By Brian Walker

Entire contents are copyright © 2013, Brian Walker. All rights reserved.

Kate Reedy recently graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Originally from Louisville, she graduated from the Youth Performing Arts School with a dance major and a musical theatre minor. She has choreographed for various companies in town, including CenterStage and Music Theatre Louisville; and on top of all that she is also one of the proud Stage Managers of Abbey Road on the River. This month she’s starring in CenterStage’s production of Legally Blonde, the Musical, which is opening at the Jewish Community Center on July 11.

Brian Walker:  Thank you for participating in our 17 Questions for…
Kate Reedy:  I’m delighted!
BW:  Fabulous, we’re delighted to have you!  Here we go – Number 1:  You’re starring in CenterStage’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde, the Musical. What role are you playing and what drew you to the project?
KR:  I am cast as the fabulous Elle Woods.  I remember sitting in the audience of CenterStage’s production of Evita, Into the Woods, My Fair Lady, Gypsy, just to name a few, as a little girl. The talent that I saw made me realize that someday I would be on that stage.  I was lucky enough to be able to cross that point off of my bucket list last year. CenterStage offered me not only a wonderful theatre company to work for, but also a family and a place to call home. 
BW:  Number 2:  Are you the type of actor to stay away from the film version, or have you watched it recently?
KR:  I am a firm believer in using every possible resource available at your disposal and doing your research. That being said, I don’t want to copy a performance.  Every Elle will have similarities. (Why fix what ain’t broke?) But I am also a firm believer in making a character your own after you have done your research.  So, to answer your question, yes, I have watched the movie, the Broadway production starring Laura Bell Bundy, and the MTV reality show Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woodsas part of my research. But you can bet that this Elle will definitely have some twists up her pink dress sleeves. 
BW:  Number 3:  What’s been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
KR:  Working with the cast and creative team. Everyone in the cast is so supportive of each other, always offering to help with anything, especially in the moral support category. And this creative team has given the entire cast the tools we need to be able to stretch our wings and really make this production soar to new heights. 
BW:  Number 4:  How does rehearsing a musical differ from rehearsing a straight play?
KR:  Well, the obvious answer is a musical has music. I have found in a straight play you have the luxury to focus only on the words and what they mean or infer to an audience. But in a musical you have to make the dialogue flow effortlessly into a song. Musicals do offer the luxury of allowing the audience more insight into the characters through music; the tone, the tempo, and the underscoring can sometimes give the audience more insight into a character than any dialogue possibly could. 
BW:  Number 5:  What’s the biggest difference between you and the character you’re playing?

KR:  I am not a natural blonde!  On a more serious note, I find this character to be the most positive and determined person I have ever met – and I do mean person.  She always tries to see the good in people and never holds anything against someone for anything they have done to her.  All points I have learned from her and definitely trying to improve upon. 

BW:  Number 6:  And what’s the thing you feel most personally connected to with the character?

KR:  She’s stubborn and determined. She does not give up easily and neither do I.  I will probably still be working on this character after the show closes. She will never be perfect, because no one is; she is still a human being, but she learns from her mistakes and continues on.  

BW:  Number 7:  Do you have any productions on the books for the upcoming season?

KR:  I have been offered a couple of shows at CenterStage. But I’m like Elle, who doesn’t know what life has in store for her next. Life has a funny way of showing us our path when we least expect it too. We’re both going to have to “find our way.”

BW:  Number 8:  What’s your favorite thing about performing?

KR:  The Cast. Having the opportunity to make new friends and create a new piece of art. One of my favorite directors, Mr. William P. Bradford, once said, “Theatre is a brilliant piece of art that can never again be replicated.”  And he’s right. No show is ever the same twice.  We will never do this version of Legally Blonde again, and that is what makes every show I do so incredibly special. 

BW:  Number 9:  Where do you see yourself in five years?

KR:  Hopefully, still performing, but I may be old by then. We’ll see what life brings my way. 

BW:  Number 10:  What’s your favorite thing about summer?

KR:  Some of my favorite roles I have performed have been in shows I have done for Summer Stock. Summer Stock is a true test of endurance. You are not only giving 150 percent, but also battling heat and humidity.  If not paced correctly, it is very easy to burn out after the first couple of shows. 

BW:  Number 11:  If you could star in any musical of your choosing, what would it be and why?

KR:  Honestly, Legally Blonde. This role, Elle Woods, has been a dream role of mine ever since I saw the show.  Her personality, her spunk, and her determination make this character really worth bringing to life. It is also a true test of a triple threat – a challenge I am always up for. 

BW:  Number 12:  Being in a musical really means you have to be a triple threat. Between acting, singing and dancing what do you find the most challenging?

KR:  Doing all three at the same time. You can practice and rehearse each individual area all you want, but until you have to perform at 150 percent singing, dancing, and acting full-out every time, you will never have the stamina or understanding for how truly incredibly talented true triple threats are and how they make it look easy. 

Kate Reedy as Mimi in Rent at CenterStage.
BW:  Number 13:  What’s been your favorite role to play up to this point?

KR:  I wouldn’t say my favorite role, but my most diverse role would definitely have to be Mimi in Rent. Everyone knows she comes from a completely different background and culture than my own, along with being a drug addict and a stripper…not things I do on a daily basis or ever. So that was the challenging part to discover. But all of that is the shell of Mimi, Inside she is a hurt girl who is lost and just wants someone to love and care for her – not all that different from lots of females, including myself on occasion.

BW:  Number 14:  What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the local theatre scene?

KR:  Audition, Audition, Audition; help out backstage; and then Audition some more.  No one will ever know who you are or what you can do if you don’t go out there and show them. Take every opportunity to perform and run with it.  If you don’t, it may be your last. 

BW:  Number 15:  Where’s your favorite place to go in Louisville?

KR:  The movies!  I love going to see new movies that are out, especially now that some movie theaters are showing live performances from the Royal Ballet to the Met. 

BW:  Number 16:  Who is someone who inspires you and why?

KR:  Everyone who is involved in a production I am doing – that includes the cast, crew, creative team, and the musicians. Seeing everyone work incredibly hard to bring a production together only inspires me to work harder and perform to the absolute best of my ability. 

BW:  Number 17:  What’s one thing folks would be surprised to learn about you?

KR:  When I was younger I was a state ranked tennis player. My dad taught me, and I have loved playing ever since. I don’t get many opportunities to play now, but when I do, my dad and I go hit.

Legally Blonde, the Musical

July 11-21, 2013

CenterStage at JCC
3600 Dutchmans Lane                                                                                                           Louisville, KY 40205