Age & Hometown: 26; Andover, MA
Current Role: A Broadway debut as the wheelchair-bound Witch of the East, Nessarose, in the blockbuster musical Wicked.
Inspired by Oz: Broadway was not always on Catherine Charlebois' radar. “I grew up very, very sports centered,” the Massachusetts native says. “My family is not at all musical; I never thought [theater] was something I would do until the end of high school.” Things changed in her junior year, when Charlebois, who played leading roles in Beauty and the Beast and Les Miserables, saw her first Broadway show, a new musical about the Witches of Oz called Wicked. “When the lights came up at the end of act one, I was teary and excited and so inspired,” she recalls. “It was the moment I said, ‘This is what I have to do.’” Almost 10 years later, Charlebois is playing Nessarole in that same production. “It’s truly a dream come true,” she gushes, “and to be here for the 10th anniversary is really wild.”
They Do! Less than a year after graduating from Syracuse University, Charlebois booked her first big job, bouncing around North America in three different productions of Wicked. “I started as a universal swing, traveling between the Broadway company and two national tours, covering six tracks in the ensemble and Nessarose,” she explains. “I was playing a different part every night.” The actress’ multitasking ability came in handy when she began planning her wedding to college sweetheart and Newsies cast member Brendon Stimson while on tour. Friends called her crazy, but “Brendon proposed around Christmas, we knew we wanted to get married in New York in the fall, and I was scheduled to be out on the road for nine months.” The wedding came off without a hitch on November 18, 2012.
Broadway Newbies: After co-starring in Syracuse productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Steel Pier and Lucky Stiff—not to mention playing Anthony and Johanna in Sweeney Todd—it's no surprise that Charlebois and Stimson dream of sharing a Broadway stage. “When new shows announce, we are like, 'OK, who can we play?’” she says with a laugh. What about the shows they are already in? “I love Newsies," she says coyly. "I grew up watching that movie like crazy." For now, the newlyweds are happy co-starring in life on the Upper West Side with their adorable puppy Ari (named for the Entourage character Ari Gold.) “We feel lucky that we are in the same city,” she says. “We have the morning together, and we come home at night and talk about our day without having to Skype. We have date days where go to brunch or go shopping. We make our time together worth it.”