Joel B. New @ The Duplex
Had a blast putting together a musical flash mob for the opening number of Joel B. New's concert at The Duplex! We sang the song "Focus" from his musical To Hell And Back from the audience and surprised everyone! I also had the pleasure of bringing together an ensemble to record three demo tracks for him. You can check them out here - you can hear me singing fierce alto on the backups for "Focus", "What's A God To Do?" (I'm also the ethereal voice at 3:14) and "Let Her Go".
Lucille Lortel Awards Ceremony
Charissa will perform as part of the ensemble for the opening number at the Lucille Lortel Awards on May 10 at the NYU Skirball Center. The evening will be hosted by Emmy-nominated actors Anna Chlumsky (“Veep,” Broadway’s Living on Love) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family,” this summer’s The Tempest). This year's event will once again benefit The Actors Fund.
Second Annual Davenport Songwriting Contest
The writing duo Daniel Lincoln & Michael DiGaetano, authors of Miss Humanity: A New Musical Comedy, have been chosen as finalists for the Davenport Songwriting Contest for their song "People Like Me". I'll be singing their duet with the fabulous Anthony Fett and we are having a blast in rehearsal! Come join us at the Davenport Theatre - tickets are available for only $10.
Charissa joins New Paradigm Theatre for Broadway Concert
I'm so excited to be returning to Connecticut to perform several numbers on an evening concert produced by New Paradigm Theatre! We will be celebrating Broadway, food and the accomplishments of the Bridgeport Council of Churches and their charitable outreach in the community.
New Demo Track "Marie of Champagne" by Paul Castles
I had a great time recording some tracks for composer Paul Castles from his new musical Head of the Table. Check out "Marie of Champagne" on his website!
Juliet & Juliet at New York Theatre Barn
Charissa will reprise her role in the reading of Juliet & Juliet presentation at New York Theatre Barn - 7:30 pm in the D-Lounge. Juliet & Juliet is the story of Tommie Morgan, a 17-year-old girl who gets cast as Romeo in her school play and falls in love with her costar. Set in Verona High School in Verona, Virginia, the show is an upbeat, modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tale.
The Circle Songbook Volume 3
I had a fantastic time singing "Girls Like That" - Lyrics by Kevin Wanzor, Music by Anna Dagmar at their sold out concert at the Laurie Beechman. The Circle Songbook is comprised of a group of 11 super-cool writers - Alex Rubin, Andre Catrini, Andrew Fox, Anna Dagmar, Caleb Damschroder, Danielle Trzcinski, Jonathon Lynch, Kevin Wanzor, Lizzie Hagstedt, Natalie Tenenbaum and Nathan Brisby. If you don't already know them, you should!
Charissa's Composer Salon with Joel B. New
Had to use this pic of Joel because he's taking my favorite headshot pose to a whole new level - the straight up street sit. Charissa loves her some street squat but this is for serious. We had a fantastic evening singing some of Joel's ensemble music from his piece "To Hell And Back". 12 singers in a room, sight-singing and harmonizing - what could be better? We can't wait to see the next reading of this piece! Thanks Joel!
My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend at Friday Night Footlights
We had a fantastic first reading of the full draft of our show - a whirlwind week of rehearsals full of new material culminated in a very successful presentation. We found it extremely informative and felt so blessed to have so many trusted friends there to give us feedback and encouragement. We can't wait to get back into the studio and make a plan for our next rewrites. Stay tuned for the next iteration, hopefully coming in April or May!
Rehearsals begin for Lady Be Good at Encores!
First day of school for Lady Be Good and I couldn't be more excited to be back at Encores! And as you can see at left, I won the block game with a Lady Be Good tribute. I'm thrilled to get to work with this fantastic team and cast as well as reunite with some of my peeps from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Come check us out at NY City Center February 4-8!
