This is Part Three in a series of interviews with the very talented group of five young actors in the cast of Arena Stage’s production of The Music Man. Today – meet Heidi Kaplan.
Joel: How old are you and what grade are you in?4
Heidi: I’m 9 years old and I’m just finishing third grade.
Why did you want to play Amaryllis in The Music Man?
I wanted to play Amaryllis because it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at Arena Stage. They don’t usually have children in their shows and it’s such an incredible theater.
What did you sing at your audition?
I sang “The Boy Next Door” from Meet Me in St. Louis. I thought it was the perfect song to sing because Amaryllis likes Winthrop but he doesn’t seem to like her.
Are you like Amaryllis in any way and how are you different than her?
I’m different than Amaryllis because I don’t say everything that’s on my mind and I’m pretty good at keeping secrets, which I don’t think Amaryllis is. But she likes overhearing the adults talk and so do I. We both like wearing dresses and ribbons in our hair!
Amaryllis likes Winthrop a lot and he has a hard time liking her back. Why does she like him so much, and why is Winthrop having such a hard time telling Amaryllis that he likes her too?
I think Amaryllis is just starting to grow up and like boys, instead of thinking they’re gross. She’s sees Winthrop all the time at Miss Marian’s, and I think she’s gotten used to him. Winthrop is having a hard time telling her because all boys are shy about that sort of thing. I think he also knows she’s not very good at keeping secrets and that if he tells her she might tell all her friends.
You get to sing “Goodnight My Someone” with Marian (Kate Baldwin) while you are at the piano. Is it fun singing with Kate? What is “Goodnight My Someone” about?
It’s AWESOME singing with Kate! But sometimes her voice is so beautiful and so loud it takes over my voice, not that that’s a bad thing. She’s very professional. The song is sort of like a love song for someone that you don’t know yet, so it’s more like a prayer.
You have had a busy year on the stage. I saw you in The Sound of Music at Olney Theatre Center and I loved your performance. Who did you play and why did you enjoy performing in The Sound of Music? What was your favorite song in the show?
I played Gretl, the youngest Von Trapp child. I wanted to work with the amazing director Mark Waldrop again and be with my friends at the Olney Theatre. My costumes were beautiful! I think my favorite song was “The Lonely Goatherd” because we got to jump on the bed with Maria while we sang.
I also saw you in Meet Me in St. Louis at Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theatre. Who did you play and why did you enjoy playing her? What was your favorite song in that show?
I played Tootie, the youngest daughter of the Smith family, and I loved playing her! She is my favorite character so far because she gets to show a lot of different emotions – she’s complicated, like me. My favorite song was “The Boy Next Door.” I used to sit on the floor backstage and just listen to Esther sing it…it’s so beautiful. That’s how I memorized it.
Why is working at Arena Stage in The Music Man so much fun?
Mostly because the other actors are so fun and talented! But I love not being double-cast…the grass ISN’T greener on the other side because I get to do all of the shows. And there are really great restaurants near Arena – the milkshakes at Z Burger are my favorite!
Why should everyone come and see The Music Man?
All of the songs are catchy and the dancing is exciting. We’re better than Broadway. People think you have to go to New York to see really amazing theater, but there is so much talent in this show at Arena!
HEIDI KAPLAN (Amaryllis) is thrilled to make her Arena Stage debut. Other D.C. area performances include Gretl in The Sound of Music at Olney Theatre Center, Molly in the Helen Hayes Award-nominated production of Annie, also at Olney Theatre Center, and Tootie, the youngest daughter of the Smith family, in Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre’s production of Meet Me in St. Louis.
The Music Man plays through July 22, 2012, in the Fichlander Theatre at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater -1101 Sixth Street, SW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (202) 488-330 , or order them online.