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Amy Spanger

Age: "I'm older than I look."

Currently: Lois Lane/Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate.

Hometown: Newbury, MA. Spanger begged her parents to come to New York, but they made her wait until she was 21.

Pre-Kate Bravado: When Spanger first arrived in New York, she would tell everyone she met: "I'm going to be a star. All of the jaded New Yorkers would look at me like I had ten heads, but I would be like `No, really! I'm going to be one, you watch!'"

Audition Drama: After her first audition, the producers, "dropped it for a little bit." Six months later, after Spanger returned from touring with Chicago, she was called in again. At that audition, Sharon Lawrence was there. "And she actually got it. She got the part of Lois Lane. So, I was like, `Oh, devastated!'" However, Lawrence had a television opportunity and Spanger was called in for a third time and nailed it.

Consulting Emily Post: Before Spanger could sign on the dotted line, she had to get approval from director Michael Blakmore, the Porter estate and the Elias' who took over the Spewack's estate. "I actually had to have tea with everybody. And I was like, `Oh God, please just let me be charming.'" It was a daunting experience for Spanger who was questioned about her training and schooling. "I was like, on paper I'm not that interesting, but I'm really good, I swear!"

Tony Snub: With a lot of attention early in the run, Spanger seemed a shoo-in for a Tony nod. But when the nominations were announced, her name was absent. Spanger acknowledges her disappointment but was also "somewhat prepared" for the snub since she was overlooked by the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards. Ultimately Spanger said, "I don't know how to feel. I think it's great for business.but as an artist it's not something I need in my life necessarily to fulfill me. Sorry, I didn't mean to get all deep and philosophical."

Consolation?: "Even though I wasn't nominated, so many people in the neighborhood, in Midtown, in the theater community have come up to me and said I was robbed, and that they couldn't believe it and that they were shocked and they were pissed-off and you know, it's really not a tragedy."

Chance meeting: The evening after the nominations were announced, Spanger ran into The Music Man's Ruth Williamson, who was also ignored by the Tony-nominating committee. "We kind of commiserated, and it was eye-opening to see her." It gave Spanger perspective. "I was like, `Okay, Amy, you're not the only one.'"

Hell: Spanger plans to stay in Kiss Me, Kate for a while, but she is also writing a show for herself. The working title is, "Straight to Hell in a Hand-Basket." The title, which will probably change, refers to Spanger "always telling myself I'm going straight to hell for what I'm thinking. I have a dark sense of humor."

Dream Role: Spanger says that she would love to play Sally Bowles in Cabaret and considering that her boyfriend is Michael Hall, the current Emcee, it might give the show a new twist.


Last Word: "I just don't want people to think I'm bitter about the Tonys because I'm really not. It's been a learning process for me about myself more than anything else. If you're true to yourself then that's all that really matters."

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