Theatre Nerds contributor Ashli Meynert caught up with the amazing Katie LaMark, who plays resident bad girl Maureen Johnson in the 20th Anniversary Tour of “Rent.” Check out what she had to share about the role and her future in theatre:
TN: What’s currently playing on your playlists, both Broadway and other genres?
KL: Idina Menzel, of course! I have a wide range of music from rap to 1975, but I always love my pop girls as well, such as Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Little Mix.
TN: What is on your binge-watch list?
KL: “Bob’s Burgers,” “30 Rock,” and “Parks & Rec.” I think my favorite show is always “Transparent.” I have learned so much from watching that show, including the correct terms and their meanings in the transgender world.
TN: Who would be your dream choreographer to work with?
KL: Yanis Marshall, the heels choreographer, for sure.
The Broadway classic “Rent” is back onstage with its 20th Anniversary Tour, and I caught up with Katie LaMark between shows in Seattle. As part of the show, LaMark has been mooning Benny during “La Vie Boheme” and intimidating the crowd to moo along with her during “Over the Moon.” However, offstage, she is a down-to-earth 25-year-old who just loves playing onstage, illustrating in her free time and being her own person.
Growing up in a music family in Boston, LaMark had never thought about doing anything but theatre, yet it wasn’t forced onto her. She just fell in love with it through exposure, with her first memory being watching a taped version of Mary Martin in “Peter Pan” before seeing it live through a local theatre. The dream of being onstage never left her, as she went on to get her BFA in musical theatre from Syracuse University, which led her to her current role in the national tour of “Rent.”
LaMark is very modest when it comes to her role in “Rent.” One of the ideas that she stressed as we talked was that Maureen really has an easy role, yet she’s getting spoiled with lots of love and accolades. Maureen only has a couple of songs to belt out and then is really not part of the show for the rest of the time. It’s really the ensemble that works the hardest in her mind. When you see the show, she wants you to pay attention to how much they do, especially during one segment where three of the ensemble members have 30 seconds to run across the stage, change into police costumes and be on the balcony.
As “Rent” continues its national tour, LaMark is looking forward to a future in theatre. When asked about her dream role, she gave two answers. She automatically said she’d love to play Dot in “Sunday in the Park With George,” but she doesn’t feel that she is old enough to play that role yet. However, the role she really wants to play hasn’t been written yet. She’s adamant that her perfect role would be to originate a strong female lead who is successful from the very beginning of the show. She said she feels most of the stories about strong women are very much about how they are helped by men to become successful, which doesn’t send a very strong feminist message.
Post by Ashli Meynert