‘Free to dream’
Published 10:49 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Suffolk girl chases her own Broadway dreams
Sharing the stage with seasoned performers who have starred on Broadway doesn’t scare 9-year-old Elainey Bass. Instead, she can’t wait to take her place in the spotlight next to them.
Elainey will get a chance to show her skills alongside Broadway actors in concerts at the Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg on Friday and Saturday.
She will play the part of the little girl in “Free to Dream: New Songs for the American Journey,” which illustrates American history through different types of songs and music.
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Elainey, who began acting, singing and dancing at age 5, will perform with well-known Broadway stars, including Julia Murney, who appeared on Broadway as the lead in “Wicked,” and Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark Cohen in “Rent.”
Elainey said she isn’t nervous to meet them or perform with them. She is just excited to be able to learn from them.
“I’ve always wanted to be on Broadway, and I get to meet people who have performed on Broadway,” she said.
Elainey said she wants to ask the actors about their experiences and find out what she should to do to reach her goal. She is especially excited about meeting Murney, and she hopes to sing a special song for the actress.
Elainey is a member o the Hurrah Players Theatre Company. She landed the “Free to Dream” role after Hugh Copeland, the Hurrah Players’ founder, referred her to the production’s director.
“He thought of Lainey out of all the kids,” said Cassie Bass, Elainey’s mother. “I was very honored.”
“I think he picked me because I’m a great singer, I’m a great dancer and I’m well-behaved,” Elainey said.
She hopes exposure will lead to more acting and singing opportunities and that the people she meets this weekend can help advance her stage career.
Having performed in a number of musicals during the past four years, Elainey has a lot of stage experience. But this is the briefest period of preparation she has had for a role, she said. With the show starting Friday, the cast started practicing only Wednesday.
Performances of “Free to Dream” will take place Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For ticket information and reservations, visit www.history.org and search for “Kimball Theatre.”