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To Be Married in “Venice” Andrea Goss Sets the Stage for Hope

BY JON STEELY, PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK FRASER, HAIR/MAKEUP ASAF NARKIS FOR SOLOARTISTS.COM/LANCOME

Andrea Goss enters a room with the same captivating presence she carries with her onto the stage. For her, there really is no difference. “As an actor, you want to tap into a universal humanity, the feelings and emotions that we all share and experience, with any character that you’re playing,” she says, preparing for the day’s rehearsal of “Venice,” an exciting and innovative new musical (blending hip-hop and opera with the dramatic elements of Shakespearean and Greek tragedy) playing this fall at The Kirk Douglas Theatre. “When I work on a character, I draw from a lot of similarities and ties to myself. I take a lot of myself, things that I share with the character, with me to the stage — as much as I can.”

A native of Salem, Oregon, Ms. Goss started classical piano at the age of three, when a door to a life in the performing arts swung open. “I studied piano and then, as I got a little older, began playing the violin. Being involved with music led me to an audition for a musical stage show. A friend of mine was auditioning for a play and asked me to come along. We both ended up getting a part in the show and I discovered that I also had a love for acting.” The young artist headed east, where she completed a BFA in musical theater at Syracuse University and hit the road doing summer stock and regional theater. Her soaring mezzo-soprano produced shining moments in productions of “The Sound of Music,” “Big River,” “Peter Pan,” and a spectacular Broadway debut in “Rent,” which led to her feature film appearance in Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway (2008). “For the filmed version, the director (Michael John Warren) told us not to worry about the subtleties of acting for the camera. He just asked us to play it big, like we do for the stage. He wanted to capture the experience of a live Broadway stage show on the big screen. I don’t think you can ever completely duplicate the live theater experience on film, but he came pretty close. He really captured the energy.”

And now Andrea Goss takes the stage in “Venice,” playing Willow Turner, the daughter of a former king, who is set to marry one of two politically powerful brothers ensnarled in a conflict over which approach (peace or violence?) will best lead their war-torn and ravaged city toward salvation. “What’s special about ‘Venice’ is that it’s the first show to really speak to today’s generation, utilizing hip-hop, rap, and the dances of today to show the dark side of power and evil, but also to show hope and redemption. It’s all very relevant to what is happening in our world today, with war and politics and society. My hope is that ‘Venice’ will inspire people to have conversations about what war and conflict do to our society, to think about how we react to each other, how we react to differences and opposing views, and how quick we are to judge others and place blame. I really think that people need to start having these conversations. We don’t do enough of that anymore.” Andrea Goss is a sensitive, compassionate, fresh new face in Los Angeles, bringing with her a commitment to doing all she can to improve the human condition and offer hope through the performing arts. “When you have material that speaks to you as a person, you want to share it with an audience, so acting is an outlet for me to express what is on the page. And, since I’m very shy, the way that I can best reach other people is through a character other than myself. I really feel most at home when I’m on the stage. I also really love to share the arts with people.” 􀀀

“Venice” begins performances on October 7th and opens on October 17th, continuing through November 14th at The Kirk Douglas Theatre. For tix and info., call (213) 628-2772 or go to www.CenterTheatreGroup. org

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