Ann Harada on Smash, Avenue Q’s 10th Anniversary, and on being the not-so-evil stepsister in Cinderella

AnnHaradaAnn Harada currently performs as Charlotte, one of Cinderella’s not-so-evil stepsisters in the Broadway debut of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical. This is her sixth role on Broadway, which have ranged from Comrade Chin in “M. Butterfly” to Madame  Thénardier in “Les Miserables.” But she is best-known for originating the part of Christmas Eve in “Avenue Q,” which officially celebrates its 10th anniversary on July 31, 2013.

CinderellaTshirtHarada and the cast of “Cinderella” sang “Stepsister’s Lament” at the Broadway at Bryant Park lunchtime concert series on July 11, 2013, which she sings nightly at the Broadway Theater on 53rd Street.  Instead of the colorful gown, she was wearing a Cinderella T-shirt, which said “I can be whatever I want to be,” which is not just the show’s motto, but seems to be Harada’s as well.

Below are two videos, first of her performance of  the song (complete with captions of the lyrics).

I also spoke  to her briefly, as you can see in the second video.

On Smash. Did she know when she was hired that she wouldn’t be singing.

‘It was going to be a very small part, and I was totally fine with that; I was happy to be on the show at all. There was no reason for me to think that I would ever be singing.”

Did the threat of cancellation hang over the cast?

“So much of the shooting was before they started running the episodes,We just went to work and thought ‘Whoopee we have a job.’ and weren’t thinking about that at all.”

On Avenue Q: I loved being part of it. I’m proud of what we did. It’s our tenth anniversary this year; I couldn’t be more pleased about that. It was a very special time.”

On her future as a performer: “I’d like to play Dolly Levi someday.” She can be whatever she wants to be, including her generation’s Carol Channing.

From left to right: Laura Osnes, Harriet Harris, Marla Mindelle and Ann Harada
From left to right: Laura Osnes, Harriet Harris, Marla Mindelle and Ann Harada

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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