Kate Rockwell is blissfully excited about coming to San Francisco as part of the musical comedy cast of Bring It On. She plays Skylar, whom she describes as "the sexy, sassy cheerleader you love to hate."
Rockwell first caught the attention of casting directors after singing for millions of excited fans on the reality show Grease: You're the One that I Want, and has been honing her craft ever since. Legally Blonde and the Broadway revival of Hair followed, along with a part in the Sex and the City movie. But even though she's been in the limelight for a while, Kate confides that she was in awe of Liza Minnelli when she first met the grande dame of theater. "…It was the most brief, passing thing, but I was just speechless to be in the same space as she was. I couldn't' take my eyes off her."
In her interview with BroadwayWorld's Linda Hodges, Kate talks about her love of SF and her new show - as well as what it's like to be living her Broadway dreams. That interview follows.
Hi, Kate – thank you for doing this interview with BroadwayWorld San Francisco and welcome to the City by the Bay! Have you been to San Francisco before?
I visited San Francisco when I was a little kid because I have family here (they now live in Marin County), and fell madly in love with everything about the city. This is my first time back in over a decade and I am so excited!! We have a day off each week so I personally plan on running myself ragged to make sure I get to see it all.
I just realized that you're going to be in town during some major holidays since the show runs Dec. 14 – Jan.7. How do you plan on celebrating?
What a great question……I have no idea!! I DO know that Christmas Day is our only day off that week, so it will probably be a quiet celebration for most of us. As far as New Year's goes, I hope we get to ring the New Year in somewhere fancy. This cast cleans up real nice and we all love a chance to put on a nice dress!!
I'm sure you'll have a great New Year's Eve in the City and I know that San Francisco is going to have a great time at your show. In addition to a great cast, Bring It On has got an all-star creative team of young Broadway talent behind it. How did that come about?
I think it was kismet that they all came together. They work so well together and create such great material. Some of them (Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire, Lin Manuel Miranda) had worked together previously on In The Heights a few years ago, and Tom Kitt and Amanda Green had worked together previously as well on High Fidelity…
Have you met any of them?
I have in fact gotten to work with every one of them! The entire creative team was very hands on in our development process. I've even had the pleasure of working on some other developmental projects with pieces of this team too!! They're just so incredible to work with.
With that kind of talent and the way audiences have been reacting – it sounds like Bring it On is Broadway-bound.
I sure hope so. I know everyone wants a Broadway run, but there's nothing set in stone yet. I think we're all waiting with bated breath for that announcement! In my (not unbiased) opinion, we HAVE to go! There's nothing like this show anywhere on Broadway and I know audiences love it!
It's got to be the first show to feature cheerleading. Audiences can come and get a high solely from the super-charged choreography. What was it like to learn Andy Blankenbuehler's intricate steps?
Let me start by saying that I call myself a "strong mover," which is a fancy way of saying I get away with choreography by standing in the back so no one can see my two left feet. Andy's a genius and his work is some of the best I've ever seen. He's also an absolute perfectionist when it comes to his dancers, so my first week rehearsing with him, I worried every day that he would fire me. But he was incredibly patient with me and eventually it all sank in - although I'm still happiest when I'm in the back and don't have to worry quite so much!