Sherie as Amneris in Aida
Sherie as Amneris in Aida
Raised in Kansas by an Amish Mennonite mother and a cavalry-riding father, Sherie René Scott was an unlikely candidate for Broadway stardom. She began her career singing Muppet tunes at an early age for the Kansas State Legislature, and later wowed a captive audience at the Meninger Psychiatric Clinic. At 18, she left the hinterlands for the lights of the Great White Way, settled in at the Salvation Army Residence for Women on 13th Street and began her studies at the highly respected Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre.

After snagging an agent and being featured in a 25th anniversary production of Hair at the United Nations, Sherie was on her way. She soon landed the role of Sally Simpson in The Who's Tommy on Broadway. Then she flew to Los Angeles to do some TV work--but soon, Randy Newman came knocking, and the theater bug starting biting again. Before she knew it, Sherie was starring in Newman's Faust at the LaJolla Playhouse (and, later, at The Goodman in Chicago). After word of her spectacular performance got out, she was called back to Broadway to star as Maureen in Rent.

Sherie soon found herself out of town again, garnering critical acclaim for her portrayal of the maid Sabina in Over and Over, Kander and Ebb's musical version of The Skin of our Teeth. She was next offered the role of Amneris in the Elton John-Tim Rice Aida (then titled Elaborate Lives). The show was first performed at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, then heavily revised before moving on to Chicago and, eventually, to the Palace on Broadway.

Her debut CD on the Sh-K-Boom label, titled Sherie René: Men I've Had, features tunes by Elton John, Pete Townshend, Randy Newman, Kander and Ebb, and Jonathan Larson. If a CD cover is any indicator, this little item should be one hot seller: Sherie's vintage glamour is deliciously sultry (and I'm not even a lesbian), as is her smoky trumpet of a voice. This, my dears, is not your typical Broadway fare!

For our TheaterMania interview, I recently visited Sherie back stage at the Palace in her Tibetan and Indian inspired dressing room. I found her to be funny, sweet, down-to-earth, and charming. Read for yourself:

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TM: If you were a figure skater what show tune would you skate to?

SHERIE: Oh, "Two Ladies" from Cabaret. That's the one with the lyric that goes: "Twosies beats onesies, but nothing beats threes."

TM: What are your three favorite films?

SHERIE: Being There, Defending Your Life, and Rushmore. Oh, and The Godfather, parts one and two.

TM: Who are three of the most important stage actresses living today?

SHERIE: Dame Judi Dench, Cherry Jones, and Heather Headley.

TM: Which websites do you visit most often?

SHERIE: Well, I hate to sound so self-promotional, but the first one that comes to mind is Sh-K-Boom.com. Then, Furniture.com and PETA.com.

TM: What are your three favorite magazines?

SHERIE: Architectural Digest, Yoga Times, and--just for planes and airports--InStyle.

TM: If you were a shade of lipstick, what would you be called?

SHERIE: Tart.

TM: Whom do you most admire?

SHERIE: I really admire mothers.

TM: What irritates you most?

SHERIE: Noise pollution.

TM: What are your three favorite books?

SHERIE: Oh, I really loved the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Of course, The Catcher in the Rye. And The Mystic in the Theatre: Eleonora Duse.

TM: Hey, does your neck hurt from all those hats in Aida?

SHERIE: (laughs) No. Actually, I think they've improved the infrastructure of my neck.

TM: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be?

SHERIE: I'd have to say Northern India, where the Dalai Lama lives.

TM: What is your favorite libation?

SHERIE: Tequila. You know, it's classified as a hallucinogen.

TM: I did not know that. Gimme some! What is your favorite drug?

SHERIE: Love.

TM: What is the most important thing in you medicine cabinet?

SHERIE: Eye cream

TM: In what style is your home decorated?

SHERIE: I would say it's Amish, French, and country with some Asian and Judaic influences.

TM: Who is your favorite singer?

SHERIE: Sarah Vaughan.

TM: What's the strangest thing a fan has ever sent you?

SHERIE: I once got a death threat sent to the theater because I didn't come out of the stage door between shows to sign an autograph!

TM: What is your favorite flower?

SHERIE: Snap Dragons--they're so bizarre.

TM: Spring or autumn?

SHERIE: Autumn.

TM: Coke or Pepsi?

SHERIE: Coke.

TM: Morning or night?

SHERIE: Night.

TM: Hillary or Rudy?

SHERIE: Hillary.

TM: All of those answers were 100% correct. Brava! Now, what is your greatest weakness?

SHERIE: I guess being embarrassed by my weaknesses. That would be my greatest weakness.

TM: What is your greatest strength?

SHERIE: My relationships with others.

TM: If you could exhume any Hollywood actor and go on a date with him, who would that be?

SHERIE: Groucho Marx.

TM: Who is your favorite clothing designer?

SHERIE: Donna Karan, because she's a broad--and she doesn't work in fur.

TM: Well, that's it. You're a riot. Thank you.

SHERIE: Oh, thank you. This was so much fun. It's like Inside the Actors' Studio--only I already know my responses for those!