#LiveatFive with Kristin Stokes of THE LIGHTNING THIEF

(upbeat music) – Well, hello everybody. Welcome to’s “Live at Five”, filmed right here in the
heart of Times Square in the historic Brill Building. Welcome in.
(Beth laughs) It is Tuesday, October 22nd, and I am Ryan Lee Gilbert. – And I’m Beth Stevens. – And we are joined here as always by the marvelous Caitlin Moynihan. – Hello! – And we have a wonderful friend and a very special guest with us today. Who do we have, Beth?
– We do. We have Kristin Stokes
from “The Lightning Thief.” – Woo!
– Yes! – Yes! Do you notice Caitlin wore
her lightning bolt earrings? – I did!
– Look at that! – I wore these at press event, I’m wearing them today. It’s a theme.
– She’s ready. – So on brand. We are talking to Kristin
about “The Lightning Thief” and so much more, but first, let’s talk
about today’s top five. (upbeat music) – Someone is comin’ to the
rock on Broadway from tour. – Yes, yes, welcome to
the rock Becky Gulsvig, who will be taking over
the role of Beverley Bass from original cast member Jenn
Colella in “Come From Away” on the Broadway. – Yes, Jenn, she’s been there. – She’s been there for three years.
– Yeah, absolutely. – So she’s going to move
on and Becky Gulsvig is going to come in. You can hear her sing on the site if you click on that news story. She will begin performances
on November 12th, and Jenn will play her final
performance on November 10th. – Very exciting. – Very exciting.
– Welcome, Becky. – And we have a bunch
of casting information for the upcoming Broadway
play “Grand Horizons”. – Yes, this is Bess
Wohl’s “Grand Horizons”. It is a Second Stage Production. And we found out that Jane
Alexander and James Cromwell will be returning to Broadway as a married couple at
the center of the play. It is directed by Tony
nominee Leigh Silverman. You may know Jane Alexander. She won a Tony Award for
the “Great White Hope”, of course, but she’s also
received two Emmy Awards and four Oscar nominations. So yeah, she’s kind of talented. – She’s in good stuff. – Yeah, James Cromwell is an Emmy winner for “American Horror Story”
and an Oscar nominee or “Babe”. Oh my gosh, remember “Babe”?
– “Babe”. – Oh I loved “Babe,” some pig. He was also been on Broadway in “Hamlet” and “Othello” and Off Broadway in “The Three Acts of Recognition”. Thomas Sadoski has left the production because of scheduling conflicts, and we will find out a replacement for him to be announced soon. Also in this cast are
Priscilla Lopez, Ashley Park, Michael Urie, and Maulik Pancholy. Previews will begin on December 20, 2019. And it will officially
open on January 23rd. – What a cast.
– Yeah, stars. – And we are going to
get to hear the music of the newly opened theatrical concert experience, “Forever”. – Guys, if you haven’t
seen “American Utopia,” the David Byrne Experience. That’s not what they’re calling it, that’s not what they’re calling it. – But you know, it is.
– At the Hudson Theater. Get yourself there. I call it marching band chic, because they carry their instruments, and it’s wonderful and it’s going to have an original cast recording. It’s already streaming. You can listen to it in the earbuds. But if you want a two-CD
version that will released on Nonesuch Records on November 22nd. So good.
– Nonesuch Records, I love that name.
– Nonesuch. (laughing) – Yes, and Broadway’s original OB/GYN is comin’ back for the last time. (laughing) I love talkin’ about the OB/GYN. Don’t you?
(laughing) – We are talking about Drew Gehling who is currently in “Almost
Famous” at the Old Globe. So “Almost Famous” he will
be done with that production on October 27th and then October 30th, three days after he’s done with that, he will be returning to
Broadway’s “Waitress” as Dr. Pomatter, of course. And he will be with the show until its closing on January 5th. Tear. I will miss my “Waitress.”
– Not a real doctor guys. – Not a real doctor.
– Just plays one on Broadway. (laughing) – The cast of “Waitress” right
now is led by Jordin Sparks, of course, and she will be playing Jenna through November 24th. Also in that production
right now are Al Roker, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Caitlin Houlahan, and Christopher Fitzgerald. I don’t have to tell you to go see “Waitress”.
