VIDEO: Keala Settle Visits Backstage LIVE with Richard Ridge
Check in with Keala ahead of her concerts with Seth Rudetsky!
Seeing your favorite Broadway stars live on a Broadway stage may not be a reality in 2020, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them live from your screen. BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge is keeping up with all of their latest projects on Backstage Live, bringing you in-depth interviews twice weekly.
Tune in right here today, October 15 (4:30pm ET), as he chats with Broadway beltress Keala Settle. Keala will soon join Seth Rudetsky for two very special concerts on Sunday, October 18 (8pm) and Monday, October 19 (3pm).
Keala Settle received world-wide attention for portraying Lettie Lutz, a bearded lady, in 2017's musical film The Greatest Showman, alongside stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Zendaya. The song "This Is Me" from the film, principally sung by Settle, won the 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Keala originated the role of Norma Valverde in Hands on a Hardbody, which ran on Broadway in 2013, and was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, and Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She was also awarded the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway debut performance during the 2012-13 theatrical season. She has also been featured on Broadway as Madame Thenardier in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables, and originated the role of Becky in the 2016 musical Waitress, after premiering with the original cast at the American Repertory Theater in 2015. She made her Broadway debut in 2011's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as Shirley and in the ensemble. Keala performed in the 2013 Encores! concert staging of Violet with Sutton Foster, but did not move on to the Broadway revival due to taking the role Madame Thénardier in the revival of Les Misérables. She played the role of Tracy Turnblad in the national tour of Hairspray, and appeared in the national tour of the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific as Bloody Mary. Other notable roles include Mrs. Fezziwig in the Pioneer Theatre Company production of the musical A Christmas Carol, the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Ogunquit Playhouse.
Keala was born in Hawaii, and is a graduate of Kahuku High School, and an alumna of Southern Utah University. She began her singing career as a studio vocalist and one time backup singer for Gladys Knight in Las Vegas. The same week as The Greatest Showman film's U.S. release in December 2017, Settle released her debut EP as Keala, titled "Chapter One," a set of contemporary R&B-infused covers which landed on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. The follow-up, Chapter Two, arrived shortly thereafter in March 2018. NBC used "This Is Me" as an anthem for their 2018 Winter Olympics coverage.