Upcoming Presentation for My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend
We are very excited to be gearing up for our first presentation of a full draft of My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend. Come join us for this free reading! Friday, February 13 - 6:00 pmA Friday Night Footlights ™ reading ofMy 80-Year-Old BoyfriendOriginally Conceived and Performed by Charissa Bertels Book and Lyrics by Christian DuhamelMusic and Lyrics by Edward BellPresented at the Frederick Loewe Room of the Dramatists Guild,1501 Broadway, Suite 710*Friday Night Footlights is a reading series only available to members of the Dramatists Guild of AmericaSpace is limited so we kindly request that you rsvp to Edward Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the priority seating list for the evening. For more info about the show and its creators, visit www.my80yearoldboyfriend.com.
New Paradigm Theatre's Broadway Holiday Concert
I had a wonderful time getting into the holiday spirit this week with a concert for New Paradigm Theatre in Fairfield, CT. Reuniting with my show husband from A Christmas Story, Jose Luaces, was a blast! We performed several dance numbers together and I really enjoyed getting to spend time creating with him again. Kristin Huffman put together a spectacular cast including Kenneth Gartman, Paul Bogaev, a ton of talented young people and our wonderful host, Neil Fuentes. And check out this quote from our rave review - thanks, Talkin' Broadway! "And if the two men were a pleasure, the two Broadway women were entirely glorious...As for Charissa Bertels, she rocked the house with both a medley of Chanukah songs and, especially, the driving "My Simple Christmas Wish," which she belted to the heavens."
My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend Featured at the Square One Series
We were honored to present 20 minutes of our one-woman musical at the 97th Square One Series presented by Golden Fleece Ltd. It was such a thrill to share a brand new song and to learn more about our piece through audience interaction. We look forward to presenting a full draft of the piece at the Dramatist Guild's Friday Night Footlights series on February 13.
Musical Speed Dating Sold Out!
What a fantastic evening celebrating the 2015 class of BMI and their first year of musical collaborations! We presented 16 original songs sung by an all-star cast including Ali Ewoldt, Arlo Hill & KJ Hippensteel and myself. Can't wait until next year's concert - "Goin' Steady!" See you all there!
Songwriter Concert at NAMT
I'm thrilled to be singing two songs on the NAMT Songwriter Session featuring Will Aronson, directed by Brandon Ivie. I will be singing two songs - "Song of the Full Refrigerator" and "How Each Year Will Start and End". October 24th at 12:10 pm. If you are attending the conference, come check it out!
Musical Speed Dating with BMI
We are a month out from Musical Speed Dating at the Duplex - an evening featuring the collaborations of the BMI Class of 2013-2014. Monday, November 10 - 9:30 pmThe DuplexDirected by Thomas Caruso, Music Directed by Joseph Bates,Cast TBA Featuring songs by: Ming Aldrich-Gan, Edward Bell, Barbara Bellman, Christyn Budzyna, David Caldwell, David Carl, Christian Duhamel, Geoffrey Goldberg, Joseph Guarino, Karl Hinze, Daniel Lee, Yoonmi Lee, Jeremy Lloyd, Jack Mitchell, Sarah Mucek, Erin Murray Quinlan, Ayumi Okada, Charlie O'Leary, Daniel Rein, Aaron Ricciardi, Patrick Spencer, John Verderber and Brandon Webster. Reserve your tickets here.
New York Film Academy Teaching Artist
I am so happy to be starting my second semester teaching Performance Lab for the first year students at NYFA. They are all so talented and eager to learn - it's a joy to share my passion for musical theatre with them. You can check out my personal page here.
Composer Salon with Lizzie Hagstedt and Beth Blatt
Had a fantastic evening at Pearl Studios putting on a reading of the latest draft of Oneida. Many thanks to the wonderful and generous artists who joined us! Hear Lizzie rock out the song "Home" at a recent Musical Theatre Factory concert here.
Manhattan High School Alum Returns To Teach Masterclass
While back in Kansas meeting my newest baby nephew, I had the pleasure of teaching two theatre classes at my alma mater. We had a great time exploring the technique of cold reads in auditions using new material recently produced in New York.
