Jessica Phillips, who created the function of Heidi Hansen within the nationwide tour of Pricey Evan Hansen, is again on Broadway in that very same function within the Tony-winning musical on the Music Field Theatre. The powerful-voiced actor, whose Broadway credit embody Leap of Religion, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Subsequent to Regular, Jesus Christ Celebrity, and The Scarlet Pimpernel, additionally has a recurring function as assistant district legal professional Pippa Cox on Legislation & Order: SVU.
We lately requested Phillips to pen a listing of her most memorable nights within the theatre; her responses observe.
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Most likely essentially the most scary expertise I’ve had on stage was the second the curtain went up on my first efficiency as Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel (Model 2.0). It was my Broadway debut: I used to be 24 and an understudy on this function, and he or she opens the present standing alone on stage in a pool of sunshine and spots. So there I used to be, first time in entrance of an viewers, and the curtain flew, the music began, the lights got here up, and impulsively I used to be singing—however type of hovering exterior of my physique listening to myself. I keep in mind this fully calm and cheap voice in my head saying, “I believe I’m gonna go now… simply gonna stroll off stage left and head out the again door. Bye, guys.” However earlier than I might try this, I keep in mind one other voice in my head screaming, “Get it collectively, Phillips,” and these two voices had an excellent dramatic dialog weighing out the professionals and cons of leaving and, nicely, I did not go away. In actuality this cinematic cutaway all occurred in a cut up second, however yikes, that combat or flight intuition was large! As soon as I succeeded in wrestling the demon to the bottom, the remainder of the efficiency went pretty easily. Though I don’t suppose I used to be significantly superior within the half that day, I used to be, not less than, on the stage and never within the Instances Sq. McDonald’s.
The Girls Who Sing Sondheim
One in all my favourite films rising up was Bedknobs and Broomsticks. In actual fact, and it will shock none of you who know me nicely, I used to show a field fan to face the foot of my mattress and fake to fly it into the wind, Beyoncé model, utilizing a toy ball that I stored on my nightstand as a magical bedknob (that is regular, proper?). So, you’ll be able to think about what occurred to me the night time I discovered myself as a fully-grown grownup holding palms with Angela Lansbury. I used to be doing a one-night-only Broadway live performance referred to as The Girls Who Sing Sondheim, and Ms. Lansbury was a visitor star. It simply so occurred that the best way we lined up for curtain name had me standing subsequent to her, which was already too surreal for me to course of, however on the night time of the live performance as we stepped ahead to bow, she reached over and grabbed my hand, then leaned over to me, and mentioned one thing into my ear. I do not know what she mentioned, however does it actually matter? Miss Eglantine Value was holding my hand, and I used to be on a Broadway stage flying greater than my childhood mattress had ever taken me.
Jungle Man at Stage One in Wichita
One of many sweetest recollections I’ve is from once I was newly pregnant with my oldest son. I used to be creating a present out of city on the time based mostly on the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan story. I used to be not far sufficient alongside to be exhibiting, however pregnant sufficient to be within the throes of morning illness. We had a tree home on stage, and there was one place within the present the place I needed to climb up there and wait inside whereas one other scene and music have been occurring on stage. No secret escape to the wings from there, no toilet entry—simply had to hang around inside till my subsequent entrance, alone in my distress with the viewers sitting simply 10 toes away. So the great of us on the theatre outfitted the tree home with all the pieces you’ll be able to think about a pregnant woman would want—a bucket, bins of tissues, water, saltines, a chilly compress, and a little bit pillow so I might curl up within the fetal place. The crew was on clean-up obligation—oy! These individuals nonetheless get Christmas playing cards from me.
The Who’s Tommy
I did knock myself unconscious as soon as. Proper out of faculty, I used to be solid in a touring manufacturing of The Who’s Tommy, which, FYI, remains to be one in all my favourite reveals. I used to be taking part in Mrs. Walker, and for those who’ve seen it, you realize there is a gigantic mirror upstage middle that she in the end “smashes” with a chair, which is clearly simply an impact completed with lights and sound, which all drop the second she hoists the chair over her head. One night time I used to be doing my regular factor within the present, working as much as this second, and bought myself positioned just a bit too near the metal truss that framed the mirror. I lifted the chair and began to swing, the lights went to black, and I unintentionally slammed the chair into the iron scaffold, which bounced proper again towards my face and walloped me within the brow, knocking me to the bottom, and out of my wig and footwear.
Now, as a result of it was pitch black onstage, no one noticed this occur, together with the backstage crew. I used to be out for only a few seconds and got here to with the lights swirling and the band taking part in their loopy cacophony, so it took me a second to determine what had occurred, however as soon as I did I used to be in a position to roll over and in some way had the sense to seize my wig, then army-crawled on my stomach off the stage and into the wing. I simply type of lay there for a minute pondering somebody would possibly discover and assist me up (as a result of it is all about me, do not you realize?), however the one factor that occurred was the pinnacle of the hair division occurred to stroll by and noticed me clutching my wig in my fist, for which I used to be chastised. The excellent news is I didn’t have a critical head harm, however I did study my lesson that day about being on my appropriate marks.
Pricey Evan Hansen
After touring with the primary nationwide tour of Pricey Evan Hansen for 12 months and 23 cities, I am now taking part in my favourite metropolis on this planet, NYC! I like being again on Broadway, love carrying Heidi Hansen’s scrubs right here in my dwelling city, and really feel so thrilled to reunite with a few of my tour colleagues along with becoming a member of the unbelievable Broadway solid. Principally I like telling this story, so come see us on the Music Field!