Laura Heywood Interviews Alice Ripley (The Pink Unicorn, Next to Normal, Side Show)

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Alice Ripley is one of the heavyweights of American Musical Theatre. A Tony winner for her star-turn as Diana in the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “Next to Normal,” Alice Ripley is known world-wide for showstopping roles, including those in Side Show (for which she was also Tony nominated, alongside Emily Skinner), The Rocky Horror Show, The Who’s Tommy, Les Miserables, James Joyce’s The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, and American Psycho. She is here today promoting a one-woman monologue show, "The Pink Unicorn," at The Cell, a 60-seat venue in Chelsea.

In “The Pink Unicorn,” from Out of the Box Theatrics, Alice plays Trisha Lee, a Christian widow in Texas whose world is shaken when her 14-year-old child, Jolene, announces that they are not in fact female but instead genderqueer, changing their name to Jo, launching a Gay/Straight alliance, and introducing their mom to the concept of gender-neutral pronouns. Trisha is totally thrown for a loop, hurled out of her comfort zone — and the show takes all of us though the complex journey of navigating the conservative community as well as her own biases, and the challenges of loving and accepting a child who defies expectations in service of being themselves.

To quote Hunter Bell & Jeff Bowen’s quirky, brilliant musical [title of show]:

ALICE RIPLEY, SHE’S FIERCE!

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