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Sarah Pidgeon Finds Her Voice, Her Inner Rock God and a Tony Nomination in Broadway's 'Stereophonic' | Entertainment

Sarah Pidgeon Finds Her Voice, Her Inner Rock God and a Tony Nomination in Broadway's 'Stereophonic' |  Entertainment


NEW YORK (AP) Sarah Pidgeon makes her Broadway debut this season in a celebrated and thoughtful show about how art is created. And get his first Tony Award nomination. And in a room that transformed her into a member of a rock band. And get your first casting album.

I have so many pinching moments, the actor says. I'm living a dream, and I didn't have that dream because I hadn't read the script yet. I did not know that existed.

Pidgeon plays the role of an emerging singer-songwriter Diana in stereophonic, Playwright David Adjmi's story of a Fleetwood Mac-like band in the mid-'70s recording music during a life-changing year, complete with personal rifts that open, close, then reopen .

Diana's boyfriend is the perfectionist guitarist and de facto leader of the band, and cracks soon appear in their relationship as professional and personal needs collide.

I break up with my boyfriend every night and fight for my independence and agency as an artist and as a person, Pidgeon says. I am not alone. I think every character on the show is under an insane amount of stress and angst.

In one memorable moment, Diana struggles to reach a high B. She has to sing the same line over and over again until she can hit that note. His voice literally cracks, as does his relationship, says the actor.

Stereophonic, the most nominated play in the history of the Tony Awards, became a hit as a hypernaturalist meditation on the thrill and danger of collaborating on art, compromises, egos, and joys.

Although these people are rock stars and play Madison Square Garden, they are still very much human, Pidgeon says. Although they are world famous musicians, they still struggle with the same things our audience does when they come to see us.

Pidgeon did not pursue a career on Broadway. She is a classically trained pianist who has done a few high school musicals, summer camp theater and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2018. I consider myself an actress who can sing, she says .

Pidgeon appeared in the Hulu limited series Tiny Beautiful Things, which earned her a Hollywood Critics Association Award nomination, and the Amazon Prime series The Wilds. She auditioned for Stereophonic while the film was off-Broadway, not expecting a Broadway transfer or a cast album.

What drew me to this piece was the way it fearlessly addressed humanity and its ugly aspects that make it so beautiful. I think that's what I'm looking for in my projects, says Pidgeon.

On Tony night, for the award for best actress in a play, she faces off against her co-star. Juliana Canfield, Quincy Tyler Bernstine Doubt: a parable, Celia Keenan-Bolger in Mother Play and Kara Young in Purlie Victorious.

To look like a 70s rock star, Pidgeon created playlists and listened to recommendations, like the Mamas and the Papas and lots of Rumors. Her father is a big fan of Bob Seger and she grew up listening to Adele. I think I had his album 21' and I was learning to drive in Ann Arbor, Michigan, singing Rolling in the Deep.

She's a little worried about her voice, but so is her character, so she uses it: a lot of this singing isn't necessarily about perfection. It has so much to do with mood, energy and emotion, she says. It kind of gives me a lot of freedom to explore.

To make “Stereophonic,” Pidgeon and his co-stars became a real band, some learning to play their instruments for the first time. Pidgeon learned to play the tambourine. You think it's easier than it is, she said.

It's Pidgeon singing Bright, one of former Arcade Fire member Will Butler's great songs. In fact, there are three versions of Bright, as the band changes direction. Pidgeon is also featured on several other songs and fragments.

I can't believe there's something physical I can show because theater is so ephemeral. The fact that there is something like a hard copy of this experience and some sort of meta version of this piece, in the form of a record, is sort of insane.

Butler is also thrilled, crediting the actors for stepping out of their comfort zone: “To see Sara Pidgeon sing a song that she just learned and discover her own voice, it's like a very special thing.”

A Broadway debut, a Tony nomination, a cast album she hopes to send as a streaming link if future auditions require proof of singing, and a whole bunch of new friends. She's not sure what happens next.

If I learned anything about this career, I have no idea what will happen, she says. Whatever I do after this project, it's going to be really hard to beat this.

The Tony Awards ceremony will take place on June 16.

Mark Kennedy is at

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