Jessie Dez might never have arrived on the South Florida entertainment scene if not for a disastrous event that nearly took her sister’s life.
Emily Elizabeth Tarallo has seen the performing arts stage from both sides.
“My mother (Amy London) is a brilliant director/stage manager, and my father (Barry Tarallo) is an actor/musician with one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. He performed on and Off-Broadway in Grease and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I remember growing up in various theaters, watching them on stage. It’s all I’ve ever known.”
Carey Brianna Hart knew she wanted a career in the theatre at the tender age of three.
“I watched a lot of Shirley Temple movies when I was little and was a flower in a play in pre-school,” she laughed. “I got to sing a little song and everybody applauded. My mind was blown. I was hooked. That was it.”
Ask Elijah Word what drew him into the singing, dancing and acting sphere, and the tall, lanky, nearly 28-year-old performer with deep familial roots in Broward County and performance chops earned throughout South Florida may regale you with this story.
Though Suki Lopez’s first performing arts passion was for dancing, it didn’t take her long to catch the musical theatre bug. “Throughout my childhood I was very focused on ballet and I did summer programs with ABT and Joffrey and all that…it was actually, one of my trips to New York for these summer programs that I sort of fell in love with Broadway and was like oh wait, I can do this… so I kind of switched gears in high school and shifted my focus,” she explains.
Sixteen months ago, the Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables was primed, rehearsed and ready to present Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot. Artistic boss David Arisco had settled into the director’s chair. Dave Nagy was eager to direct the musical score. Lights, sound, sets, props, even fight choreography, were on track.
An excited Leah Marie Sessa – a singer/actress with acknowledged vocal excellence and talent capable of modulating from light comedy to heavy drama — was prepared to step forward as Lady Elaine of Astolat, an innocent maiden who falls deeply in love with Sir Lancelot.
Elijah Gee is a distinguished pianist, producer, and musical director who impeccably balances teaching music by day and performing live on weekends and evenings.
Actor/vocalist Wayne LeGette has experienced much – and learned even more – during 35 years of stage performances, portrayals in front of TV and movie cameras, and speaking before a microphone for voice dubbing.
If you’re wondering what singer/actor/dancer Gabriela “Gaby” Tortoledo is really like, I asked one of the students she taught as an adjunct professor in the Theater Department at Miami-Dade College.