‘Carrie: The Musical’ star featured in one-woman show at RTP this Sunday
Brittany D. Simmons will take the stage for her one-woman show When I Grow Up this Sunday July 26 at 8:00 p.m at Richmond Triangle Players.
Music direction for the evening of “secrets, stories, and singing” is being provided by local actor/musician Anthony Smith with guest appearances by Richmond’s Matt Shofner, and Broadway’s Andrea Rivette.
Simmons is currently wowing audiences in the title role of 5th Wall Theater’s Carrie: the Musical. Her portrayal is fierce, tender, nuanced, and powerful. And that doesn’t begin to describe her voice.
Before returning to her current stint in New York City, Simmons wanted to share the gift of her voice with her beloved Richmonders. She plans to sing some of her favorites from her own album, When I Grow Up, as well as selections from some of her favorite new composers, and “of course, Sondheim,” she confirmed.
Growing up, Simmons moved from town to town and even overseas. In middle school her father, a military chaplain, decided she needed a permanent home. With that fateful decision, Simmons came to Richmond. And a little piece of her heart will always belong to RVA. She fondly recalls the start of her acting career in Richmond; roles in Sycamore Rouge’s The Crucible, Hanover Tavern’s Nunsense and Quilters at Swift Creek Mill.
In person, Simmons is quiet and a bit reserved, yet completely accessible. She’s smart and funny; she’s is the kind of person who just makes you feel good to be around. Her sincerity is almost disarming with her big blue eyes radiating kindness. She lives her life with the belief in kindness as a vital force for good: “No matter what your point of view,” she said, “you can always choose kindness.”
I couldn’t get Simmons to brag about herself. Fortunately, she has many fans in Richmond to do the bragging for her. 5th Wall Theater’s Associate Artistic Director Billy Christopher Maupin, who is currently directing Simmons in Carrie, raved, “When Brittany walks into the rehearsal room, a director knows three things: she’s done her homework, she’s ready to collaborate, and she just brought an incredible instrument through that door with her. She is not only an immense talent, but she’s also smart, trained, and gracious.
“It’s such a gift to be able to work with someone that is continually striving to grow, to learn, and to hone her skills. She is one of the hardest working actors I have ever encountered and she takes a note like gangbusters. Truly a thrilling collaborator and artist. And that voice! Geez!”
So just what does this “thrilling collaborator and artist” want to do when she grows up? She aspires to land some of her dream roles. Perhaps we’ll see her on Broadway as Jo March in Little Women or as Sweeney Todd‘s Mrs. Lovett.
I hope that the Big Apple is kind to Richmond’s adopted daughter. And that she fulfills her dream of owning a cat named Menken.
Carrie the Musical continues through August 8, 2015 at RVA Events Space located in Plant Zero at 1 E. 3rd Street. For tickets click here.
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
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