A professional actor and singer for thirty-some years, Ms. Halenda has performed in over 250 professional productions, including eighteen national tours where her roles included Mama Rose in Gypsy, Mae West in Ziegfeld, Rafaela in Grand Hotel, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Nancy in Oliver and Maggie Jones in 42nd St. She has played New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Montreal, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, and a lot of towns in between. Her extensive regional credits include the title roles in Mame (twice), Hello Dolly (twice), Evita and Annie Get Your Gun, as well as Mae West/Jo in Dirty Blonde, Mama Rose in Gypsy (four times), Miss Mona in The Best Lil' Whorehouse in Texas (five times!), Nancy in Oliver (thrice), Miss Hannigan in Annie, and The Plant in Little Shop of Horrors.
Ms. Halenda has emceed for numerous benefits and fundraisers nationwide, and has several one-woman shows under her bedazzled belt…she has created and written or co-written three of them. Her one-woman tour de force, The Brassy Broads of Broadway, premiered in New York City thirty years ago at the famous Danny’s Skylight Room in Manhattan and has been presented nationwide, including at the Philharmonic Center in Naples, FL, the ArtStation in Atlanta, GA and the Mac-Haydn Theatre in upstate New York. Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas (co-written by her) was critically acclaimed in Florida, Atlanta, Philadelphia, upstate New York and in 2009 was chosen and presented at the world famous Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and at the Arts Festival in Charleston, WV. Her latest creation is Somewhere Over the Rose, a tribute to Judy Garland and Bette Midler. She has performed this one in Florida, Virgina, Georgia and upstate New York. This buxom, brassy broad is comfortable in any room from opera hall to beer hall!
In 2016, Kathy performed as the deliciously evil Queen in Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical for Virginia Rep and brought her latest one-woman adventure, Somewhere Over the Rose, to the Richmond Triangle Players. Then she playing saucy Aunt
Eller in Oklahoma at the Riverside Performing Arts Center in Fredericksburg, VA. She then got her pump in the door of the D.C. area
by playing Lita Encore in Ruthless! The Musical and a lead role in A Christmas Carol Memory at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, VA. She followed that with an emergency cover of the female lead in Silver Belles at the Signature Theatre in D.C.
In 2015, she played Rose in Gypsy (again!) at the Virginia Music Theatre in March. In June, she returned to Sarasota, Florida and was in Inspired Lunacy at the Florida Studio Theatre. In September-December, she was Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act and Vera Charles in Mame at the Riverside Center, with the illustrious Sally Struthers as Gooch.
SOPHIE TUCKER- 2001
In 2020, she started the year as Ms. Lynch in Grease and was in rehearsals for Brightstar when the Covid Pandemic hit and everything was shut down for the year! She was able to perform in a few cabarets (some virtual) and a Riverside Family Christmas at the Riverside PAC.
In 2019, Kathy wrapped up her cruise ship adventure and went on to perform in The Pirates of Penzance and Annie (also understudied the zany Sally Struthers as Hannigan!)
In 2018, Kathy performed in a run of Mamma Mia at the Riverside PAC, where she also understudied the roles of Donna, Tanya and Rosie...whew! She performed her Brassy Broads of Broadway at the Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, VA and her Somewhere Over the Rose at Creative Cauldron. Then she hit the high seas as Dona Tita in a production of Havana for Norwegian Cruise Lines.
In 2017, Kathy was busy at the Riverside PAC. She played the Brooklyn mother, Flo, in Saturday Night Fever, then she was a featured vocalist in Some Enchanted Evening and wrapped up the year as a star performer in The Riverside Christmas Spectacular. She also performed her one woman show, Somewhere Over the Rose, at the Creative Cauldron in the D.C. area and Atlanta, GA and starred in the world premiere reading of Cakewalk in Atlanta, GA.
2010 - present
2010 - present
In 2014, she starred as Mama Rose in Gypsy at the Riverside Center in Fredericksburg, VA and was Ouiser in Steel Magnolias there in May. In August, she performed her latest one-woman show, Somewhere Over the Rose, at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota for a four week, sold out run.
In 2013, she performed her Brassy Broads of Broadway in Sarasota, FL and presented Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas at the Naples Philharmonic Center in Naples, Florida and at the famous Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. She was in Ring of Fire in Virginia and starred as Miss Mona in The Best Lil' Whorehouse in Texas in upstate New York. She finished up the year with a six week sold out run of Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas at the famous Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.
In 2012, she starred as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes at the Riverside Center in Fredericksburg, VA and brought Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas back to its original home at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, FL for a fourth sold out run. She also debuted her Somewhere Over the Rose (then Class and Brass) at Richmond Center Stage for a week run.
In 2011, she starred as Miss Mona in The Best Lil' Whorehouse in Texas at the Riverside PAC and performed Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas in the Charleston, WV Arts Festival.
In 2010, she was Martha in White Christmas at the Barksdale Theatre in Richmond, Virginia and emceed a fundraiser in London, England for The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. She was also Ms. Lynch in Grease in Istanbul, Turkey.
In 2008-2009, she played Mabel on the national tour of Pajama Game.
In 2007-2008, she starred as Mama Rose on the critically acclaimed North American tour of Gypsy and starred as the title role in Mame at the Barksdale Theatre.
In 2005-2006, she was the first female “Singmaster” of the Big Apple Circus, touring the United States east coast, including Atlanta, Washington D.C., Boston and the Lincoln Center in New York City. While in New York City, she received the honor of singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden for the nationally televised New York Knicks, and she was asked to sing at Boston’s Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox versus the NY Yankees.
The New York Daily News calls her “a red hot mama” and The New York Village Voice calls her “an Ethel Merman style diva”. The Los Angeles Times says she has “a magnificent belt voice and earthy charm.” The L.A. Stage says, “Kathy Halenda is a genuine powerhouse!”. The Reno Gazette call her “a knockout- a singer with a heart of gold.” And the Atlantic City Whoot says it all with, “Kathy Halenda is a winner!”
SOME ENCHANTED EVENING- 2017
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