If “Jellicle Cats are Queens of the Night” than the kitty Grizabella is their official leader. The feline that is given the song “Memory” from the hit musical CATS, is being played by Keri René Fuller. Ms. Fuller sharpens her claws as she gets ready to leap into Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. The show runs March 26-31, 2019. Get tickets and more info here.
Eric Andrews-Katz: Who were your earliest influences in becoming a performer?
Keri René Fuller: When I was dreaming of becoming a performer I never thought it would be in theatre. I always thought I’d be a vocalist. I listened to Celine Dion, Stevie Nicks
Andrews-Katz: You played the title role in the musical Lizzie Borden. What was it like being in an all-girl, rock, steampunk musical?
Fuller: Honestly, it was the coolest experience. I believe we were the second mounting of the show ever. It was my freshman year of college. I was so new to the school, new to starring in a musical – especially in a collegiate setting. It was overwhelming and went by so quickly! I would love, love, love to go back in time and do it all over again. I felt so nervous the first time I never got a chance to enjoy it.
Andrews-Katz: Your ‘straight-theatre’ roles all include Shakespeare. Was this opportunity or do you have an affiliation for The Bard
Andrews-Katz: You did a video audition singing “So Much Better” from Legally, Blonde – the Musical. Was it successful? and what were some of the drawbacks of doing a video audition
Andrews-Katz: How long does it take to get into your make up for Grizabella, the Glamour Cat?
Fuller: I typically get to the theatre two hours before show time. I can do my make-up and pin curls and get into the costume in about an hour and a half. I like the extra cushion of time so I don’t’ have to rush and I can get into my character. I can take time to stretch and warm up.
Andrews-Katz: What is the song “Memory” about?
Fuller: It’s one of those songs that for my entire life, I never imagined that I would sing or play this role; especially at my age. I have interpreted it a little differently because I am on the younger side. For me, it is looking back at a time when you were taking on the world, you have fallen away to be something bigger and something better in your own life. It’s the feeling that you’ve missed out and wasted time. You want to go back and live everything all over again.
Andrews-Katz: What is it about CATS that made it the second longest running Broadway show?
Fuller: I think that it is
Andrews-Katz: If you could play any role – regardless of any limitations – what would it be and why that role?
Fuller: I think I would have to say (at this point) it would be the show Bridges of Madison County. I want to play the Steven Pasquale role. I still use “Wondering” from the musical Bridges, as an audition song. I think the character is so incredibly real. What he goes through emotionally and mentally, falling in love with this woman that is not available. I would also like to play Kathy in The Last Five Years – that would be pretty good too!
CATS is the second longest-running Broadway show in American history. It plays at the Paramount Theatre March 26-31, 2019. Get tickets and more info here.