I was watching interviews featuring the cast of Orange is the New Black, after finishing the second season in its entirety and came across something interesting. Cast mates were complimenting each other’s singing skills, and Lea Delaria’s name came up. Delaria, who plays “Big Boo” on the show has been an actor, stand-up comic, actor, and acclaimed jazz singer for years. Jazz singer! So, that led me to research, because, as always, I love research. Holy moly, I did not realize that Delaria has been on Broadway: Twice. How cool is that? In most interviews with the OITNB cast, Uzo Aduba’s name has become synonymous with “Broadway vet.”
However, many actors, especially New York actors, have theater training and may even have some Broadway experience. Delaria has appeared in the 1998 revival of On the Town with Modern Family star, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and in the 2000 revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Dr. Scott and Eddie. Her jazz skills are quite amazing. Here’s a clip of her on the Rosie O’Donnell Show performing “I Can Cook Too” featuring Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
She’s active in the NYC jazz scene, and her website is pretty cool too. Fab voice Lea Delaria! You rock!
Bonus: She does an amazing jazz cover of “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd”
UPDATE: Lea Delaria herself tweeted me after reading my article:
@StephanieGould the the REAL Broadway vets on our show are Annie Golden and Beth Fowler. Compared to them I'm a late comer.
Orange is the New Blackwent live on Netflix with its first season on July 11th. Within days, it became a hit. And, within days, the colorful cast of characters who live within the walls of the prison with the protagonist, Piper Chapman, became household names. Red, Crazy Eyes, Pornstache, and Taystee all mean something to you if you’re watching the show. The amount of fabulous character actresses on this show is insane and it’s unbelievably entertaining. There are also inside references to American Pie (because of Jason Biggs and Natasha Leone, respectfully) and Star Trek (Kate Mulgrew played Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. ) If you don’t have Netflix, get it. It’s worth it just to be able to binge-watch all 13 episodes of the first season. The show has been adapted from the memoir of an ex-con and Smith educated woman, Piper Kerman, who served 13 of her 15 month sentence in a federal prison for money laundering and drug trafficking. Even though it’s inspired by true events, the mix of reality and the world of the show is well balanced. It may seem intense. But leave it up to creator Jenji Kohan of Weeds fame to help add a little humor to prison. The characters are the real deal, including the actors who play them. It’s so wonderful to see a show where the writing is funny AND smart and the cast is predominantly female. Netflix has really stepped up their game in recent years with original online-only content. This show is the reason to join the millions of subscribers.