Theater People: Lesli Margherita

Patrick and Vonia never disappoint, and this week’s episode goes above and beyond any preconceived notions of what the show will be! This week’s guest is the fabulous, hilarious, amazingly talented actress, the Queen, Lesli Margherita! She is currently Mrs.Wormwood in Matilda, and she won an Olivier award for her work in the West End’s Zorro.


Raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California, she was a total tomboy.  After seeing Annie at the age of  8, she attended an open call for a production of the show in the Bay area, and she got the part. From then on she would do shows, took voice lessons and continued dance.  She came to New York City for the first time to do a camp at Hofstede Universtiy for teens and in high school she began working at various theme parks, Great America, Disney, etc. She attended UCLA for Dance so that she could work/perform outside of school (as a theater major one could not work outside of the program), she still however did musical theater and worked with an amazing professor John Hall.  She gives great advice about college and finding your path as an actor especially as a young person trying to make it as an actor.  One of her greatest nuggets of wisdom was to make acting something that you do, but have a life outside of it as well.

Her first major television gig was Fame L.A. directed by Kenny Ortega.  She had gotten Rent in LA as the Maureen cover, but at the same time she had gotten a manager who was sending her out on TV auditions. She got a series part in Fame L.A. so she didn’t do Rent and she stayed in LA to do theater, but not for trying.  She flew back and forth to NY for auditions a lot, and was next in line so many times.  LA has a great theater scene which led her to do Zorro on the West End.  Her friend called and said he was doing a workshop for Zorro and they were coming to LA to do auditions and she should try out.

She did the reading and kept workshopping the show over the course of two years.  The show was finally going to tour England and then hoping to head to the West End.  They got her paperwork straight with equity, and she was the only American they brought in.  She did the tour but was getting married on the last day of the tour so she stopped early and went home to get married.  The day before her wedding, she got a call that the show was going to the West End.

She discusses her experience at the Olivier Awards.  Only a few Americans have won Olivier awards, the supporting character category is both male and female in one category, and her show’s table was in the very back of the theater were a few reasons that she didn’t expect to win and her experience of winning the award is one of the most fantastic stories (and I don’t mean in this podcast, I mean ever)!

She owes her part in Matilda to Eden Espinosa.  Eden had an appointment for Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda and called Lesli to tell her that she had the call for this part that wasn’t right for her but screamed Lesli which is the most amazing thing any actress could do (if you didn’t already love Eden more than life)! She only knew about the appointments because of Eden , and was able to get an appointment. Through the auditions she got the part and made her Broadway debut!

Her experiences in Matilda are awesome stories! The way the kids are so amazing, but still real, true kids, her opening night experience, and many more.   She also discusses her show All Hail the Queen! and not sitting around and waiting for someone else to write your perfect role which is a phenomenal sentiment and goes back to her earlier advice about having a life outside of your work.

Her twitter questions touch on differences across the pond, across the country, her Star Wars wedding, and how one can become queen-like.

Lesli Margherita is a fantastic person! She’s grateful, talented, hilarious, and who among us doesn’t want to have a drink with her? Do yourself a favor and go see her in Matilda at Shubert Theatre!

Lesli Margherita: Website | Twitter
Theater People: Website | iTunes | Twitter


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