Performing Arts

This is what happens when ‘The Little Mermaid’ on Broadway mixes it up on a Florida stage

Sierra Boggess
Sierra Boggess

Sierra Boggess can always find her zen time, whether she is belting out a rock ballad, gliding across the stage as a Disney princess, or busy traveling the country.

The Broadway star and self-proclaimed yogi makes sure she takes as good care of her body as she does her voice.

Boggess, 36, is best known for her Broadway debut as Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and her many appearances in “Phantom of the Opera” and its sequel “Love Never Dies.”

On Saturday, May 18, she will be appearing at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale alongside fellow “Phantom” alum Ramin Karimloo and Sirius/XM host and multi-talented Broadway writer and musician Seth Rudetsky.

We talked to Boggess about her appearance and how she prepares for her roles.

Q: What can audiences expect from your upcoming Fort Lauderdale performance?

A: Ramin and I have never concerted together before. So we’re really looking forward to this with just the two of us. And with Seth, of course, hosting, and interviewing, and playing. It’s just going to be really awesome. Seth’s going to talk to us about our careers and our history with each other and our friendships and be singing songs from shows that people associate with Ramin and I, and things that we love.

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Sirius-XM radio host and Broadway commentator Seth Rudetsky.

Q: How is performing with Ramin Karimloo and Seth Rudetsky different from a show you would be doing on your own?

A: It’s going to feel like sitting in a living room even though it’s a performance. We know each other really well. We trust each other on stage. It’s going to feel really fun to be sharing the stage with someone you’ve known for so long. And having a conversation that’s led by Seth. He’s so funny, and so smart, and he remembers everything.

Q: Do you get any time to rehearse?

A: Ramin lives in London, I live in New York, and Seth lives in New York, so we’re kind of all over the place. We’re going to get together the day that we land in Florida so that we can all be on the same page. We have emails going all the time, getting the set list together, and then Seth will pick the order of what way the songs should go. Since these are songs that Ramin and I both know, it’s not like we’re doing something for the first time.

In this image provided by Kirvin Doak Communications, Anthony Crivello as The Phantom, left, and Sierra Boggess as Christine take part in a dress rehearsal of “Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular” in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Kirbin Doak Communications, Joan Marcus) JOAN MARCUS AP

Q: In what ways was working on the Andrew Lloyd Webber show “School of Rock” different than on “Phantom of the Opera” or “Love Never Dies”?

A: The music is the obvious thing that’s different about “School of Rock.” It was a totally different style of singing. “Love Never Dies” is very sad and romantic, and, of course, “Phantom” the same thing. Also, I had never gotten to work with Andrew on a new Broadway show, so that was also very fun.

Q: Vocally, how is performing in a show like “Phantom of the Opera” different than performing in one with a more modern score? Do you have to do anything to keep your voice in tip-top shape?

A: it’s just a different voice. You’re just resonating in a different place, so the difference is you warm up differently.

Q: How do you fit yoga into your schedule when you have to travel for work?

A: It’s easy because it becomes part of your routine. After traveling and sitting in one position for a number of hours, I just feel like stretching. It really helps to center me. It helps shift the energy around my whole body, as opposed to being stuck in one place. It helps me with breathing.

Q: What are three things you can never travel without?

A: My passport, my phone charger, and my phone. None of that is clever, but it’s true.

Q: Do you miss your cats while you travel?

A: I always miss them so much. I have different people that love them and stay with them while I travel and that are really awesome and stay with my girls because they’re so social. They’re the greatest.

Q: How do you get into character for a part that is absolutely nothing like you?

A: I’ve never played something that is absolutely not like me. Even if you’re playing something that you can imagine in your head is the craziest thing you can think of, you can still be able to find something that is like you. My job is to understand as many human conditions and human emotions as possible, so that I can convey that so that people can have the experience. I do a lot of homework.

Q: What’s your secret to staying so positive?

A: There’s really good things to be found in positive ways of looking at things. You can choose to see the world as hostile or loving. It’s the same world, you just get to decide. There’s always something to be grateful for.

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Sierra Boggess plays Ariel in the new Broadway musical version of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” opening on Broadway. Joan Marcus

Q: Were you one of those little girls who always dreamed of being a Disney princess when you grew up?

A: “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” were my childhood. When “The Little Mermaid” came out, everyone pretended in the pool that they were Ariel. That was like our “Frozen.” I always loved pretending I was Ariel whenever I was swimming or taking a bath. But, we also grew up watching old Disney movies like “The Sword in the Stone.” I actually always wanted to be Madame Mim who’s a villain. My older sister was the one who loved, loved, loved all the villains. With “Peter Pan,” she was always Captain Hook, and with that I wanted to be Wendy and Smee. My favorite Disney characters are always the animal sidekicks. No one does better animal sidekicks than Disney.

Q: So are you excited about the “Beauty and the Beast” revival that was just announced?

A: It’s a really smart idea for Disney to bring that back. It’s one of the most beloved of the Disney movies.

Q: What’s on your playlist?

A: When I listen to music is when I go to the gym, so I listen to things that are gonna get me revved up and going. I love P!nk right now. I think she’s strong and awesome. I love listening to Beyoncé at the gym. Lady Gaga. Things that are powerful women that are going to get me moving.

Q: What do you do to unwind after a long day of rehearsal or shows?

A: I will chill out and watch Netflix. Game of Thrones. Anything where you can mindlessly watch and get your mind off of or relax out of the stress that you’ve been dealing with.

Q: What career advice do you wish somebody gave you while you were just starting out?

A: That perfection isn’t something to strive for. Imperfection is beautiful.


What: Sierra Boggess and a Ramin Karimloo With Seth Rudetsky

When: Saturday, May 18 at 8pm

Where: The Parker Playhouse

Tickets: $23-$67 available through Ticketmaster