Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Krista Kemp, who is performing, as Judy Haynes, in White Christmas. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far! LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?
KK: White Christmas happens to be my very favorite show! My aunt, Lynn took me to see it when it came through the Ordway a few years ago and it was one of the most magical theater moments I’ve ever experienced- in fact I took my husband to see it when it returned a few years after that! Such a feel-good show with so many wonderful songs and dances.
LA: For those that are unfamiliar with White Christmas can you tell us about the show?
KK: White Christmas is a lovely show with big heart- the characters really embrace the Christmas spirit of kindness and giving, and it’s all wrapped up with show stopping song and dance- who doesn’t want a little of that each holiday season!?
LA: Talk about the character that you play in White Christmas. How have you developed this character?
KK: I play Judy Haynes, the younger, slightly mischievous sister. Judy has a kind heart but definitely knows how to get what she wants. Judy and Betty have a wonderful sister relationship- Judy not only looks up to Betty but is also very protective of her. If I can manage to bring even the slightest bit of spunk and energy that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in Judy I will considerate it a huge success!
LA: Why should people come and see White Christmas?
KK: There are just so many reasons! I’ll just list a few: tap dancing, Irving Berlin, heart-felt moments, tap dancing, showy costumes, AMAZING cast with jaw-dropping talent, and did I mention tap dancing? ; )
LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?
KK: So many amazing talents in this group- it is honestly such an honor working with them. I would have to say that, while I have honestly been impressed by everyone, Regan Duffy, who plays Susie, just blows me away- talk about spirit! She is always ready to work, definitely knows her material, and on top of it all is just flat out spectacular- what can I say- she’s born with it!
LA: Are musicals easier or harder then straight show or comedies? If so, why?
KK: I would say musicals are easier but that’s probably because I LOVE musicals so very much. For me, acting is a skill that doesn’t come easily. It’s definitely something I have to work hard at- so learning music and fun dances isn’t as challenging as trying to portray truth in each character.
LA: What is your favorite musical to watch?
KK: Hmm… this is a tough one. I grew up watching musicals instead of cartoons so I have many favorites. My Fair Lady, Shall We Dance, Funny Face, but Wizard of Oz is probably my all time favorite.
LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?
KK: Oh, so many fun things- but I have to say decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite traditions. Ever since I can remember, my family has decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving- no black Friday deals for this family! We would turn on the Christmas music and turn our entire house into a winter wonderland!
LA: Which do you like better White Christmas the movie or the stage version?
KK: Hands down- stage version- no contest. The stage version offers more heart- not to mention more wow moments that really are better experienced in live theater- you’ll have to come to the show to find out what I mean!
LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?
KK: I know this is going to sound super cheesy but Judy Haynes is my dream role- has been since I first saw the show and I was incredibly humbled and beyond excited when Becky offered me the role. I just hope I can bring even the slightest bit of joy to her that I have been fortunate enough to experience viewing.
LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
KK: I am a paralegal at a family law firm by day. I am married with two adorable kitties. My husband and I enjoy traveling and spending as much time with our 8 nieces and nephews as possible. I’ve been dancing since age three and was in my first community theater show at age seven- after that there was just no turning back!