The remaining April schedule of the Seth Concert Series produced by Mark Cortale is Ali Stroker, Stephanie J. Block and her husband Sebastian Arcelus, and Mandy Gonzalez.
Ali Stroker won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as ‘Ado Annie’ in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! She most recently starred in the Lifetime holiday film, Christmas Ever After. Ali made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. She starred in 12 episodes of The Glee Project, winning a guest role on Fox’s Glee. She recurred in the ABC series, Ten Days in the Valley and guest starred on CBS’ Blue Bloods, Freeform’s The Bold Type, Fox’s Lethal Weapon, CBS’ Instinct, The CW’s Charmed and Comedy Central’s Drunk History. She’s performed her cabaret act at Green Room 42 and solo’ed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, New York’s Town Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. Her mission to improve the lives of others through the arts, disabled or not, is captured in her motto: “Turning Your Limitations Into Your Opportunities.”
I remember watching the Tony’s in 2019 and after her performance I knew she was going to win the Tony, so it was a pleasure to sit down with the talented Ali Stroker for this exclusive Hotspots interview right before her concert on Sunday, April 11.
At what age did you begin performing, and how did it happen?
I started singing and performing when I was 7 as I was introduced to musical theater by my next-door neighbor. My first show was Annie.
What was your first professional/paid role?
When I did a workshop of a show called Alive At 10, which changed names to Mrs. Sharpe at Playwright Horizons after I graduated from NYU
What has been your favorite role to play?
My favorite roll was Ado Annie’ in Oklahoma.
What is your fantasy role?
I would love to play Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.
You were the first actress in a wheelchair to be cast in a Broadway show? Have you gotten a lot of positive feedback about this?
Yes, I mean so much positive support and excitement and I hope there are more and more opportunities for the disabled community because of it.
Can you tell me how you felt when they called your name as the winner of the Tony in 2019?
It felt like a dream come true. I was floating, and my heart was flying. It really was a dream I had for such a long time and to feel the support of the theater community and then the world was amazing.
Describe yourself in three words?
Creative, loyal and joyful.
What do you do for fun?
I love to cook, spend time with my fiancé and with my family and friends. I also love to go to the beach, and to see live theater and live music. I can’t wait for it to come back.
What should our readers expect from your Virtual Broadway Series with Seth Rudetsky?
Lots of amazing music and some fun duets and some stories that I have never shared before. And always some clowning around as Seth is so fun and playful.
Each weekly show premieres live on Sunday afternoons at the new time of 3pm with a one-time rebroadcast on Sunday nights at 8pm, except where otherwise noted. Tickets are available at thesethconcertseries.com for $25 each. Premium VIP tickets that include “behind-the-scenes” access to the artists’ soundcheck are also now on sale for most of the April and May lineup’s shows.