Edinburgh High School Fringe Guest Speaker
When I was 17, my high school was chosen to perform in the High School Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. My entire family went on the trip and it remains one of the highlights of my life. I've always wanted my husband, James, to experience the magic of the festival and we were flabbergasted when we chose to attend this summer and found out that my high school would be returning this year!!! We were able to coordinate our trips so that we could see my beloved drama teacher and watch my high school perform. I was also invited by the American High School Theatre Festival to speak at their closing ceremonies about my experience at the Fringe and my career since then.
Academia Nuts Accolades
Wow, what a night! I've always believed in Academia Nuts and its fantastic writing team since the first time I read it and it felt so affirming to know that 16 judges felt the same when they announced our show as the Play-By-Play Best New Musical of NYMF 2014. And on top of that, you gotta feel good as a producer when so many people on your team are recognized for their brilliant work on the production. Best Director (Thomas Caruso), two Best Actress Awards (Alyse Alan Louis & Jennifer Simard) and two honorable mentions for excellence in both book and lyric writing. To wrap up our NYMF experience this way (and with our beloved Mary Kate Burke) was a thrill I won't forget anytime soon.
Academia Nuts Rocks NYMF
An amazing sold out 5 show run and the joy of a successful debut as a producer - what an exciting adventure! I couldn't be more proud of the writers, our amazing creative team and crazy talented cast for putting on a spectacular production that made people roar with laughter. It was fun to sit in the audience each night and wait for them to lose their minds (in a good way!). And Metro New York #1 gave us a great shout-out here.
New Paradigm School Shows
Stepped into some school shows in Connecticut today with the New Paradigm Theatre. Unfortunately one of their cast members came down with strep and they needed a last minute replacement. I had a blast performing for the kids and hanging out with my friends in beautiful Darien. My favorite quote of the day:Jerald: (teasing a little girl and her friends as they were laughing and joking around before the show): No laughing! No smiling!Little Girl: But how will we live?Wise words indeed - how will we live if we can't laugh or smile?
New Paradigm Theatre Gala
I was so honored to be asked to sing on the gala for New Paradigm Theatre. I just adore Kristin Huffman and David Maiocco so I jump at any chance to spend time and perform with them. This year they put on a beautiful gala with a Carnivale theme. I was priviledged to be amongst great talent including the Youth Board, Keith Buterbaugh, Jessica Grové and Leenya Rideout, as well as the honoree for the evening, Paul Bogaev.
President Mom Selected as a Semi-Finalist
Congrats to Becca Anderson, one of the writers of Academia Nuts, on her new play, "President Mom" being selected as a semi-finalist for the Ronald M. Ruble New Play Festival at Caryl Crane Youth Theatre in Huron, Ohio. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the table read I hosted on January 29th - Raja Burrows, Joe Danbusky, Christian Duhamel, Jessica DiSalvo, Kirsten Hopkins, Claire Kennedy-Vega, James LaRosa, and Dan Marshall. Your generosity has contributed to her success! This woman is taking 2014 by storm. Girl, you betta WERK!!!
New Paradigm Theatre Concert
Charissa was honored to sing on a concert on behalf of New Paradigm Theatre for a charity fundraiser. Kristin Huffman, the Executive & Artistic Director of NPT, gathered a fantastically talented group including Broadway performers Bret Shuford and Thom Christopher Warren along with music director David Maiocco and backed up by a fantastic cast of youth from the community. Charissa is excited to return to sing for NPT's fundraiser gala on May 1.
My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend
My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend was presented as part of Emerging Artists Theatre's New Works Festival in the One Woman Standing category. This first draft (which we lovingly call a "sonogram") was a 45 minute presentation of scenes and songs that we will expand into a full 60 minute show in the fall. The response was tremendous and we are so grateful for all of the wonderful people who came out to support us. Audience members who didn't know us also had great feedback for the show and we look forward to incorporating these thoughts into our next draft.
