Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Enter Stage Right: Kristina Valada-Viars

What a week it has been. A number of friends of ours were nominated for Hugo Awards, Len was nominated for the Eisner Hall of Fame and tonight, my lovely niece Kristina Valada-Viars will make her Broadway debut.

Kristina was hired last fall to understudy Kimberly Guerrero's role as Johanna Monevata in August: Osage County when the play moved from Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre to New York. The show opened to rave reviews and the run has been extended until at least July, although there will be a change of theaters next month. About a month ago, she was given two other parts to cover as second understudy and tonight she goes on as the youngest daughter of the Weston clan, Karen Weston.

You have no idea how excited I am for her. This is what she's wanted to do ever since she was old enough to express the desire. She made her stage debut when she was very little and she's had amazing training--starting with my sister's children's acting classes at the Des Moines Playhouse. She appeared at the Fringe Festival in Scotland in Agnes of God when she was 16. She studied in London while she was an undergraduate at Grinnell and earned her SAG card with her appearance in The Door in the Floor.

The news came too late for us to jump on a plane and may be too late to send flowers, but we'll be there in spirit and waiting for my sister to call with a review after the show is over. At least she and my niece Stephanie will be able to attend, which is the most important thing.


Unknown said...

I remember Kristina (and Theresa) when she could just walk and would wander around the La Crosse Community Theater stage in the early 80's. How wonderful that she is so successful following her dreams.

A Granddaughter said...

I ADORE Kristina and T. They are dear, dear friends. I am so proud of her I could nearly burst. Congratulations to you and your family!

Terry Strickland Skeen said...

Hi. I am so proud of Kristina. I have a picture of me sitting on her lap when she was about a year old in La Crosse. She has always been so beautiful. I met you M C in the early 80's??when T and I visited you?Can't remember where. I have lost touch with T and love that girl. My best to you all