– Some original cast members. – Yeah, exactly. “Waitress” is special. Go see “Waitress”, absolutely. – Yes, and the time has
come to start getting ready to say goodbye to Dunder Mifflin. – Again.
– Again. – [Caitlin] Again. “The Office! A Musical Parody”
is going to be closing, and it will play its final
performance on January 13, 2020, at the Orbach Theater
at The Theater Center. On September 20, 2018, is when it began. So it’s been running for a while.
– Yes, it’s been running for a while, yeah. We interviewed the star
right here on “Live at Five”. – At the time of its closing it will have played 402 performances. That is respectable.
– That is, absolutely. – Very respectable. It’s written by Bob and Tobly McSmith. Go see “The Office”. You have until January 13th. – You do. Also on the site there are
some really cool things. We did another character
study with Clinton Greenspan. He is Aladdin. So when you log onto our homepage and you see 10 abs staring at you (Caitlin laughing)
those are Clinton Greenspan’s. Yes, it’s, he puts a lotta work into that. – And Aladdin doesn’t
get to wear a shirt so– – No exactly. (voices muffled) – Yeah, they’re there for a reason. (Caitlin laughing)
Episode three of “Behind the Stripes”
with Andrew Barth Feldman, his vlog is up right now. – You get to meet his vocal coach, Liz Caplan.
– Yes that’s right. He is a great vlogger, by the way. Vlogging’s difficult and
he’s fantastic at it. – Enthusiastic, we love that.
– Congrats, yes. He’s so good. And there was a “Jagged
Little Pill” press event that you were at, Caitlin
Moynihan, exciting stuff. – It was thrilling, it’s so exciting. It’s happening.
– I can’t wait. I’m so excited.
– It’s happening. – So you can check out all of our stuff from that press event,
photos and all of that. Beth, thank you so much. – Okay, I’m gonna go join
all the Percy Jackson fans that are gonna watch this interview. – Yes, Caitlin would you
be so kind as to tell us a little bit more about today’s guest. – Gladly, yes, we got Miss Kristin Stokes here with us today. She is currently on a killer quest as Annabeth in “The Lightning Thief: The
Percy Jackson Musical” on the Broadway. This marks her Broadway debut, but she’s no stranger to this story, ’cause she did it Off
Broadway, she did it on tour, and now she’s here on Broadway and we have so much to talk about ’cause the show just opened last week. Make sure you follow her on
social media @chitty_balone. I think I pronounced that correctly. She’s nodding her head, I did. Leave all of your questions
in the comments below and everyone please
welcome Kristin and Ryan. – Hello Kristin.
– Hello Ryan. – It’s so wonderful to have you here. – I’m so excited to be here. – Well it is a thrill having you here. Also, what is thrilling is “The Lightning Thief: The
Percy Jackson Musical”. You are here on Broadway. As Caitlin mentioned,
the show just opened. How are things over at the theater? How are you enjoying your Broadway debut? Alongside so many people
making their Broadway debut. It’s a very exciting, exciting thing. – Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting. It’s so magical. It’s so magical to be a part
of the Broadway community and to come to work every
day and just to be with all the people that I love. We’ve been doing this show Off Broadway. Me, Chris McCarrell, Sarah Beth Pfeiffer, and James Hayden Rodriguez are from the original Off Broadway cast. We all toured together. We added on our new company members. And we’re just like one big camp. It feels like, when we were on tour, we’re like this is a literal quest. We are in summer camp. We would go to our
hotel rooms and be like, what are you wearing? What are you watching? Blah blah blah. And now we get to be on Broadway. It’s just the most fun. – It’s so cool. And like yeah, you’ve been involved since the very beginning, since like the workshop of this, right?
