For the past 19 years, Melissa Cook has been a performing actress in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. Cook has also spent 4 years as a classical vocalist for Silversea Cruises. Some of her past regional credits include: “Passion,” “Brigadoon,” “Carousel,” “Evita,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Into The Woods.” She is also an accomplished voice over artist and has been featured in the animated series, “Familiar of Zero,” “Magical Girl,” “Lyrical Nanoha” and “Nanoha A’s.” This week, she concludes her run as The Lady of the Lake in Rose Center Theater’s “Spamalot.” I had the privilege of talking to Melissa recently about her current and past projects.
You’ve appeared in several Rose Center Theater productions including Brigadoon, The King and I, Cabaret, Company, Man of La Mancha and now Spamalot. What has been your most memorable role to date and why?
Gosh, I really don’t know. I could probably play Aldonza in Man of La Mancha and Fiona in Brigadoon forever. Both are incredibly strong characters (though so completely different) in really beautiful stories. Having to choose which is more memorable, I might have to choose La Mancha. That role really challenges you physically, vocally and emotionally. I’m basically a sucker for roles that have the ability to bring an audience to tears
You are absolutely incredible in Spamalot. How did you prepare for your role as The Lady of the Lake?
Thank you!!! This one is really difficult for me. My comfort zone is with soprano music that has a more classical sound and acting that is pretty deeply emotional. The LotL has very little of that. I had to figure out how to let go and be silly and goofy. I also had to switch up the way I sing since much of the music has more of a pop feel. I joked in rehearsal that I wanted to use a “stunt-riffer.”
The Lady of the Lake has some incredible songs in the show. What is your favorite number to perform?
While my most memorable song is probably the ‘Diva’s Lament’ in the second act, my fave is probably ‘The Knights of the Round Table’. It’s just a huge, entire cast number where I get to act like total goofball. It’s one of those no-holds-barred songs where anything goes. And when else will I ever get to do a suit of armor strip-tease?
Could you please tell me a little more about your costumes from the show?
The costumes are AMAZING!!! For the most part, mine are from the original Broadway show. It was actually funny because I arrived to rehearsal one day and was shown them. I wasn’t allowed to try them on that day because I was to have a private fitting the following day. I was so excited and nervous because they had to fit right and mine isn’t always an easy body to fit. I felt like these incredible hand-beaded gowns might be dangled in front of me only to be taken away because they didn’t fit. Luckily, they all fit like a glove! I feel so spoiled!!
What would be your dream role?
Ha! I think this was the last dream role I had. I’ve been lucky to get to do a lot of the cool roles that I’ve wanted. So I’ll say the ones I HAVE done were Eva in Evita, Clara in Passion, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.
Are you currently working on any other projects that you can share with us?
I have no idea what’s next for me on stage. I’m actually relocating right after the show closes. 😉
To catch Melissa in one of her final performances of RCT’s Spamalot contact the box office at (714) 793-1150 or visit their website at www.rosecentertheater.com. Be sure to use the promo code SPAM to receive a special discount!