At 17, Sophia Anne Caruso has amassed an impressive list of credits. The actor—who made her professional debut as Helen Keller in a production of The Miracle Worker directed by its original star, Patty Duke—made her Broadway bow in 2016 opposite Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams in David Harrower’s Blackbird. She received Lucille Lortel nominations for her Off-Broadway outings in The Nether and Lazarus, and repeated her work in the latter for the London premiere of the David Bowie musical. Caruso, whose screen credits include Smash, The Sound of Music Live, Jack of the Red Hearts, and 37, was also seen in the Kennedy Center production of Little Dancer, and she is currently back on Broadway in the Tony-nominated new musical Beetlejuice, based on the film of the same name. Caruso is cast as Lydia, a role that earned the multi-talented artist a 2019 Theatre World Award.
We recently asked Caruso to pen a list of her most memorable nights in the theatre; her responses follow.
While I was in Beetlejuice in Washington, D.C., I fell asleep at intermission and then mistakenly put on my street shoes before Act II. Luckily, they were caught and switched before I made it out!
During a recent performance of Beetlejuice, an inebriated woman started screaming at me from the center of the orchestra during a huge power ballad, where I was completely alone onstage with no way to stop. Terrifying! But when I saw her vomiting on the sidewalk and then being put into an ambulance on my walk home, I realized it was time to let it go.
When I was performing in Lazarus here in NYC, I had to slip and slide through a puddle of milk, and one night, I actually slipped right off the stage into an audience member’s arms, and they pushed me right back on. A unique experience!
Another time during Lazarus, I had an interactive scene with Alan Cumming via a pre-recorded video. One night, the screen where it appears broke! I had no idea what I was going to do, so I made up a monologue I would perform—when I sat up to do it, the video wall repaired itself and played the scene. It was very strange and perhaps paranormal.
When I was appearing in Little Dancer at The Kennedy Center, while performing a leap across the stage in toe shoes, my toenail ripped about half way down the middle, but I just kept dancing. The show must go on!
When I was in Annie, during one scene I had a shelter dog with me onstage. I was holding onto this huge bone that the dog was eating, and then he decided to take off and run with it. I did not let go and got dragged across the whole stage! I was a wee 9 years old. That same dog almost knocked me into the pit while sniffing up my skirt.