CASTING CALL: Dawn Winarski as Lilli Vanessi

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First Posted: 5/6/2014

Actor: Dawn Winarski

Character: Lilli Vanessi in Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre’s production of “Kiss Me, Kate,” which runs May 10-11 and May 16-18.

WEEKENDER: Describe your character.

DAWN WINARSKI: Lilli is an established stage star who has recently made a minor hit in Hollywood. She is the ex-wife of Fred Graham, the director/producer/co-star of the musical version of “Taming of the Shrew,” in which she stars. She’s headstrong, fiery, attractive, and very smart. She is still in love with Fred, but her pride won’t allow her to say so.

W: Are you anything like your character?

DW: Like Lilli, I can be a perfectionist on stage. I also, like her, feel every now and then that I need to take a break from the actress life.

W: What is your favorite scene or song in the show that you’re in?

DW: “Wunderbar.” First of all, Cole Porter’s lyrics are so clever and fun. The song is actually a parody of an operetta-style love song. It starts out comedically, with Fred and Lilli thinking back on the show they did together, but by the end they are back in each other’s arms. I love doing the scene with Seth Brandreth; we are old friends and it’s the first time we played opposite each other.

W: There’s a scene where real-life filters onto the stage for the characters, allowing some funny things to happen. What’s the funniest moment you’ve had on stage that was unscripted?

DW: It was final dress rehearsal/preview night for “Threepenny Opera” at Showcase Theatre and I was playing Jenny Diver, the prostitute. I had on a tight black bustier, and at one point Greg Korin, who was playing Peachum, had to grab my arm and twist it over my head. When he did, the bustier stretched and my breast popped out, giving the others a show!​

-Casting Call is a feature in which the spotlight is turned on local actors and actresses and the characters they portray in upcoming shows.