What happens when you put five Tony-nominated leading ladies in a room together? (No, they don’t have a Hunger Game-style fight to the death. How dare you even suggest that?) As we found out in this fascinating New York Times interview, they gossip, spill their secrets and of course, dreamcast each other. The Bridges of Madison County star Kelli O’Hara, Violet headliner Sutton Foster, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical star Jessie Mueller, If/Then leading lady Idina Menzel and A Night With Janis Joplin’s Mary Bridget Davies shared some interesting tidbits we never knew before! Check out what we learned below.
1. Idina Menzel was "too witchy" for Into the Woods
Yes. You read that correctly. “I auditioned for the last revival of [Into the Woods], before Wicked,” Menzel recalled. “I learned 'Last Midnight.' When I was done, James Lapine said, ‘Well, that was witchy.’ I left crying. I thought, I can’t pull off Stephen Sondheim.” Don’t worry, Idina. You’ll always be our number-one witch.
2. Kelli O’Hara wanted to sing like Sutton Foster
The Bridges of Madison County star has one of the most gorgeous voices we can think of, but the lights are always brighter on the other side of the Great White Way. “There was a time when I thought, ‘If only I could sing like Sutton,'” O’Hara told the Times. Thankfully, there’s room on Broadway for both of them!
3. Mary Bridget Davies can tap dance
A Night with Janis Joplin star Mary Bridget Davies, the newcomer of the bunch, has more tricks up her sleeve than wailing Janis Joplin tunes. “My favorite [role] would be Reno Sweeney [in Anything Goes]," Davies said. “I love tap.” Are we the only ones imagining Foster teaching Davies the entire eight-minute Anything Goes tap sequence at a sleepover? Just us?
4. Jessie Mueller never thought she was pretty
She’s now a glamorous Broadway star, but before making it big, Beautiful star Jessie Mueller didn’t feel so, uh, beautiful. “Growing up, I never felt like the pretty girl,” the Tony nominee explained. “Carole King felt that [too].”
5. Sutton Foster’s alter ego is Toni Collette
On stage, Violet star Sutton Foster is a force to be reckoned with. How does she channel that fabulousness? By pretending to be Toni Collette, of course. “What would Toni Collette do?” she asks herself. But she’s not the only one—Menzel pretends she’s Glenn Close!
6. They’re forced to tweet
In the age of social media, it’s not enough for a Broadway star to show up to rehearsal and perform eight times a week. Now, she also has to tweet. “Bridges is the first time in my life where I opened a Twitter account,” O’Hara said, adding, “They basically forced me to.” How does Foster keep her Twitter page interesting? “I just tweet about food. Food and cookies and my dog,” she said. Amen, sister.