PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: "Devil's Bitch" and Cinderella Star Marla Mindelle

By Matthew Blank
January 8, 2013

Marla Mindelle, currently in rehearsals for Broadway's Cinderella, co-wrote and stars in the short film "The Devil's Bitch," which Playbill Video premieres in a four-part series this week. She fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.



The singing actress was most recently seen as Sister Mary Roberts in Sister Act on Broadway. Other theatre work includes Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific, the first national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Paper Mill, Philadelphia Theatre Company), The Wild Party (New Repertory Theatre) and Songs for a New World (Princeton Opera).





Full given name: Marla Danielle Weiner
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in NJ. Grew up in Yardley, PA.
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
What your parents did/do for a living:My dad is a musical theatre composer. My mom was a court reporter that has turned woodworker, scrapbooker and general kookstress.
Siblings:Younger sisters, Lisa and Olivia. They're nailing it. We're like a destitute, Jewish version of the Kardashians.
Special skills: I can squeak like a poor man's Mariah Carey (when she actually could squeak).
Something you're REALLY bad at: Dancing
First Broadway show you ever saw: I believe it was Big River when I was 3. 
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out? Definitely my Dad (Stephen Weiner). He would play records of musicals all the time or compose music while I was falling asleep at night. He absolutely inspired me to go into this crazy business.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Mame. Gypsy. Hello Dolly. Something reeealllll old fashioned and dame-y. 
Current or recent shows you recommended to friends: I wish more people caught The Performers. In my opinion, it was one of the funniest plays I've seen in a while. Ari Graynor is a freaking genius. 
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: If I said "The Life I Never Led," would you slap me across the face?  
Some favorite modern musicals: Ghost the Musical. I went on a holy musical crusade and saw it 4 times. 
Some favorite classic musicals: Gypsy, The Secret Garden
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: A Judy and Liza sandwich. 
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Barbra Streisand, Eydie Gormé, Stephanie J. Block. Or like… Beyonce and Jessie J. RANDOM. 
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: I wept like a baby when I saw Secret Garden on Broadway. 
Music that makes you cry, any genre: The Broadway inspirational Voices version of  "Sunday"
MAC or PC? MAC
Last good movie you saw: "Silver Linings Playbook"
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Robyn, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake. All silly pop music, really. 
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: ACE OF BASE!!! Bah!
When you first realized you could sing: When I was 3 and scream-sang "Tomorrow" in a recording studio. 
First stage kiss: I did The Music Man in high school and the guy playing Harold Hill said he was going to slip me the tongue. He did. It's on tape and it's gross. 
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Gussie in Merrily We Roll Along at CCM. 
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Probably when I was still in the womb
How you got your Equity card: A year after I graduated CCM, I played Queenie in The Wild Party at the New Repertory Theatre in Boston. 
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I drink a TON of throat coat and do a 30-minute vocal warm up that I found on YouTube. 
Most challenging role you have ever played: Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act! Hands down. 
Craziest audition story: After my final callback for Sister Act (in which there were like… at least 30 people AND WHOOPI staring at me) I went into the stairwell of Telsey's office and sobbed like a baby from relief. Then went to NYMF rehearsal with mascara all over my face and no one told me. 
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: When I was in high school, I forgot my shoes in a play (called Ms. Dove) where I had to be this austere, domineering teacher. I did the most dramatic scene barefoot and my family has still never let me live it down. 
Worst job you ever had: Telemarketing in college, I guess. But I was with my friends and we would call people in random accents. 
Worst costume ever: I did a play called The Clumsy Custard in high school where I played the character "Head" - literally I was just a head. My entire body was in a box and my face was the only thing that was exposed. I am mortified to this very day. 
How did the idea for "Devil's Bitch" come about? Well, in my spare time, I love to write with my college buddy, Jonathan Parks-Ramage. We wanted to create something with music that was avant garde for people like us that share a slightly twisted and campy sense of humor.

We wanted to be different and darker than "Glee" or "Smash" and do something musical that wasn't necessarily all about musical theatre.

What would you say was the most difficult part of the entire process?  Oh god - everything. Raising the money on Kickstarter, finding locations, going over budget, getting a crew of NYU students who were willing to work for pittance. Also I took my vacation from Sister Act to film it in just a week. It was exhausting but ultimately, amazingly gratifying. 
And what was the most fun? Co-writing the music and lyrics was amazing. Having all of my friends star and collaborate on it. Having something I created that was "mine." It was like having a baby. 
How would you describe your character? Evelyn is a wheelchair-using aspiring actress that sells her soul to the Devil for fame, fortune and bigger boobs. It's a little like Damn Yankees meets "The Sarah Silverman Program." 
Do you have a favorite moment for your character in the movie? When she transforms from a homely, handicapped gal to a star.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: I always wanted to play Evita. Maybe in the 2030 revival with Enrique Iglesias.
Leading man role you wish you could play: Coalhouse Walker, obviously. 
Something about you that surprises people: I take more pictures of my cat than I do of anyone else in my life. 
Something you are incredibly proud of: "The Devil's Bitch" thus far has been the biggest creative achievement of my life. Also… playing Sister Mary Robert for almost two years and not losing my mind should count for something. 
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I wish to God I could be an amazing hip hop dancer. All I wanna do is pop, lock and JAM. Also, Greg Hildreth who plays my love interest in Cinderella is SUCH a good kisser. 
Career you would want if not a performer: A writer or director. And if that didn't work out, a fat baker. 
What's been the high point of 2013 so far? Getting over 2,000 Twitter followers. KIIDDDINGGGG. 
Three things you can't live without: Coffee, family, nasal decongestant
"I'll never understand why…" … people are SO GRATEFUL on Facebook. 
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Go to a great college with a great showcase that agents will legitimately come to. Having an agent that believes in you is half the battle in New York.