Derek Klena and Lindsay Mendez Reveal the Secrets Behind the Wonder That Is #Klendez

July 10th, 2014 by

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Broadway stars Derek Klena and Lindsay Mendez brought you to tears as Eddie and Rose in Dogfight; you’ve obsessed over them as Fiyero and Elphaba in the 10th anniversary cast of Wicked; and let’s be real, you’ve spent an afternoon making a Klendez playlist of cast recordings their incredible voices have already appeared on. Now, this dynamic duo is taking the stage at 54 Below with a return engagement of their acclaimed show #Klendez. Below, Derek and Lindsay share the secrets of their incendiary onstage relationship and stories from their past collaborations.


My first impression of my co-star was:

Derek:
“Well the first time I actually saw Lindsay in action was when she was doing Ryan Scott Oliver's 35mm and my first thought was ‘Dang! This girl can saaaang!’ And then after meeting her for dinner before we started rehearsal for Dogfight and finding out how down to earth and kind she was, I was excited to work with her.”

Lindsay:
“I thought he was sweet!! We had our own version of a ‘first date’...where we went out to dinner and got to know each other before rehearsals started...and he was new to NYC, so it was great to see his energy and excitement for New York and the piece.”


I think what makes our performances gel so well together:

Derek:
“From day one we had this understanding and trust. I think when you are playing opposite someone, being able to trust the person you’re with is crucial to making the scenes comfortable and work. We were both lucky that we hit it off so well, and that we had incredible direction and material to work with.”

Lindsay:
“I think we have been performing together onstage so much, that we have a very natural chemistry and back and forth...we are friends and we love each other, and it shows in our interactions onstage together.”


My favorite moment on stage at 54 Below is:

Derek:
“When we have this point in our show where we do a folk medley, and Lindsay and I get to goof around a little and just have fun.”

Lindsay:
“The #klendez folk medley...it's just, perfectly us.”

My most memorable performance of us together in Dogfight was:

Derek:
“Probably the closing performance. Neither one of us knew how much of an impact this show would have on our lives at the time or how well it would be received, so when the final performance had come, and we both knew how special this show was to us, it was a memorable night.”

Lindsay:
“The two show day where we were both sick as dogs. We went to the doctor between shows and found out we were sharing an infection and just kept passing it back and forth...that's what happens when you have to play opposite someone every night...and THAT is love.”

My most memorable performance of us together in Wicked was:

Derek:
“Definitely the first performance, when we both were so nervous and the entire show felt like a blur up until ‘As Long As You're Mine.’ We finally got to slow down, check in with one another and just sit and sing.”

Lindsay:
“Our first night!! We were both so nervous…my favorite moment and the moment I felt most safe was when we sat down onstage, faced each other, and sang ‘As Long As You're Mine.’ It was like home.”


My co-star and I bond over:

Derek:
“hatred for one another......”

Lindsay:
“Schmackary's.”


I’m envious of my co-star’s ability to:

Derek:
“Basically sing any note on the piano. I think she has a third vocal chord...just sayin’…”

Lindsay:
“Play sports...he's awesome. I suck at it.”


If I had to describe my co-star in a song, it would be:

Derek:
Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson.”

Lindsay:
Nothing Short of Wonderful!”

Don't miss Derek Klena and Lindsay Mendez in #Klendez at 54 Below July 11, 12 and 14.