Natalie Weiss plays Molly in ‘Ghost the Musical’ at White Plains Performing Arts Center
Everyone has different talents. Natalie Weiss, who is starring in a new production of “Ghost the Musical,” discovered hers in grade school.
“My parents started me with piano lessons at around age 4 1/2,” she said via email. “The first play I performed in was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” as Sleepy, at age 5. I was absolutely TERRIBLE... It wasn’t until the fifth grade talent show where I performed for the first time as a vocalist, not a pianist, singing “The Greatest Love of All,” by Whitney Houston, where I think everyone suddenly realized I could actually potentially sing, and all of a sudden, riff...”
By 19 she was a semifinalist on “American Idol.” She went on to Broadway and millions have checked out her YouTube videos and web series, “Breaking Down the Riffs.” She also will soon be heard on the soundtrack of Hugh Jackman’s movie musical, “The Greatest Showman,” based on the life of P.T. Barnum.
Weiss plays Molly when “Ghost the Musical” opens at White Plains Performing Arts Center, running Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 29. Based on the 1990 film and directed by Joseph C. Walsh, it tells what happens when Molly’s husband, Sam, is murdered and trapped between two worlds. Sam (Steven Grant Douglas) must find a way to protect her and avenge his death, before he can find peace.
The timeless love story is a moving one, said Weiss, who saw the musical when it opened in London in 2011. “I thought it translated really well on stage and started to put ‘With You’ in my concert set list. I find the character (Molly) to be so dynamic. Molly experiences the highs of true love for Sam and feels the lowest lows while mourning his loss.”
Weiss said she will be taking “a one-on-one pottery class” to prepare for the show’s sexy potter’s wheel scene (“The only thing I’ve ever done to pottery is paint it. I better learn fast!”). But she thinks her biggest challenge “will be trying to find a positive journey for Molly despite the traumatic events she is going through.”
Audiences will enjoy the music. “I think pre-existing fans of the show really love the song, ‘With You,’ and Molly also has some epic anthems like ‘Nothing Stops Another Day,’ ‘Suspend My Disbelief,’ and ‘Rain.’ For people who are unfamiliar with the musical version, they will INSTANTLY fall in love with the stunning score that helps to tell this tragic love story.”
Looking back at when she was cut from “American Idol,” at 19, the year Carrie Underwood won, Weiss laughs now. But she said at that time, “it truly felt like my life was over.” Weiss said, “I believe that if things had gone differently, I might have made it past the group round, but then again, maybe I wouldn’t be here playing Molly in ‘Ghost’ today. You never know where your path might lead.”
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