Stephen Dare: Ok, So where are you from? How old are you?
LauRen Alaimo: Im 23, and I'm from a small town outside of Buffalo, but I moved to New York (City) in 2012.
Stephen Dare: Did you immediately get the role in A Chorus Line, like as soon as you got to the City?
LauRen Alaimo: No I moved to New York to be an actress right after college, and I got an apartment and then I taught summer camp and then auditioned for the touring show and moved back to New York exactly in time to coincide with this show. I was a waitress for a little while, you know the whole actress thing.
It was a real decision you know, because I really had to decide whether I wanted to come to the City and pursue it. Its a lot of instability you know. A lot of uncertainty---working, not working---not being able to predict the future.
Stephen Dare: So you play Diana? Ive always loved her song: "I felt nothing!" I think everybody who has ever had a terrible theatre coach or art teacher of any kind can sympathise with it.
LauRen Alaimo: For sure!
Stephen Dare: So whats it like being in A Chorus Line? I was talking with a local theatre person a few days ago, and it seems like its ripe to be updated. Do you agree with that, or is it cool to be in kind of a period piece?
LauRen Alaimo: Well actually I love it. Before I was in the touring show, I was in the show and I remember having this conversation: If I had to pick one show that I had to be in for the rest of my life, it would be this one. (meaning A Chorus Line). And then like a year later I was chosen for the role for the touring show.
Stephen Dare: ---Where it only feels like for the rest of your life, right?
LauRen Alaimo: Laughs.
Stephen Dare: So you don't think it necessarily needs to be updated then?
LauRen Alaimo: I don't know about that, but I love the show as it is.
Stephen Dare: Its kind of retro isnt it? Like Chicago?
LauRen Alaimo: Yeah!
Stephen Dare: So what do you think of the tour experience? Its a totally different kind of thing that just being in a show at a theatre, isnt it? Like where are you now?
LauRen Alaimo: Oh yeah. Sooo different. On the tour you are always together. And you travel all the time. Its more like a big family.
Stephen Dare: One that you can't get away from or just lock yourself in your room until its over, right?
LauRen Alaimo: Laughs. You really get close with everybody!
Stephen Dare: So do you think it takes a different skill set to be an actress on a tour?
LauRen Alaimo: You have to be able to deal with a different situation for sure. Touring with a show is definitely not something that everyone can do. I LOVE it, but its got its own challenges and problems sometimes.
Stephen Dare: I was looking at your schedule and it looks nuts. You must be in Ohio by now, right?
LauRen Alaimo: We are. Im on the bus on our way to the next show. Its soo cold! Can't wait to get down to Florida!
Stephen Dare: You guys are all over the place too. Like, didn't you guys have a show in Florida and then the next weekend was in New York. Thats a hell of a commute.
LauRen Alaimo: Luckily they flew us up there for that one. Some of these shows they do that you know. But most of the time we are all on the tour bus.
Stephen Dare: How many people do you travel with every day on that bus?
LauRen Alaimo: With the cast and the musical director theres about twenty of us.
Stephen Dare: Wow. Thats a lot of people to be sharing every personal moment with isnt it? Lots of drama I bet.
LauRen Alaimo: Its all theatre people, so yeah....LOTS of drama.
Stephen Dare: I was reading an old interview with one of the original cast members and her reaction to that awful movie that they made of the show, and she said that she thought the problem with the film was that the director was telling everyone that the show was about a group of young kids trying to get their big break on Broadway, which was bullshit (derisive snort from LauRen) since its really about established professionals trying to get that one last shot in before the end of their careers. Would you agree with that?
LauRen Alaimo: Yes definitely its not about anyone trying to get their first big break. There are only a couple of young kids in the cast. Its really about the process of waiting to be picked, because not everyone is going to get a part. You know acting is the one profession where you are literally always putting out your resume. Its not like everybody else, where they apply for a job and thats it for a while. In theatre, you get a job, and its only temporary. There is going to be an end to the show, and you have always, ALWAYS got to be out there trying out for roles and sending out your resume.
And thats kind of what the show is about. Its about the emotions and the uncertainty and thats one of the things that makes it such a great show, because that will never change about theatre. Its really about doing it for the love of doing it. Like the song, you know. "What I did for Love"
1979: Shirley Bassey singing "What I Did For Love" from A Chorus Line
Stephen Dare: wow. So which neighborhood of the city do you live in.
LauRen Alaimo: Queens.
Stephen Dare: Well, promise you its going to be warmer here in Jacksonville.
LauRen Alaimo: I know! I can't wait!
Stephen Dare: The Artist Series that sponsors the show in Jacksonville is pretty awesome. I think they usually put you guys up at the Omni, which is a pretty great little hotel and its literally across the street from the performance hall. Hopefully Sarah Roy will get you guys hooked up to enjoy yourselves a little for the brief time you are here---she's amazing btw.
LauRen Alaimo: Thanks! I hope so!
Stephen Dare: Thanks for your time, Lauren, try not to freeze your ass off in the midwest, and I guess we will see you when you get to Jville!
A “show for all ages” this all new production of A Chorus Line will be directed and restaged by Baayork Lee. Baayork Lee has performed in a dozen Broadway shows and created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line. As Michael Bennett’s assistant choreographer on A Chorus Line, she has directed many national and international companies. Her directing credits include The King and I and Bombay Dreams (National tours), R&H’s Cinderella (NYC Opera), Barnum(Australia), Carmen Jones (Kennedy Center), Porgy and Bess and Jesus Christ Superstar (European tours), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has choreographed shows including Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival); Cocoanuts, Camelot, Damn Yankees, Helen Hayes nomination for Animal Crackers and South Pacific (all at Arena Stage); and Goya, Sly and The Merry Widow (Kennedy Center). She received the 2003 Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, as well as the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award. Through her new company, National Asian Artists Project (NAAP),naaproject.org, she directed productions of Oklahoma! and Carousel using all Asian artists. NAAP's mission is to promote Asian performers in theatre across the country.
Tickets for A Chorus Line start at $37.00 and are available at the Artist Series Box Office between 10AM-5PM, Monday-Friday, at (904) 442-BWAY (2929) and online 24/7 at www.artistseriesjax.org. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more at (904) 442-2947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To order by phone with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover call
The Artist Series Box Office at
(904) 442-BWAY (2929)
(toll-free outside of Jacksonville 1-888-860-BWAY)
Tickets are also available online with Instant Seat Selection by visiting the
The Artist Series’ website: www.artistseriesjax.org
interview by Stephen Dare