We’re joined on the Starline by an actor, singer, model, radio news anchor and theater star. She spent days early in her career in radio & helping families with child care and elder care needs. But after years of dedication to her craft and a national tour for Fiddler on the Roof; she’s back under the lights. She plays the Dowager Empress in the national tour of Anastasia. We welcome the talented Gerri Weagraff.
Gerri, let’s go Beyond the Mic, you have masters in Spanish from the University of Delaware and then spent time in the American Academy of Broadcasting in Philly. How do you get from Spanish and broadcasting to Broadway?
Growing up, what were your dreams?
Your husband Paul has been incredibly supportive, even bringing your dog and lunch to the team while you were on the bus early in the tour. How hard is touring for you?
You found your husband because of it, your mother was part of it, and your daughter in law was in the original Broadway cast. How has theater changed you?
The Rockin’ 8:
It’s time for the Rockin’ 8, 8 random questions; answer with the first thing that comes to your mind. There is no Pressure.
1. You’re a trained ventriloquist. Have you surprised your fellow actors with that trick yet?
2. You speak with British, Irish, French, Spanish, Italian and Yiddish dialects. Which language would you like to learn?
3. 29 years in radio. Is there one commercial that you can still hear in your nightmares?
4. What’s your favorite aisle in the supermarket?
5. You are a rescuer of animals. I’m taping next to my rescue lab. How did you know that your last rescue was the one?
6. Will you tell us the key ingredient to your “addicting chips”?
7. What is the key to your decades of happiness with Paul?
8. Favorite place in Spain?
The Back Half with:
You started the tour at the Palace Theater in Connecticut. Over 200 shows on tour and you’ve watched performers come and go. How tight a family is the Anastasia cast? Does it hurt when you see your fellow cast mates come and go?
As cast mother, how special is it for you to watch these lights grow into stars for you?
But as hard as the road is for you, it is so rewarding for you. How does the standing ovation each night fill your heart with joy?
Favorite production you’ve ever seen?
She’s in her dream role:
What role is your dream?
Nearly 5 years ago you were in New York watching Jordan’s girlfriend Sissy, perform in Anastasia. How incredible is the circle to now be a part of the show yourself? It was almost foretold that you would be doing the role.
You’ve played roles in Beauty & the Beast and Anastasia, both originally done by Angela Lansbury. Many people have compared you favorably to her. How does that make the WWOC news anchor feel?
Hiking and the outdoors are very important to your family. Why is it so important to you?
You believe in helping others and have gone to children’s hospitals to sing and brighten children’s days. Why is that important for you?
First thought when you held your grandchild in your arms?
One Big Question:
You say “You’re never too old to follow your dreams”. You’ve made your dream come true. What’s your next dream?
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Where can people find you?
Do the kids on the cast try and get you to do Tik Toks?
Her friends convinced her to audition for her first role/ She loves visiting in Rhonda Spain & student teaching moved her from Spanish to TV to theater. You can see her in the national tour of Anastasia as the Dowager Empress. We thank Gerri Weagraff for taking the time to talk to us.
And that my friends is Beyond the Mic.
Check out Gerri’s website here.
Listen to other Beyond the Mic conversations about theater here.