Today on our blog, we welcome Anastasia ensemblist Gail Bennett to Broadway and learn about her journey to the Great White Way:
1. What's your name and hometown?
Gail Bennett from Madison, Wisconsin.
2. What is your role/track in your Broadway debut?
Tsarina Alexandra/Ensemble/Lily u/s in Anastasia.
3. How did you find out you had booked the part?
After several auditions, I was in the Caribbean performing as a "Broadway Guest Artist" for Disney Cruise Line. Casting contacted my agent that the team was onboard to give me an offer contingent upon having a fitting in "THE DRESS." (If you have seen Anastasia, you know why this is a big deal.) The Tsarina has the most incredible costume on Broadway. It is extremely heavy, fully embroidered and jeweled and literally impossible to alter in most cases.
When I arrived at the Broadhurst, my heart was beating like crazy! I knew this dress needed to zip up! It did, but it seemed the dress was a little long. So, I left that day not knowing if I had the job or not. The airline had lost my luggage, so they next day I spent all morning on hold trying to track down my bags. After an hour and a half of being on hold, my friend saw a text from my agent on my phone that said, "You got it!" I told her to hang up with the airline and she thought I was crazy and wouldn't give me the phone because she wanted to get ahold of the airline! Then my agent called and I had to tackle her to let me switch over the calls. He finally broke the news to me!
4. What's been the most surprising thing about preparing to perform the show?
How much time I get to spend with my husband Aaron DeJesus commuting and on dinner breaks! Seriously! He plays Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys over at New World Stages, and due to both of us working out of town constantly, we have not worked in the same city at the time in a very long time! And we are only 5 blocks away! This is such a precious gift. We are just giddy about it!
5. What are you looking forward to most about your experience on Broadway?
I adore working; not only for the creative outlet, but also the social aspect. I can't wait to build a new family. The female ensemble had been so incredibly kind in reaching out to make me feel welcome.