Actress Jillian Louis Debuts Bio Act The Agony and the Ecstasy
By: Ellis Nassour
Stage and film actress/writer Jillian Louis will tell it like it is, warts and all, at 54 Below on Wednesday, August 13, at 9:30, in a bio act The Agony and the Ecstacy, created and directed by Scott Siegel and presented in [and something a bit different for] his 54 Below series. Louis describes the show as "a labor of love about survival in show business. It’s a primer on That’s Entertainment! but without the exclamation mark."
Louis, whom you may have caught playing opposite Max von Essen in the York Theatre Company’s Musicals in Mufti series celebrating Sheldon Harnick, Tenderloin [book by George Abbott and Jerome Weidman; music by Jerry Bock and in Siegel’s Town Hall series Broadway Musicals of 1990–2014: The Women, is described as a powerhouse vocalist.
In his review of 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival [NYMF] entry Marry Harry, with music and lyrics by Dan Martin and Michael Biello, Oscar Moore lavished praise on Louis, noting "She radiates sincerity, vulnerability, humor, spunkiness, a quirky charm, confidence, and warmth with a glorious voice."
In the 2012 entry Flambé Dreams, "a tale of drugs, dreams and flaming desserts" by Randy Klein and Matthew Hardy, with Louis playing opposite Tony nominees Jarrod Spector and Catherine Cox, Moore wrote that Louis’ "talent ignites on stage a thousand times brighter than the [show’s ] delightful prop desserts." Louis won the NYMF award for Outstanding Actress both seasons.
"The Agony and the Ecstasy is a true, ripped from the headlines-of-life story of survival on the wicked stage told in song," says Louis. "It’s about how you get in, stay in, manage somehow to eat and have a roof over your head, and, defying all the odds, sometimes thrive."
Siegel notes Louis will be "doing songs, famous and obscure, from theater, country, and pop – perhaps even a genre or two too beneath the radar to have a name. Jillian’s bright, funny, has a great voice, and can act. She’s quite the whole package."
Louis will be joined by guest Alyse Alan Louis [her sister, a Sophie in Broadway’s Mamma Mia and a NYMF Outstanding Actress award-winner this year for Academia Nuts], with Ian Herman, on piano, music directing.
The cover for Jillian Louis: The Agony and the Ecstacy is $30 – $55, premium to side view to bar seating, with a food and beverage minimum of $25. Purchase at www.54below.com. Day-of-performance tickets are available after 2 P.M. by calling (646) 476-3551. Add $5 for on-site purchases. Dinner/cocktails from 8:45 P.M. Reserve at the website or www.opentable.com.