DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE: Into the Woods' Julia Lester
I'll be the first to admit that when I get sucked into the YouTube rabbit hole of watching my favorite Broadway stars, I get sucked in hard – and I'm not ashamed! You shouldn't be either. Here at Theatrely, we're going down the rabbit hole to honor this year's Tony Award nominees for Best Featured Actresses in a Musical.
Today we'll be looking at videos of the talented Julia Lester, who recently made her Broadway debut in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods as Little Red Riding Hood. Here are some of my favorite clips of the astounding Tony nominee:
Lester is arguably best known for her work in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+, so let's begin with this touching video of her singing “Rising” as her character Ashlyn Caswell. Julia Lester's voice is SUPERB, and I get completely lost just listening to her sing. The raw, intense emotion and pure belt near the middle of the song never fails to move me.
This video, which features Lester performing in a youth musical theatre production when she was only 15 years old, is one of my favorites. Given Julia's youth in the video, it is especially impressive how well she pulled off such a difficult piece. Observing how far Lester has come over the past few years is truly amazing. It only inspires me to imagine what she'll do next!
Julia's rendition of Rihanna's “Stay” is outstanding in every way and not like anything I have heard her do before. In this video, Julia's bubbly personality shines through and the notes seem to come to her incredibly naturally.
Olivia Rodrigo and Julia Lester's voices blend fantastically and Lester's clear belt is addictive to listen to. This video is from earlier on in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and is my favorite song that Julia's character gets to sing. It is safe to say that Julia’s voice was MADE for this song.
Lester sings "Hold On" from Center Theatre Group's production of The Secret Garden in this video. Lester's acting shines through here, and her stage presence is unmatched.
Fast forward to 1 minute and 13 seconds. Lester's rendition of Little Red in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods is hilarious! I almost died laughing when I saw her on Broadway. She definitely stole the show!
Let's end with a bang! Julia’s outstanding performance of “Home” in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was everything. Her voice fits the Disney princess vibe perfectly and her gentle tone made my heart melt. One word: queen.