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Getting into character no problem for versatile Rice

Observer Scene | Friday, February 8, 2008

Kelly Rice doesn’t have a lot of difficulty getting into character.

“I really just try to think about everything that is going on in Lilli’s [her character’s] life at each moment during the show,” she said. “She is very difficult to play because she is always very conflicted and there are very few times where there is only one thing she wants that she can actually have. She may be a diva, but her occasional animosity stems from her very deep emotional confusion.”

Rice has been singing since the tender age of six. She participated in her first musical at age 12 and started vocal training at age 13. Rice was also a member of the ensemble of last year’s PEMCo production of Ragtime and performed in PEMCo’s 2007 “Revue Beyond the Curtain.” Rice also said that she has reveled in working opposite Carolyn Sullivan (Lois) because of the onstage feud between their characters.

“It’s really fun to be angry with Lois because Lilli sees her as extremely inferior to herself, yet she still envies her. Carolyn does a fabulous job of playing Lois, and makes it very fun to interact with her character.”

On the flip side of the coin, she also said she has developed considerable chemistry with fellow castmate Kyle Carter, who plays Fred Graham.

“Kyle and I have had a wonderful time getting to know each other better during the course of the show, and I think that my close relationship with him has helped us create a sincere stage relationship for Fred and Lilli.”

Like many of the performers in the show, Rice said her favorite songs from the show are “Too Darn Hot” and “Tom, Dick, or Harry.”

“They are both very fun and energetic and really draw the audience in,” she said. Upon being asked (how she would describe the show in three words or less), Rice replied, “There is no doubt in my mind that this show is spunky, sassy and sincere.”

Contact Tae Andrews at tandrew1@nd.edu