– Yes. – So what was it about this project or this character or who was involved that really made you
excited to be a part of it? – I think a few things. One, Stephen Brackett, who’s the director, he was the one who originally thought to even call me
in for this workshop. And so thank you Stephen. – [Ryan] Had you worked with him before? – Yes, yes, we did another new musical called “The Trouble With Doug”. And it was very strange
and kinda like dark comedy, and very weird and we just
had a ball working together and then like a year and a
half later I had a phone call and I was like, how did
these people get my number? What is this? I don’t even know what this show is. And then in runs Stephen and he’s like, hi, you’re a demi-goddess and
you’re really tough, love you. And I was all like, oh, okay, well Stephen’s here so I’m
here, I’m done, I’m sold. And so Stephen and the
rehearsal room is just so fun. We just have so many laughs. The tone and all the creativity that gets put into this project, it’s just the most fun every time. And this role and this character is really close to my heart. She’s so amazing and tough. And this character has taught me so much. And there’s, every time I come back to her there’s just more work and more deepening, and more things that I’m
learning about myself, and it’s just such a wonderful role. – Right, I know that since
you’ve become involved you’ve had a chance to,
you’ve read the entire series. – Oh yeah, yes. – So what did you end up
appreciating most about these? My husband teaches sixth grade, and his students are obsessed. – Then you know.
– With these books. – Obsessed. – They’re obsessed with them. That’s all they talk about. And I’m sure that they’re the people that are engaging online because the kids are absolutely floored
with this story and these, what did you end up
really being inspired by with this story? What did you enjoy most about
it after you had read it? – I think I just enjoy, one of the things that
really appealed to me when reading these books is
Rick Riordan, who is the author, he does this really fantastic job of kind of like presenting the character and immediately you’re
like oh I know this girl. She’s blonde, she has curly hair, and they say she looks like a princess. And you’re like, oh, dumb
blonde, princess, ingenue. And he takes every character and kinda gives an intro like that and then turns it on its head. And you’re like, oh actually,
Annabeth is a bad ass, and she’s the smartest
person in the room by far and the toughest, and that
you want her on your team. She is first picked for
every sport and everything. So I just really love
that about these books and that it’s really… The tone and the humor that
is captured in the book, and that I think we capture
in our show, is so fun. It just takes itself seriously enough, and then right when you’re like, oh wow, this is some
really deep storytelling, broken homes and family
and who is my real family, and dyslexia and ADHD and
monsters and people getting killed and some serious stuff
and then you’re like, oh, and then she got
sprayed with toilet water. You know what I mean? It’s still through the
mind of a 12-year-old boy and these half bloods and so, it just
is really fun and super hero, Sci Fi, whatever, but then also has some
really deep messages. – Yeah, and the way that
you’re all telling this story is really cool, too. There’s just, there’s
such a spirit of adventure and this scrappy, we’ve pulled
this whole thing together and how much fun was it? And then the fight scenes in this thing are so creatively done. What was it like to sort
of break all of that ground and get through all of that? – You feel like a super hero up there. – I bet.
– I mean, by the end of the show you’re like, we really just did that. You guys, this is not just
like magical stage crap. We are really fighting with swords. We are really running around
and climbing up scaffolding. You know what I mean? And there’s something to like really going through that together. And it does feel like we’re
kind of breaking ground. I mean, I don’t know if
I can think of a musical that is like rockin’
music, it’s this epic, very traditional hero’s
journey type of story, and has the fighting and
all that kinda stuff. And it’s very of the times
with all the adventures and all these type of
movies and Star Wars, and it’s that same type of thing. And it’s like, yeah, break
into musical theater. It should be.
– Absolutely, absolutely. Speaking of, I know that you trained in California, right?
