Who she is: In this feature, we’re honoring women who are stepping into surprising roles across American cities. Actor Katrina Lenk is doing so quite literally, in a gender-switched production of the classic musical Company. When we think of great musical-theater stars, it’s usually women who shine the brightest—from Ethel Merman to Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald—and Lenk is the latest in this pantheon to capture Broadway’s heart. After years in regional theater and replacement roles, she zoomed up the ranks with her Tony-winning performance in 2017’s The Band’s Visit. This spring, she returns to the stage in a revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s groundbreaking 1970 musical, which director Marianne Elliott is giving a major twist: Company’s male central character, Bobby, is now a woman.
Why we love her: Lenk projects a sly sense of mystery and depth, which should make her a good fit for the cryptic Bobbie, a confirmed bachelorette whose friends are all married. (That one of those pals is played by LuPone adds to the sense of a diva torch being passed.) "I think having it be a female Bobby—dealing with the pressures of being in a committed relationship or having a family versus having a career—is maybe a little bit more relevant than a 35-year-old man who’s a swingin’ single," Lenk says. "I don’t think we worry about that guy so much, but women definitely still feel that pressure." (Read our full interview with Katrina Lenk.)
Check it out: Company opens at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on March 22.—Adam Feldman
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