Becky Gulsvig is back from Broadway and performing at the F-M Community Theatre

FARGO - While she grew up in Moorhead, Becky Gulsvig was only in one Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre production before graduating school and leaving for New York in 2000.

FARGO - While she grew up in Moorhead, Becky Gulsvig was only in one Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre production before graduating school and leaving for New York in 2000.

"I played the Blue Top in 'The Velveteen Rabbit,' " Gulsvig says with a laugh.

That role doesn't make it onto her résumé.

It's OK, as she has starring roles in two major Broadway shows to her credit.

The actress brings a bit of Broadway back home tonight, performing show tunes while opening for fellow Broadway actor Adam Pascal (part of the original cast of the Broadway show "Rent") tonight at her return to the FMCT.


She'll sing songs from her Broadway roles, "Hairspray" and "Legally Blonde," as well as a handful of musical favorites; among them is "So Much Better" from "Blonde," the number she performed at the 2009 Tony Awards.

"It's always nice to come back and visit," Gulsvig says from her parents' Moorhead home.

But it's not all rest and relaxation for the actress.

She has been busy visiting with teenage actors in summer stock productions both at FMCT and the Trollwood Performing Arts School.

Gulsvig's message for kids interested in following her path to Broadway is cautious, but ultimately encouraging.

"It's definitely a career you have to be flexible with. You may not know your schedule. You may not know your next gig. You go from having a great part in one show to the next day not having a job and having to audition with the rest of them," the 28-year-old says. "You can't take things too personally. You audition a lot more than you get chosen. It's a tricky profession, but very rewarding, very fun."

Her former teacher, Moorhead High's theater director, Rebecca Meyer-Larson, says Gulsvig is the right person to deliver the pep talk.

"She's a symbol to the community that you don't have to grow up in New York City or Los Angeles (to make it)," Meyer-Larson says. "Because she did it, so many people from Moorhead High School, so many people from the area know they can do it, too, on all sorts of different levels."


Meyer-Larson has tapped her former student to talk to developing actors before and says that Gulsvig's Midwestern sensibilities are less intimidating than other Broadway stars.

"When she comes back and talks to the kids, they trust her, and they're not scared of her because she's so gracious and so approachable," Meyer-Larson said.

True to form, Gulsvig praises Meyer-Larson, Trollwood - where she starred in "Jesus Christ Superstar" in 1999 and "Damn Yankees" in 2000 - and Gasper School of Dance, which got her started on the right foot as a child.

"This community is very supportive of the arts," she says. "Here we have a lot of great opportunities for kids."

Opportunities for kids are something she'll be paying a lot more attention to. When she finished with the touring version of "Blonde" last year, Gulsvig took a year off to have her daughter, Hazel. Parenthood is the newest challenging role for the star, who is now gearing up for casting calls and auditions again.

"It will be a juggling act and crazy and great all at the same time," she says. "I'm assuming it will come with hard days, but if I get in a show, I'll have my days free for her. It'll be good. It is what it is, and we'll make it work."

Before the tryouts start, Gulsvig reprises the role of Elle Woods for a smaller run of "Legally Blonde" in August and September.

Gulsvig sees the character as positive and optimistic with a good message.


"Her story is about not being underestimated, not letting people stereotype you and put you in a box," she says.

Hear her sing tonight

Gulsvig will perform tonight at the FMCT with fellow Broadway star Adam Pascal , who was an original cast member of "Rent."

  • When: 7:30 tonight
  • Where: Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, 333 4th St. S., Fargo
  • Info: Tickets are $25; (701) 235-6778

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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