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Sullivan Relishes Blonde Role

Observer Scene | Friday, February 8, 2008

Carolyn Sullivan seems to think blondes have more fun, even if she isn’t a natural one. To prepare for her twin roles as Lois/Bianca in “Kiss Me Kate,” Sullivan watched what she calls “dumb blonde” roles – performances from actresses in other musicals, including Lena Lamont from “Singing in the Rain,” Marilyn Monroe’s performance as Lorelei Lee in “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and the character Lilly from “Annie.”

During her time at Notre Dame, Sullivan has enjoyed an acting career that has seen her go from bit parts to starring roles. She performed in PEMCo’s production of “Ragtime” last fall as the Irish housemaid Bridget.

“I had a grand total of three lines,” she recalls. Sullivan also had roles as il servitore in last spring’s “La Locandiera,” an Italian play, and as Denise Savage this past fall in “Savage in Limbo.”

Since making the transition from smaller roles to the status of a leading lady, it would appear that fame has gone to that blonde head of hers.

Sullivan said her burgeoning celebrity has made her reluctant to divulge intimate details to the media, but she maintained that she has made good friends on the set. “Being a big star and all, I don’t really like sharing my personal life with the general public,” she said. “Let’s just say [co-star] Kelly [Rice] and I have gotten particularly close over the past few months. I’m quite fond of her.”

Sullivan, who also goes by the nickname “Sully,” said her favorite number from the musical is “Tom, Dick, or Harry.” “Not only do I get to sing it,” she said, “but it’s an up-tempo tune with a four part harmony and a swingin’ beat. [‘Kiss Me Kate’ composer and songwriter] Cole Porter knows what’s up.”

After “Tom, Dick, or Harry” Sullivan said her second favorite song is “Too Darn Hot.” “It’s got great music,” she said. “Our choreographers really nailed it, and I love watching the cast dance. They just have a blast with that number, and I think it shows.”

Upon being asked to describe “Kiss Me Kate” in three words or less, Sullivan replied, “Odds bodkins.”

With her mix of quirky humor, talent and research, it’s safe to say Sullivan is having fun with her role.

Contact Tae Andrews at [email protected]