– Yes, yes. – So did you always know
you wanted to do this? Did you always know you
wanted to be a performer? – Absolutely, I, my mom was
really big into theater. She did it in high school and college and she’s the one that
kind of got me into it. We were always listening
to musicals in the car. And I don’t know, it was,
honestly a lot of people have that story of I saw this
production in high school and that’s when I knew. And I’m like, no, I just, there
was never a second thought. I was just, it was always just a part of my life and my upbringing and I did my first
professional show with adults I think when I was like nine or eight. And it really was huge
for me ’cause I was like, oh wow, these are adults, but like they’re not
the adults that I know. They’re still having fun,
they’re still creative. And it really broke that
barrier of me versus them. I was like, oh no, we’re
all creating together, and yeah, why not do this
for the rest of my life? And that was just kind of it. – Who were the original sort of performers that had an influence on you? Or what were some of the shows or songs that really sort of built up the bedrock of you wanting to become a performer? – Bernadette Peters, huge Bernie fan. I love her. Oh my gosh, anything that she’s done. Obviously a big Sondheim fan as well. And Bernie and Sondheim,
match made in heaven. “Sunday in the Park With George” I would listen to every
day, “Sweeney Todd”. Judy Kuhn in “Chess” is like incredible. A lot of those types of shows. And then also like rock
musicians like Jeff Buckley. His range and the way he sings and mixes. I mean, that was a whole
new level of thought and thinking about vocalization for me listening to someone like him. – Sure, remind me again,
where did you grow up? – I grew up in Fremont, California, which is like a suburb of
the San Francisco Bay area. Big part of the Bay Area theater scene. – Got it, and so you, did
you always think about moving to New York City or did you
plan on staying in California? – No I think, I came over to New York for a little Broadway trip with me, my friends, and our moms
when I was in eighth grade. And everyone jokes, ’cause I’m still friends
with all those friends, and they always joke that they’re like, yeah, Kristin was so weird because, I also have ADD and so usually
I’m like blah blah blah blah whatever. And they were like, we got to
New York and Kristin was like, we were on the red tour
bus and I’d be like “Shhh, “Nicole, stop talking.” (laughing) ‘Cause I was like listening to the facts. And they were like, “It
was the weirdest thing. “You were like studying the city.” And I didn’t feel like I was, but I also was like, “No
I’m gonna be here one day, “so I need to make sure I’m on point.” (laughing)
– Right, absolutely. – So weird. – No I wanna open it up. I’m sure we have a lot of
people watching and listening. What would they like to know? – We do, okay, so Charlie has a question. And Charlie wants to know
when you were younger did you ever want to
experience an adventure like the ones that the trio goes on in the Percy Jackson Olympian series. – Oh my gosh, yes.
– My husband and I talk about this all the time. Like I would watch those
movies and be like, I wanna have crazy adventures. – Oh my gosh, yes.
– I wanna be the student that like rescues my high school. – Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that was like
part of my being, too, of when can I be the hero right now? You know what I mean? I’m ready, I’m ready you guys. – What were some of the series, either books or TV,
movie, that you were into when you were in middle
school and high school? What were–
– Oh my gosh. – What were you plugged into? – What was I plugged into? I mean, just like, I can’t
even think of TV series stuff. I used to watch so many
reruns of weird shows. I was obsessed with “Crouching
Tiger Hidden Dragon”, obsessed with “The Matrix”,
obsessed with “Austin Powers”. – “Avatar the Last Airbender”.
– Yes, yes. Oh my god, “Sailor Moon”.
– Yes. – Every day of my life
watching “Sailor Moon” reruns. So, it make sense that
I’m in “Lightning Thief”. I’m just hearkening back
to my “Crouching Tiger”, “Sailor Moon”. Moon Power. If I could do that every day I will. Get me a Sci Fi show,
that’s all I have to say. (laughing) – Love that. Everybody listening, give her a call. – Yes, also, and going
to watch “Sailor Moon”. – Yes, yes.
– I can’t recommend “Sailor Moon” enough. – I love that. So Justine wants to know, how does it feel to be able to have been
been able to play Annabeth through all the different
iterations of the show? And what makes you want
to continue to play her after all these years? – You know, I think kind of
what I was saying earlier, she’s taught me so much. I think, and I think how our society
is starting to awaken and develop and she’s like
very along those lines. I think when I first
approached her I saw someone who was like pretty hard spoken and rough and I worked hard to kind of
soften those edges about her ’cause I was like oh I don’t
want her to be annoying or imposing or, and that’s, I had to learn that that was kind of like society’s teachings
of how tough girls are. Like you’re annoying if you keep kinda saying the right things. Or why don’t you take a
step back or whatever? And so I had to learn to be like, you know what, she’s actually great. I need to learn how to
not have that tendency to cover up or make her more palatable. She’s actually beautiful
and palatable as she is. And so I’ve gotten so
much deeper within myself and her journey and just,
she just says things as they are. They’re not in a snotty way. She’s just factual and right. – Right, yeah, and as we
were mentioning earlier because there are already
so many dedicated fans to this story and to these characters, what kind of interactions have you had with the families and the young people that have come to the
show either at stage door or what are some of the reactions
you’ve gotten from these? – It’s so incredible. I see people, all different types of ages. Male, female, in between. These little girls who are like, “This is my first theater performance, “and you’re my favorite.” And then other people are just like, “I know I’m too old to be saying this, “but like I love you
and you’re my favorite. “And like I’ve been reading
these books forever.” And parents who are like, “You are my son and
daughter’s favorite character. “And thank you for being
a good role model.” And it’s just so exciting,
all the fans who come and just everyone who, it’s
cool that they see Annabeth, ’cause I mean, it’s Percy’s story, and I’m really lucky
that the writers chose to kinda give Annabeth her point of view, especially in Act Two
with my song “Grand Plan”, and it really seems to be
resonating with a lot of people. And that is so exciting. – Absolutely, kudos to
you and that whole team. Well done.
