By DON FOWLER
“I’ve wanted to play a princess since I can remember,” Patti Murin told me from her parents’ home in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. “We’re in the middle of the Beauty and the Beast tour. We had a great run in Atlanta, and we have a week off before going to Dayton [Ohio] and then Providence.
“Rhode Island is the closest we’ll be to most of my relatives [Hopewell Junction is a small town north of New York City]. So far, we have 32 of them coming to see me in Providence…24 of them for the Saturday matinee.”
Patti has never been to Rhode Island, and she’s looking forward to it, especially visiting Providence Place Mall and, if she can find time, Newport.
After Providence, it’s Rochester and Hershey and then the tour ends and it’s out auditioning for her next role.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” she said. “You can’t audition when you’re on the road. It’s frustrating. But I’ll enjoy some time off and spending some time with my family around the holidays.”
Murin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, where she concentrated on musical theatre.
“I never had to drag myself to class,” she said. “I loved every minute of it.”
Patti appeared in many productions of Princesses, a musical that had its debut at nearby Goodspeed Opera House in 2004, and played last year in Seattle. The producers are seeking out a theatre on Broadway at a time when few venues are available.
“It was a great experience, being part of a new musical and watching it come together,” she said.
Patti especially enjoys the young girls who come to the theatre “dressed like princesses.”
“They wait for me at the stage door, ask for my autograph, and give me flowers and cards,” she says. “It’s the best part of the tour. I’m having such a blast playing Belle,” she said. “Every little girl dreams of being a princess. It was my childhood dream.”
“And you’ve already, at age 25, had a chance to do it twice,” I said.
“The cast is so terrific,” she said. “I know everyone says that, but it is really true. We have 31 people in the cast, plus the crew, and we get along so well both on stage and in between performances. By now, everyone is so laid back.”
Patti Murin has had a dream of a career at a very young age, having also played Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun and Polly Baker in Crazy For You.
“Belle is certainly more age appropriate for me,” she said.
Beauty and the Beast will be at the Providence Performing Arts Center (for the third time) Oct. 3-8, with Thursday, Oct. 5, designated “Kids Night on Broadway.” Children ages 18 and younger can attend for free when accompanied by an adult who purchases a full-priced ticket. What a wonderful way to introduce your child to the magic of a live musical. Regular ticket prices range from $38 to $65. For reservations call 421-ARTS.