Q&A with Alexandra Vlachos—star of ‘The Nutcracker’
The Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts will be hosting the American Dance Theatre of Long Island’s performance of “Clara’s Dream, The Nutcracker,” Dec. 1-3 to kick off the holidays. For 18 years, the Bayport-based dance studio has been delighting audiences at the theatre with dancing toys, glimmering snowflakes and beautiful ballerinas in one of the season’s most-favorite productions.
This year in particular, 11-year-old Alexandra Vlachos of Bayport will play the part of Clara. Alexandra has studied with the studio since the age of 3, and just last year ended a 13-month run as Matilda in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name.
Despite her big performances on the shining city stage, this sixth-grader is excited to return to community theatre, where she says her career began.
“She’s doing local community theatre again, and she’s so grateful and happy to be a part of the American Dance Theatre of Long Island,” said her mother, Ellen Vlachos. “She’s so excited to be Clara and this has been her focus for the fall. It’s been her dream to be Clara since she was a little girl.”
The Long Island Advance was able to sit down with Alexandra to discuss how performing locally differs from the big city lights.
Long Island Advance: How does the big stage of Broadway compare to performing in community theatre?
Alexandra Vlachos: It’s really different because when I was on Broadway I used words, but [‘Clara’s Dream’] is a totally different story being told. I’m not talking or singing, I’m just dancing. I have to use more facial expressions. Also, Matilda is a very strong character and Clara is very feminine, so the roles are opposites.
I’m with my friends who I have known my entire life. They supported me and now I can support them, too. It’s just as exciting as performing on Broadway.
LIA: What’s your favorite costume to perform in ‘Clara’s Dream’ and how does Matilda compare?
AV: That’s a hard one! I wear two costumes: the party scene costume is so pretty, but it’s hot, and then the nightgown is really silky, but it’s also polyester, so that holds in heat, too. I think I like the party scene dress the best. Matilda was very disheveled in her costume. Clara was very well taken care of; Matilda was neglected.
LIA: Why should people come see the show at the theatre?
AV: They should come because it’s live and although you can watch a movie, it wouldn’t be the same. One, it’s mostly children, which is pretty cool, and two, it’s different every time. Live theatre is amazing and it’s a beautiful production.
LIA: What advice do you have for performers who want to kick-start their career?
AV: I would say that it’s never too late to start because even if you’re an adult, you could go on a million auditions and probably not get anything, but it’s that one audition that can change everything and it can be at any time.
Known for their professional performances along with their constant charity work, ADTLI will bring four shows to the theatre located on Main Street this upcoming weekend. Tickets to see Alexandra and the American Dance Theatre of Long Island company are available at the Patchogue Theatre box office or online at www.patchoguetheatre.org.
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