Charissa Joins Broadway Melodies
Following a sold-out show in January, Broadway Melodies returns to the West End Theater for an all-new comedy spectacular. The show will consist of three 20-minute musical sketch comedies. This month's event will include Into the Globe by Lori Mannette, You're a Good Man, Charlie Sheenby Becca Anderson, and Love Never Dies: the LIVE Movie Musical by Victoria Saxton. Read the article on Broadway World here!
Table Read of Academia Nuts
Tonight we celebrated St. Patty's Day with a table read of a musical that gives a shout-out to O'Doul's - haha! We were so lucky to have a great group of talented friends bringing the piece to life - now it's on to rewrites in anticipation of another table read in April! Look out NYMF, here we come!
My 80-Year Old Boyfriend chosen for Emerging Artists Theatre's New Works Festival
My one woman show, based on my personal experiences, will receive a workshop reading on March 25th at7 pm as part of Emerging Artists Theatre's New Works Festival. A collaboration with Christian Duhamel (Lyrics/Director) and Edward Bell (Music & Lyrics), both of the presitigious BMI Musical Theatre Writer's Workshop, the show is a solo musical comedy in which a chance encounter with an older man leads a young woman to enter into an unlikely relationship. Get your tickets now and experience this piece in its fledgling stages - so exciting!
Kimchi Mamas and the Dirty Disco
This was an industry reading of a very moving piece by Diano Oh and Jingoo Lee. We had a fantastic cast led by our director, Jessi Hill. I was so happy to revisit this piece - it was the second NYU reading I did shortly after moving to the city. A beautiful piece about family, duty, love and forgiveness. I played Claudia, the best friend of the main character, along with some other fun bit parts and get to sing a great song called "The Boys Who Run Home".
Writer Salon - President Mom
Had a fantastic night doing a table read of the short play, President Mom, written by Becca Anderson & Dan Marshall in preparation for submitting to a festival. President Mom tries to mix family and politics - mistaken identities and unlikely romances make for lots of laughs.
A Christmas Story
Overjoyed to make my Broadway debut in the original Broadway cast of Benj Pasek & Justin Paul's Tony-nominated musical A Christmas Story and to reprise my role as we toured to Hartford, Boston and Madison Square Garden.
Christmas Carolyn Reading at the York
The York put on a reading of Christmas Carolyn with book & lyrics by James Yates & Dan Marshall and music by Ok Kyun Kang. What can I say? I adore these people. This piece was the very first thing I ever did in New York City and I couldn't be more grateful to have met these people. And getting to play the Ghost of Christmas Present to Janet Dickinson's Scrooge-like Carolyn DuMont while belting "A Little Christmas Ain't Gonna Kill Ya" as Ethel Merman? There really is no business like show business!
Writer Salon - Academia Nuts
I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at a table read. Bringing together so many of my favorite people to read Academia Nuts by Becca Anderson, Dan Marshall and Julian Blackmore was such a blast - and we crammed everyone into our tiny brand new to us apartment, which seemed like the perfect christening.
Had a blast singing for two composers/lyricists for their BMI auditions and I must be a lucky omen because they were both accepted to the prestigious workshop for musical theatre writers! One of them happened to be Ok Kyun Kang, composer of the very first piece I ever did in New York, and the other was my very own best friend, the uber talented Christian Duhamel.
Rose Petals at 54 Below
I was so flattered to be asked to sing "Poor Lucky One" by the writers of Rose Petals. It was also my 54 Below Debut - what a fantastic space!
Rose Petals Reading at NYMF
I was thrilled when Celine Rosenthal contacted me out of the blue to join the cast of Rose Petals - you gotta love those jobs you don't have to audition for! This complex piece saw me cast as a defiant Irish maid - right up my alley! Singing the beautiful ballad "Poor Lucky One" was an actor's dream.