Broadway Singer Susan Egan Talks About the OC High School of the Arts and Growing Up in Seal Beach

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Olivier Ciappa
When I hear the term "Broadway," I think of lots of things, but mostly I think of New York City, bright lights, people wearing pea coats, taxis and how bummed I am that I never got a chance to see those failed "Spider-Man" previews. However, thanks to Saturday's Long Beach Symphony POPS! concert, I can now add "Seal Beach" to that list as Susan Egan, a Seal Beach native and current Orange County resident, is one of three singers featured at the event.
Egan's resume is quite impressive for a local gal. She's played Belle in the original cast of Beauty and the Beast (for which she was nominated for a Tony), Sally Bowles for two years in Cabaret and Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie. And if stage isn't your bag and none of that means anything to you, she's also been featured in Lady and the Tramp 2, Hercules, 13 Going on 30 and co-starred in the WB sitcom Nikki.

And that's just her partial resume.

Along with singers Christopher Johnstone and Chad Johnson, Egan, conductor Steven Reineke and the LBSO POPS! orchestra promises "a fresh, retro-hip take" on "timeless classics" such as "Get Me to the Church on Time," "Almost Like Being in Love" and "They Call the Wind Maria."

OC Weekly (Ryan Ritchie): Your Twitter page says you are a "Broadway actress, concert performer, Disney princess, victory gardener, locavore (but for bananas), wife, mother, sister, friend, blogger." So ... when do you sleep?

Susan Egan: I sleep during the day as I am actually a vampire--hence the job that begins after sundown.

When you think of Seal Beach, which comes to mind first: The Bay Theatre or having to put sandbags on your porch every time it rains?

I technically grew up in Seal Beach, but was not on the coast. I lived in College Park East by Old Ranch Country Club, so we never had to sandbag our porch, but I do recall sneaking onto the golf course after hours and running around like a maniac with my friends!

Your latest CD is titled The Secret of Happiness. Please tell me what that secret is and how I can go about getting both the CD and actual happiness.

If you'd like to know the secret of happiness, you will have to purchase the CD (at Amazon or iTunes or LMLMusic.com or 1,000 other places--just Google it!). I wouldn't dare reveal said secret, but I guarantee it's great music and you will laugh out loud at many moments! I'm fiercely proud of this CD and grateful to my producer, Georgia Stitt, and label, LML Music, and Steve Job's Pro Tools.

Entertainment Weekly said you have the slickest site around. Was that intentional or are you just lucky with the Interwebs?

Slick website is entirely intentional. Love the technology! I was the first Broadway gal to have a website--back when dinosaurs roamed cyberspace.

Please feel free to either praise, disparage or torment any teachers, faculty, staff or fellow students you encountered during your time at Orange County High School of the Arts.


OCHSA was a font of talent both in the teaching staff and the students even back in the '80s when I was there! Ralph Opacic created a program which literally fulfilled my dreams! That I got to be a part of that first graduating class alongside dear friends David Sidoni, Julie
Seaborn and others was (as cliché as it sounds) amazing!  But compared to the school today ... it was nothin'! I dare anyone to tour the OCHSA campus today and not be absolutely blown away by the facilities, faculty and students.

Let's say I was a broke 32-year-old writer who wanted to date a Broadway star. Hypothetically, how would I go about doing that?

No chance. You'd have to wait in line behind the unemployed actors/waiters, pit musicians and disgruntled Starbucks employees. Oh, and my husband.

As a native Seal Beachian, do you look at Long Beach as your cool older brother or your creepy uncle?

I don't have an actual creepy uncle--or any uncle, in fact--so I was always grateful that Long Beach filled that emptiness in my youth. Second Street was a big hang when I was a teenager (recalling my first date with Kenny Stockwell, sigh). I sailed at the Long Beach Yacht Club, and by "sailed" I mean I raced in last place, in my sabot, weekly. I also went to nearly every show at Long Beach Civic Light Opera--and I blame that organization for infecting me with the Broadway bug. Lawsuit pending.

LERNER AND LOEWE: With Susan Egan, Chad Johnson and Christopher Johnstone,  Saturday, 8 p.m., at the Long Beach Arena, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, $29 to $148  

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