pouring in to visit before the end of the run.  

Some show reviews have also come in and, happy to report, they ain't bad. Happy reading:

"'Miss Saigon' provides emotional capper to Ogunquit season"-The Portland Daily Sun

"Playhouse wraps a winning season with Miss Saigon" - Seacoast Online

"Playing the part of Kim, the role she had in the first national tour of the show, is Jennifer Paz. She is utterly perfect, all innocence and sweetness in Act I and steely resolve in Act II. Paz is almost always on stage, and her strong, beautiful voice never tires. Her grace and wide-eyed optimism make it easy to see why her soldier-boy would be instantly smitten." -The New Maine Times

"Ogunquit Playhouse presents and outstanding and profoundly moving, emotionally wrenching production of this masterpiece of musical theater" -The Forecaster


Ogunquit Playhouse

Hello! So this week we began rehearsals for Miss Saigon at Ogunquit Playhouse, and we're having a great time! Tonight, after rehearsal we got to see the current main stage production of Legally Blonde (starring super talented Becky Gulsvig, the hilarious Sally Struthers, and the impeccable Michael Rupert) and we had a blast! Fun show, and quite a contrast from our heavy days of Saigon. After the show, the cast generously met with us onstage and we all got to chat it up. It was a great night and a great way to let off some steam before we continue through the rest of our first week.


True Blood Conversations with Chris Bauer

Making the most use of my time here in Los Angeles before I leave next week, I attended an event for the SAG Foundation last night. So happy I attended. I was completely immersed in the words and stories this wonderful actor had to share. The evening began with a screening of the latest episode of True Blood, followed by a Q&A with Chris Bauer (True Blood's Andy Bellefleur) led by casting director Bonnie Gillespie. I left the evening with a sense of comfort, as I always do when I'm surrounded by other artists in these kinds of settings. We're all on our creative paths, and so collectively, we're all in this together. Right? I like to think so. Empowering, insightful, inspiring. I took a lot away from the evening, but the 2 things that stuck out were the words "re-build" and "fear only means you're off your path." Got it. That muscle of mine tends to cramp up routinely. Just gotta keep flexing. It's a life long process that I'm reminded of everyday. Which reminds me, the other thing I took away from last night, was "just be." Learning to do just that. Just be. I like that. That's all. Have a nice day.