Age and hometown: 10, Westchester County, NY
Current Role: Melting hearts as Jenny, precocious granddaughter of two-time Tony winner Donna Murphy as Bubbie in the new musical The People in the Picture.
Broadway Baby: At the tender age of 10, Resheff is on the fast track to a Broadway resume that many seasoned actors would kill for. After getting scooped up by a manager who saw her in community theater, Resheff made her Rialto debut as Young Fiona alongside Sutton Foster (“the nicest person alive”) in Shrek, went on to play a Ballet Girl in Billy Elliot and Jane Banks in Mary Poppins, and is now holding her own against Broadway heavyweight Donna Murphy. “She’s totally un-diva-ish,” says Resheff of her co-star. “I learn so much from her and from the whole cast, like Chip Zien and Nicole Parker and everyone. It’s like a master class.”
Life Imitating Art: Inspired by her character in The People in the Picture, who totes a tape recorder to capture her grandmother’s stories of life in pre-war Poland, Resheff decided to interview her own grandmother, whom she calls Softa, in Israel last summer. “Sometimes she would turn off the recorder because she was embarrassed about her English,” Resheff recalls, “but she really wanted me to know her story. She lived in a small town in Hungary, and when she was 16 the Nazis took her to Auschwitz. Her father was sent to a crematorium, but she worked in a factory making bombs and survived.” Learning her own history provided great practice for Resheff's Broadway role: “It helped me connect to the feeling of Jenny interviewing Bubbie,” she says, “and how it would feel to hear that kind of story.”
Extracurricular Activities: Even with a Broadway schedule, Resheff keeps up her normal kid activities. “I play piano and write songs and I dance,” Resheff says, “and I played basketball last fall. I wasn’t that good at it, but I think life is all about taste-testing so I tried it.” She is also a voracious reader. “When I was in Mary Poppins, Karl Kenzler, who played my Dad, had me memorize his favorite sonnet in one night and gave me ten dollars,” she says with a laugh, “so I got interested in Shakespeare. I finished Harry Potter in December. It’s the best series in the world, and Daniel Radcliffe is the best man alive.” Sure, she loved Radcliffe's performance in How to Succeed, but that’s not all. “We’re going to get married when I’m 20 and he’s 30,” Resheff declares. “I’m going to meet him and we’re going to become pen pals like in Beaches and when we see each other in 10 years it’ll be like [gasp]. Love.”