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"Cinderella" role is magical for Rochester's Elizabeth Brady
With her first national tour just out of college, as part of “Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” Elizabeth Brady is enjoying a charmed life in the theater.
And the Rochester native didn’t even need a fairy godmother to do it.
“I was fortunate enough to have this job before graduation,” Brady, 23, a Rochester Adams High School alumnus who attended Texas State University, says by phone. “That was something I made a goal for myself in college, so it’s nice to see your goals realized. It made the prospect of graduating and showcasing in New York a little less stressful, which was wonderful.
“I feel very lucky and very blessed already.”
It also gave Brady a chance to take last summer off from the theater fray and work at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, where her father Steve Brady is the golf pro. “I’ve always been a fan of day jobs because I think it gives you insight into a different realm of the world,” she says. And having easy access to the links wasn’t bad, either.
“I have a good swing, but I’ve never been the biggest fan because my brother also golfs and I grew up in a golf-oriented home,” explains Brady, the middle of three children. “I think I rebelled; ‘I’m gonna be an artist!’”
That said, theater was not her lifelong goal.
Brady began “dabbling” in acting when she was in the eighth grade, joining a school production of “The Made Adventures of Mr. Toad.” She also started taking voice lessons and gradually realized, “Wow, I can dance and I can sing and I can act all the time. For me, there was nothing better.”
She was active in the Rochester Adams theater program as well as the school district’s summer productions, which Brady remembers as “my favorite times. It was really formative for me.” But it wasn’t until she neared graduation that Brady decided on theater as a course of college study and a career.
“I know a lot of people who are like, ‘I’m gonna be on Broadway!’ from the age of four, but that wasn’t me,” Brady says. “It sort of developed over time, which to me is sort of beautiful. I’m definitely a logical person and theater wasn’t always logical. So I gave it a lot of thought, and as I grew up and I developed my talent I started to consider it more seriously.”
Playing Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” her senior year proved to be Brady’s turning point. “It was the first time I ever got my hands on a really meaty role,” she recalls, “and it was so much fun for me. That’s when I knew I wanted to be doing that forever and was going to go to college and do this thing.”
Brady is certainly getting to know the lay of the land in “Cinderella.” Her roles include everything from a raccoon and a Lady of Ridicule to understudying for both the evil stepmother and the fairy godmother -- a good-evil yin-yang that keeps Brady on her toes.
“I was very pleasantly surprised,” Brady says. “Those are older roles, kind of 40-60, so I was kind of shocked when they brought me in for those. But it’s so much fun being able to do material that’s a little mature where I am in my life. I call them the two moms.”
But regardless of which role she has on a given night, Brady says that the clock isn’t close to striking midnight for her in “Cinderella.”
“Tour life can get a little taxing, but there’s still nothing as magical as the show,” she says. “When you think you’re done with the magic you look out in the audience and see a little girl dressed up as Elle freaking out over all the beautiful dress transformations and you’re like, ‘Omigosh, how could I have forgotten I’m part of this magical show.
“There’s just a great reminder every night about why we do this.”
If You Go
• “Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
• March 13-18
• Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit.
• Tickets are $26.25-$63.75
• Call 313-872-1000 or visit broadwayindetroit.com
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