Monday, October 21, 2013

Actress spotlight on Nicole Visco from 'Chicago'

     Nicole Visco has taken her love and passion for musical theatre, and created a charismatic portrayal of Roxie Hart from “Chicago,” her first lead role after nearly 20 plays to her acting credit.

     “I’m just kind of winging it with her,” said Visco talking about her approach to her newest role. “I ask, what do I think Roxie would do, and if I found myself in Roxie’s shoes, what would I do?”

     Roxie Hart is one of the most notable characters from “Chicago,” which is one of the most popular musicals of all time. She kills her lover in a fit of rage and tries to get her husband to take the blame, only to end up fighting for her life in a 1920s prison surrounded by other ferocious females.

     Visco has crafted her take on Hart by sampling from the Oscar-winning film adaptation and her recent exposure to the Broadway version of “Chicago” in New York. She took the manipulative seduction of Hart and combined it with traits that give off a more ditzy attitude with exaggerated quirkiness.

     This works perfectly with her character; who wins over the audience with a simple laugh or fuddled movement, and helps to lessen the fact that during this musical, Hart does her fair share of deceit and underhanded plotting.

     Originally from Virginia, Visco’s parents moved to Florida when she was 8-years-old. She calls Florida home, but most of her family lives in New York, so she visits there often and considers New York to be her second home. It was at a talent show as a young child that Visco sang her heart out for the song “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie,” and this became a solid indicator to her parents that she was going to grow up into a theatre kid.

     This love for music has carried-over wonderfully with Visco as her singing during this musical is commanding and pitch-perfect. Several times throughout the production, Vicso has the time to shine and doesn’t disappoint, as seen by the tremendous reaction by the audience members in attendance on opening night.

     Praise of Visco’s performance is also strongly given from the play’s director John DiDonna who said, “I’ve loved her energy from day one. This is my first time working with her and hopefully it’s not my last.”

     She won over the director throughout the addition process and also made some new friends along the way. Originally in competition with fellow actress Rachele Rees over another lead role in this musical the character, Velma Kelly, the two actresses learned to work together and eventually became good friends.

     “The chemistry between us is amazing, because we were rivals in the beginning when we were fighting for this role, and we came together as friends in the end,” said Rees. “It’s been a life journey for us, and it’s been amazing to work with her.”

     Another lead actor in this production, Johnmichael McDonald, who plays the charismatic lawyer Billy Flynn, had nothing but words of praise when asked about his time working with Visco.

     “Working with Nicole is a blast,” said McDonald. “She’s funny, she’s hilarious, she’s really nothing like Roxie which makes her such an amazing actress.”

     When Visco isn’t acting or taking classes at the University of Central Florida to earn her BFA Acting degree, she also works for a princess party company where she portrays Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” for young children’s birthday parties. It wouldn’t be considered a normal job by most, but normal jobs, like her time working at Target in high school, drove her crazy because she has a strong urge to be creative and do something she considers meaningful.

     Whether Visco finds herself in the future doing more work in plays at UCF or film projects, she will undoubtedly continue to bring her shining personality and strong work ethic to excel in whatever her heart desires.

By James Tutten

(All photos by James Tutten)


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