– Yes. So a lotta people wanna know, you talked about earlier how you guys are really fighting,
using swords and stuff, they wanna know what happens when maybe things don’t go as planned. – Oh man.
– Live theater. – Live theater, lord.
(laughing) And the bruises on my legs right now tell the story of this show. – They your story.
– They tell my story. It’s why we tell the story.
(laughing) Oh gosh, we’ve had so many injuries, I can’t tell you how many times my fingers have gotten smashed when we have, we have these
spears that we’re using. The first night of previews
on tour I broke a rib. – My goodness.
Literally. And then it was like, “It’s
fine, let’s just tape it “and keep going.” – [Ryan] Annabeth keep would keep going. – Yeah, yeah, so basically
the answer is we keep going. We just muscle through and
it’s all par for the course with this show. – Yeah, that’s why you
have to keep up to snuff with those stage combat classes and all of that, right?
– Yes, yes, yes. – I also wanna give you a moment to, Chris McCarrell has been with this show since the very beginning. He is such a, I love him, he’s such a talent.
– I know. – He’s such a wonderful guy. How has he been as the sort
of captain of this ship since the very beginning
with all of you guys? Oh my gosh, amazing. He’s been absolutely incredible. He got onto this project
for the Off Broadway version and just totally dived in. He was like, at first he was kind of
like why do we have TP guns? What is this show? But then after we had our first preview he was like (gasping) I get
it and I’m in and I trust. And ever since then he has just been, he really is captaining the ship and is such a cheerleader for the show and believes in it so much. We do everything we can
just to uplift our show because we both love it so much. And Chris is just such a doll. Love him so much. – And what do, and the score to this show I think is so fantastic, too. Just the sort of, the type of rock that it’s doing in the show. Do you have a favorite song
to either sing or listen to? What was the first song that
sort of stuck in your mind as the one that really
got you excited about? – Oh my gosh, I mean,
it changes day to day, but I think what continues
to be my favorite song, and I think everyone in
the cast favorite song is the finale, “Bring on the Monsters”. It’s like, it’s so fun.
– It’s an epic song. – It’s epic, it’s so epic. And you need that to finish
this odyssey of a show, and it’s like we all have
been through so much onstage and in the story and we’re sweating and we’re like oh god. But then no matter what
it always just uplifts us. It gives us that last push
to make it through the end, and all our musical themes come in and we’re looking at each other, and we’re like yes we’re doing it. And it’s, it’s the most fun to sing. – It totally is, that’s amazing. – The band is rockin’.
– They are. – The band’s incredible.
– They are. It’s such a blast. Well, Kristin, thank you
so much for coming by and chatting with us.
– Thank you. – And make sure you go
see “The Lightning Thief: “The Percy Jackson Musical”, is playing at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. You have until January 25th
of 2020 to go see the show. So do not waste any time. Remind them again where
they can follow you and your adventures online. – You can follow me on
Instagram @chitty_balone, you said it correct.
– Hey, thank you. – I know, it’s very weird. And then on Twitter @k_stoked. – Amazing, amazing. Thank you again so much. It’s so wonderful having you.
– Thank you so much, Ryan. Thank you.
– Of course. – Thanks, Caitlin.
– Caitlin, would you please take us out? – Yes, thank you guys so
much for tuning in today. We are live at five every
single weekday here on Facebook. You can listen to us wherever
you listen to your podcasts by searching for #liveatfive and hitting that subscribe button. Be sure to tune in tomorrow. We talk to Lisa O’Hare from
“The Height of the Storm”. (upbeat music)


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