Five Burning Questions with On Broadway Headliner Stephanie J. Block
March 12th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Tony nominated leading lady Stephanie J. Block [no need to list the credits] is bringing her powerful pipes to Carnegie Hall on March 21. Block joins fellow Tony nominee Andrew Rannells for a one-night-only event that should be on every theatre fan’s calendar, The New York Pops’ On Broadway concert. We caught up with SJB to chat about belting Es and Fs, joining hubby Sebastian Arcelus on House of Cards and letting her inner Teresa Giudice free.
1. What songs can we expect from you? I see West Side Story is on the docket. Are you Maria and Anita? A solo “A Boy Like That?” What’s happening?
Are you calling me Cher? Do you remember that one-woman-show where she played every character in West Side Story? You know what, if they let me—and to be onstage at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops—I would like to play every character of every musical…is that selfish? I’ve worked with Steven Reineke before, and he’s so brilliant. I have to belt a few out (because he knows that’s what I do and what I love), but he’s also wanting to show a softer side of my voice, so I’ll be doing The King and I and such. I’ll still do “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Meadowlark” and “Defying Gravity;” those belting Es and Fs will be there.
2. What musical do you think you and Andrew Rannells could co-star in?
I don’t know if he’d be up for it, but I can see us as the Thénardiers [in Les Miserables]. Wouldn’t that be fun? I think we could do a completely different take on that. I think we could also do Guys and Dolls; he’s too young, but to be his Adelaide would be super, super fun. But I could also play Sarah. Let’s be like Cher, and I’m going to be Sarah and Adelaide. [Laughs]
3. I have no shame when it comes to a SJB YouTube spiral. Do you have a favorite YouTube performance?
I was sent my very last “Defying Gravity” on Broadway, and I got to admit for someone who is extremely critical of themselves, I thought “Wow that was pretty good. That was emotional, my voice was on point, Annaleigh Ashford and I connected beautifully and the camera work was there.” Half of the point on YouTube is did they actually get it? The cameras go everywhere: the back of the head, the floor. But this guy actually got it. It was a clean storytelling. I am proud of that. Vocally, I’m proud of “Memory” from The Muny, but I look CRAZY! You have to understand, there’s a week of rehearsal and you do your makeup and gestures for 11, 000 people. So when that’s on camera…
4. You’re a resident of the Garden State now. What’s the most Jersey thing about you?
I must admit I have been applying lipstick more than usual and putting on way too many jewels. Everyday I’m like, “Stephanie you have to remove one thing.” Like Coco Chanel says. I always love the shiny, shimmery glamour stuff, and now that we’re in Jersey it’s allowed. It’s celebrated! I haven’t worn all the jewelry with a Juicy sweatsuit yet, but it could come to that in a year or two.
5. Let’s imagine you join your husband Sebastian Arcelus on House of Cards. Who’s your character? How does she fit in?
She’s a power-hungry former press secretary who is making the leap into the electoral congress.
Don’t miss the On Broadway concert with Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells and the New York Pops March 21 at Carnegie Hall.