As kids all over America head back to school, Broadway.com decided to ask our favorite Broadway stars to look back at their own years in the classroom—and share a school picture! Ellen Harvey, who currently plays strict ballet teacher Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera, recalls her tardy homeroom habits, an unusual marine hobby and the advice she’d give her school-age self about her “long legs.”
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Mr. MacInerny in third and fourth grade. So passionate, so funny. He made learning an exciting experience, and he never talked down to us.
What advice would you give to your school-age self?
Being tall is OK. And someday, boys are gonna like those long legs.
In school you would have been named “most likely to…”
…Be late for homeroom!
What song sums up your school experience and why?
“Break My Stride” [by Matthew Wilder]. I was always on the go. Must have been the long legs.
What’s your favorite back-to-school item?
Jeans! I always had a new pair of Levi's 501s (yes, I was a tomboy). But one year, I got a pair of Dittos jeans and I was so cool.
What class did you dread and why?
Honors Algebra...at 7AM! WHO teaches an honors algebra class at 7AM and expects anybody to be awake, let alone pass the darn thing? Yawn.
In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
Track, softball and studying sea life. Yes, really, I studied after school at Sea World.
Describe your school-age self in three words.