Meghan Randolph graces our stage as Sweeney Todd’s business partner and accomplice Mrs. Lovett. Keep reading to find out what Meghan’s three favorite musicals are, what she MUST do before every performance, and why she finds Mrs. Lovett likeable.
Have you done a show with Middleton Players before?
I had the pleasure of playing a female Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar in 2016. It was one of my favorite stage experiences of all time.
What do you do when you’re not performing/working in the theatre? Do you have a daytime job?
I run Music Theatre of Madison, a professional company focused on new and lesser-known musical theatre pieces. We have presented many local premieres and have recently started focusing on brand new, Wisconsin-written works. I produce, perform, direct, fundraise, market, and do a lot of other stuff and it's my passion. I also write and speak professionally about theatre marketing, teach voice lessons, and am a contract marketing director for SAIL, a local organization that serves senior citizens.
What is your favorite theatrical work?
I was lucky enough to do my three favorite musicals each summer I was in the high school musical theatre program at Interlochen Arts Camp in the 1990s: Sweeney Todd, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story. (Fun fact: Pre-famous Josh Groban was in Sweeney and Fiddler with me back then). Now, with this production of Sweeney, I've had the chance to do each of those shows again as an adult... but backwards - West Side in 2001, Fiddler in 2014, and now Sweeney in 2018.
What do you eat/drink before doing a show?
I don't usually eat or drink much but I HAVE to brush my teeth last thing before starting or I feel weird.
What are people going to think about as they drive home from Sweeney Todd?
I hope people find it to be as thrilling as they'd hoped...whether seeing it for the first or millionth time. If they're longtime Sweeney fans, I hope they see something new and interesting in this production and find things in the characters that they haven't seen before. If they're seeing it for the first time, I hope they're shocked and thrilled by the music and the story and spend all night on YouTube looking at clips!
What do you enjoy about your character Mrs. Lovett? How do connect to her?
Mrs. Lovett is, in my opinion, musical theatre's truest villain and one of its greatest roles comedically, dramatically, and musically. She is, in many ways, very likable, which adds to the horror of who she is. As an actor I have to find her reasoning and look for the layers. So, being the nerd I am, I have written a long, detailed backstory for her to draw on when I'm trying to figure out what made her the way she is and what causes her to do the things she does. I try to make every moment and every line accounted for in my backstory. It's just the best way for me to be specific as an actor. The vast majority of what I've decided will not be anything the audience sees directly, but I have to have it for myself, and I hope it makes me consistent. When I frame this story using the history that led up to it, particularly in this show, which gives us a history to draw upon, I start to sympathize with her and justify her actions, which is scary... and fascinating. (Don't worry, no plans to make anyone into meat pies any time soon.)
Give us a fun fact about yourself—do you have any special/hidden talents?
I am an outstanding thrift store shopper. I also can say the alphabet backwards in less than five seconds.
Where can people go to learn more about you and your projects?
Music Theatre of Madison's website is http://www.mtmadison.com. I would love it if you stopped by to see the big projects we have lined up for the fall and for next year!