These are frightening times, and we all must take necessary precautions as we social distance and self-isolate. That being said, you deserve a break every now and then. Welcome to Playbill's Daily Distraction.
Day 50: And We're Robe-in on the River...
Like many, I carry some ambivalence about my hometown. On one hand, I'm traumatized by the memory of dressing up as Mr. Peanut in honor of one of Hampton Roads, Virginia's foremost claims to fame. Yet on the other, my earliest theatregoing memories include some of a current Broadway powerhouse's earliest roles.
Whenever I listen to the Tina cast recording (which I do...a lot), I'm brought back to my parents taking me to see a children's community theatre production of Annie, starring a tiny Adrienne Warren (who celebrates her birthday today) in the title role. Prior to her Shuffle Along Tony nomination (and surely what would have been her second this season for her work as Tina Turner), Warren took center stage several times in Norfolk, Virginia. Fortunately, one of those performances has made it to YouTube. Check her out in Aida above.
Warren played the title role in 2005 at the Governor's School for the Arts, a starting place for such Broadway favorites as Van Hughes, Emily Raver Lampman, Kelli Barrett, and Patrice Covington (as well as The Flash's Grant Gustin). Seeing her belt out the "Dance of the Robe" climax at a young age doesn't make her superhuman feat in Tina any less shocking, but it at least proves that, for her, belting was always easy as life.
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