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Belle of the stage is coming to town
by Krystal Bick
Dec 05, 2008 | 829 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
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Susan Egan is a woman of many talents. Singer. Actress. Voice talent.

And now Egan, who made her Broadway debut as none other than Belle in the award-winning “Beauty and the Beast,” recently added the role of mom to her list, only to find her daughter, Nina, tires of hearing her sing.

“She tells me ‘No la la,’ “ Egan told the Sparks Tribune with a laugh, mentioning that she has written a song fittingly titled “Nina Doesn’t Care.” “She’s hilarious. I try to tell her that I used to play Belle and that there’s a lot of little girls that would love for me to sing to them. But it’s OK. I get to be mom and be a normal person.”

With a voice like hers though, it’s hard to consider Egan normal. Her resume of work includes numerous Broadway hits, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk nomination and unforgettable voice talent roles in several Disney animated films.

And this Saturday, she’ll be in the Reno Philharmonic-accompanied show “Spirit of the Season” at the Grand Sierra Resort.

“I love doing holiday shows,” Egan said. “It’s such a great way to bring in the season.”

Like her daughter, though, Egan wasn’t always so keen on performing. Having no girlhood dreams of taking the stage, Egan attributes her start to a friend from high school who persuaded her to take voice lessons with her for the sake of a carpool.

“It kind of just clicked after that,” Egan said, who after high school attended UCLA to pursue her acting career in Los Angeles. “I had a family that went to the theater and I was really lucky that way. It just never dawned on me that I could do this for a living.”

Despite her modest expectations, during her junior year of college Egan landed a role in the national tour of “Bye, Bye Birdie” alongside Tommy Tune and moved to New York City.

And the applause has been coming ever since.

The Southern California native has been bouncing back and forth between Broadway hits, including the critically acclaimed and longest running show “Cabaret” in which she played Salley Bowles, “Putting it Together” alongside Carol Burnett, and most recently the title role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” to name a few.

Film credits include roles in “13 Going on 30” alongside Jennifer Garner, numerous independent films like the 2004 Sarasota Film Festival feature “Meet Market,” and of course her voice talents as Meg in Disney’s “Hercules” and Lin in the Academy Award winning “Spirited Away.”

“It actually surprises me,” Egan said, in regards to people recognizing her or her voice from movies. “Most of the time it’s kids. I’m just shocked by it. You never think auditory skills would do it.”

Throwing in some solo concerts and five solo albums, Egan sounds as if her plate is full most days, as “Dora the Explorer” plays in the background for Nina.

She wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My life has changed a little bit,” Egan admitted. “I used to do just Broadway shows where there’s really no audience interaction. What I’m doing now in concerts is that I can have a conversation with them. I really like that. Anything can happen. In theater things happen, that’s what makes it happen.”

In regard to her upcoming weekend performance in “Spirit of the Season,” Egan said she is excited to return to Reno, having performed in town before for a preview series.

“I’ve played with the Reno Philharmonic before and they are fantastic,” Egan said. “And the audiences in Reno really go to have a good time and to have a party. It’s infectious and the people on stage have more fun because of it.”

And for Egan, who has been called by Variety Magazine a “performer with great promise, with sharply focused soprano, unforced girlish charm and sound comic instincts,” all the world’s a stage.

For Nina though?

“Well my husband and I are pushing the math and science,” Egan said with a bit of laughter. “But you never know.”

There are two showings of “Spirit of the Season” the matinee starting at 2 p.m. and the evening show starting at 7 p.m. both on Saturday.

Tickets are priced for seating arrangements: $65 (front), $37 (center) and $17 (back) for both showings and are available for purchase at the Grand Sierra box office by calling (800) 648-3568 or by going online at www.grandsierraresort.com.
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