In a faraway land called the Hudson Theatre, a new musical has arrived. A sparkling explosion of Shakespearean dialogue and Go-Go’s music, Head Over Heels is an ambitious production – but Alexandra Socha is up to the challenge. Socha made a name for herself on the Great White Way a decade ago when she followed Lea Michele in Spring Awakening.
After a stint in Hollywood, which included roles on Red Oaks, Royal Pains and Damages, Socha is back on Broadway as Philoclea in the Gwyneth Paltrow-produced show. Broadway Spin caught up with the Socha to discuss her basement dressing room, how she deals with reviews, and her deep desire to be employed.
Broadway Spin: This is such an impressive, big production! Is there any space backstage? Do you have to hang in your dressing room in between scenes?
Alexandra Socha: Most of our dressing rooms are in the basement and they are kind of far away, so even when you’re off-stage for a number or two, there’s really not enough time to go downstairs to your dressing room because by the time you get there, you have to come back up again – but our backstage is also super small, so you really can’t do much. The crew knows there’s one point where I have an 8-minute break and I sit on one particular chair so it’s always there, waiting for me. (Laughs)
BS: That’s nice of them to have it ready.
AS: Yeah, we really are a family. Everybody is really good at showing up and doing their job and doing them 100% so we are really lucky in that way.
BS: What’s your approach to reviews – how much attention do you pay to them?
AS: I personally don’t ever read reviews. I read them when everything’s over, because I am very curious, but I just know for myself that, good or bad, they just get in my head. We’re just trying to do the best show we can every night – and the audience response every night is really so positive. This is some of the best applause I’ve ever heard in a Broadway theater. We always knew that word of mouth is the key for this. At the end of the night, the audience is on their feet in a very genuine way, so if it isn’t one person’s cup of tea, I can deal with that.
BS: Well said. And Whoopi Goldberg loved it!
AS: She was wonderful and we were just thrilled because she totally got what we were doing. She said it was such an escape and respite from everything she has to talk about all day. And Bernadette Peters and Neil Patrick Harris came too! We got to meet them and they all really seemed to like it, but yeah, I wouldn’t complain if more celebrities stopped by.
BS: Just putting that out there. Famous people welcome.
AS: (Laughs) Yep! Also, all other people. Everyone.
BS: You’ve done both TV and Broadway. Do you prefer one over the other? Would you go to back to TV?
AS: I spent three seasons on Amazon’s Red Oaks and had an incredible time so I’m not against going back. Also, the lifestyle is a little bit easier. I had to work many hours a day, but they feed you and you have weekends off – but I spent a long time away from the theater and it’s incredible to be back. Basically, I’m happy to do anything. Just hire me! (Laughs)
BS: A Broadway schedule is so demanding. What’s your best tip for staying healthy?
AS: Meditation. I’ve been meditating for 4 ½ years. It saved me at a really difficult time. I do it twice a day, once in my dressing room when I’m getting ready for the show. I know some people think, “I can’t do that” or “It’s not for me,” but there are lots of different kinds. I can’t recommend it enough.