Lauren Kennedy is in that comfy place where she gets steady acting work in New York, records albums and is known by name to musical theater geeks. But she hasn't yet reached that Broadway level that leads to Tonys, originating roles or guest starring on Glee.
And she's fine with that.
She's making a living doing what she loves, and that love has brought her to stages on Broadway (Les Mis, Sunset Boulevard, Side Show, Spamalot,for all of which she was a standby and then a replacement), off-Broadway (Lone Star Love, the musical Vanities) and national tours (Sunset Boulevard and Spamalot, again). She has recorded several albums, including a tribute to composer Jason Robert Brown.
She finds work in the regional theater, too, including her latest gig, playing Eva Perón in Casa Mañana's Evita.
It's a role she first played 17 years ago when she was hired by Wally Jones for the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh, where she grew up. Jones brought her back to star in the show at the theater he oversees now, Fort Worth's Casa Mañana. The production is directed by Richard Stafford, and features Kevin Gray as Ché and Greg Dulcie as Juan Perón.
In the video interviews below, Kennedy discusses revisting the role, what makes Evita an interesting character, and the bliss of steady work in the country's theater capitol.