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Dirty Dancing: Meet Alyssa Brizzi!

28 January 2017

Folks! Meet Alyssa Brizzi, currently playing Lisa (Baby's sister) in the U.S. tour of Dirty Dancing just in time for the blockbuster movie's 30th anniversary...
Alyssa was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Growing up, she trained with The National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Banff Ballet. She could be seen most recently in, Idaho! The Comedy Musical at the Smith Center in Las Vegas as Belle and Dream Cassie. Some of her past credits include The Broadway National Tour of Beauty and the Beast as the swing and dance captain, Mystic Rhythms at Tokyo DisneySea, HairsprayWest Side StoryHigh School MusicalGypsyBig the Musical, and as a finalist on CBC’s reality television series, Triple Sensation. Alyssa would like to thank her family for their constant love and support as well as the wonderful creative of Dirty Dancing!

Q: Before being cast as Lisa, had you watched the iconic movie and Jane Brucker's performance as Baby's older sister?
A: I had seen it a few times but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be playing the role of Lisa.
Q: What is it like playing an iconic role in such an iconic show?
A: It is awesome. Is it a thrill to do. Lisa is so sweet, so honest, so open and just wants any attention from her father. She grows through the show tremendously, starting off a little jealous and envious of Baby and her relationship with our dad and in the end she comes around despite everything and the talent show not going so well and she is the only one who is there for Baby in the end. It is a really sweet story.
Q: Any pressure performing iconic numbers such as "Hulu Hana"?
A: I don't see it as pressure so much as I have a great time. Is a wonderful number, super silly, super fun   and you can't get much better than that. The audience seems to laugh so as long as they're laughing I think I'm doing my job. 
Q: How did you prepare for the role of Lisa?
A: Well, I can auditions I was actually auditioning for the ensemble and understudy for Baby and Lisa. It was the very last audition and the director had seen me and he asked me to do Lisa stuff over and over again. Three days later I was offered the role of Lisa instead of the ensemble tract I thought was going to be a potential offer. They called me and I asked them if they had the wrong number LOL. And then I watched the movie of course and I researched what "Kellerman Resort" was like and what it would be like back then to be in a family that didn't have much money I was able to be put at this resort as a gift because the Max and my father's exchange. It's really been a joy. The actors in the show make it so easy and everyone is so talented -- it hasn't made my job too difficult. Really couldn't ask for a better cast.
Q: For those of us who have not seen the stage show, how has Lisa's role been changed from the movie?
A: It's actually pretty much the same except that we've had a lot of new scenes added. But the writer of our shows the same writer as the writer of the movie. 
Q: Have you been able to use any of your ballet experience?

A: if anything I have to kind of dump that out of the window. I remember being at rehearsal and them telling me over and over again "you can't look that good". I was my main struggle to be honest, trying to do the hula with no muscle control and no coordination which is something I've been told opposite of my entire dance career. It's a struggle but it's fun.

Q: What is your favorite part of playing Lisa in Dirty Dancing the musical?
A: The hula, of course. It's a full over to minute number which is great. It's no longer side little tidbit. It is the whole version of the song. You get to really experience true Lisa on stage.
Q: On tour, who is the class clown/jokester of the group?
A: I'd have to say the guy who plays Robbie, the guy Lisa is in love with, who is played by Matt Amira. He loves to pull pranks on people backstage. We have a girl who gets scared very easily but is overdramatic about it. So he loves to target her. He loves to put on a pug face mask and scare people and it's really funny. Ha ha Ha.
Q: What do you hope people will take away from seeing Dirty Dancing on stage, 30 years after the blockbuster movie's original release?
A: I hope they are still able to connect with the stage version but also enjoy the new added bits. Eleanor has done a great job adding in new scenes, new music, new dance numbers that people really really like. people should expect to have a great time. People love hooting and hollaring in the audience but also experiencing a wonderful love story between Bronwyn (Baby) and Chris (Johnny Castle).
Thanks Alyssa! See you in Thousand Oaks!!
Don't miss Alyssa in the US tour of Dirty Dancing when Theater League brings it to Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza from the 2 to 5 February next week! If you are a lover of dance, the classic movie with Patrick Swayze, all the great songs from the movie, including (I've Had) The Time of My Life, and live theater then this is a show not to be missed. Can't wait to share it all with you next week!


PS-this article was written using voice dictation so please pardon any errors. Thank you for your patience.

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Thanks so much for sharing with me! Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated!
x Joy

 

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