In two different cities, in two different Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, two Winnipeg performers will appear in starring roles.
Ma-Anne Dionisio will join an all-Canadian cast of Cats
in Toronto this spring in the role of Grizabella. This announcement follows Samantha Hill's move from alternate to principal in the lead role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera
on Broadway back in March.
Dionisio's big break in the theatre world came in 1993, when she landed
the lead role of Kim in a Toronto production of Miss Saigon
. At the age of 19, with no previous theatre experience, Dionisio found herself in the starring role of a production that would launch her into an international career in musical theatre - not her planned program at dental school.
Hill got her start with Winnipeg theatre companies like Rainbow Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Winnipeg Studio Theatre. She had been performing the lead role in Phantom
on Broadway twice weekly as the alternate, but now heads out under the lights for six shows every week. And fortunately for Hill, the cast and crew was very welcoming of her promotion.
"I was coming from Canada and I was replacing someone and maybe they
weren't going to be positively responsive, but it's been incredible.
They kind of welcome you with open arms," she said.Cats runs at Toronto's Panasonic Theatre May 28-July 28, 2013.
Winnipegger set for starring role on Broadway