Actor Spotlight

How this bottle-slinging Dallas actress fits into a world premiere musical

How this bottle-slinging Dallas actress fits into a brand-new musical

Dallas actor Brett Warner
Dallas performer Brett Warner. Courtesy photo
The Nance at Uptown Players
Warner with Linda Kay Leonard and Sherry Hopkins in The Nance at Uptown Players. Photo by Mike Morgan
A Charlie Brown Christmas as Dallas Children's Theatre
Christopher Curtis and Warner in A Charlie Brown Christmas at Dallas Children's Theater. Photo by Karen Almond
Fix Me, Jesus at Theatre Three
Warner with Brandi Andrade in Fix Me, Jesus at Theatre Three. Photo by Linda Blaum Beckham
Fellowship the Musical at Circle Theatre
Warner donned hairy hobbit feet to play Pippin in Fellowship! The Musical at Circle Theatre. Photo by Leah Layman
Dallas actor Brett Warner
The Nance at Uptown Players
A Charlie Brown Christmas as Dallas Children's Theatre
Fix Me, Jesus at Theatre Three
Fellowship the Musical at Circle Theatre

She may have been in Dallas only a few short years, but in that time Brett Warner has established herself as every DFW theater's must-have actress. Not only can she move from children's theater to bawdy vaudeville with ease, the triple threat can even play a hobbit.

For the world premiere musical Quanah, about Comanche chief Quanah Parker, Warner joins writer, composer, and star Larry Gatlin at Lyric Stage to portray Parker's grandmother, Lucinda.

Before Warner takes up residence at Lyric Stage from April 28-May 7 with the Grammy Award-winning duo of Gatlin and David Phelps (who plays Quanah), she took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun, and sometimes ridiculous questions.

Name: Brett Warner

Role in Quanah: Lucinda Parker

Previous work in the DFW area: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Seussical, Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (Dallas Children’s Theater); The Nance, The Boy From Oz, Soho Cinders (Uptown Players); Fix Me, Jesus, The Hot Mikado (Theatre Three); Fellowship! The Musical (Circle Theater); Seussical Jr., The Three Little Pigs, Frosty the Snowman, Pinkalicious, The Sound of Music (Casa Mañana); The Rivals (Stage West); The Human Comedy, Desert Song (Lyric Stage); Edges (PFAMily Arts).

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Where you currently reside: Dallas

First theater role: The first show I ever did was Finian’s Rainbow, and I was in the ensemble. I think my first actual role was Rosemary in How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at theater camp.

First stage show you ever saw: Oliver

Moment you decided to pursue a career in theater: I saw a touring production of La Cage aux Folles in Houston back in 2013, and when I heard "A Little More Mascara" and "The Best of Times," I instantly knew that I had to start performing again. I put in my notice at my job the next day.

Most challenging role you’ve played: Annabelle Armstrong in Fix Me, Jesus at Theatre Three.

Special skills: Bartending and booty shaking. Seriously, give me a tail.

Something you’re REALLY bad at: Juggling. Catching anything on stage.

Current pop culture obsession: Snapchat filters.

Last book you read: Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Favorite movie(s): How to Marry a Millionaire, Stardust, When Harry Met Sally

Favorite musician(s): Old 97s, G. Love & Special Sauce, Adele

Favorite song: "Proud Mary"

Dream role: Fanny Brice (Funny Girl)

Favorite play(s): The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Favorite musical(s): The Music Man

Favorite actors/actresses: Jane Krakowski, Christopher Guest, Jessica Walters, Benedict Cumberbatch, Catherine O’Hara

Favorite food: Sushi, sweet potatoes

Must-see TV show(s): 30 Rock, Grace & Frankie, Arrested Development

Something most people don’t know about you: I’m secretly nice.

Place in the world you’d most like to visit: Stonehenge.

Pre-show warm-up: Stretching, vocal trills, listening to show-appropriate music to get in the right head space.

Favorite part about your current role: Well, I really love the music, but my favorite part about playing Lucinda is that I am challenged to develop her character and her story extremely quickly. I feel a sense of urgency, because I know exactly how long I have to show the audience who she is, and because of that, I have no choice but to be raw and absolutely honest. It’s humbling.

Most challenging part about your current project: Remembering to be patient and flexible. It’s a new work and is still developing and growing.

Most embarrassing onstage mishap: Forgetting the words to “Summer in Ohio” when I did The Last Five Years. I had a good laugh with the audience and then got right back on track.

Career you’d have if you weren’t in theater: Dog and/or goat rescuer, wedding dress consultant, lounge singer, craft brewer.

Favorite post-show spot: Village Burger Bar in West Village.

Favorite thing about Dallas-Forth Worth: There are so many opportunities for performers.

Most memorable theater moment: Performing The Nance at Uptown Players on the day that the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. I will never forget the feeling of community, love, and solidarity that we shared onstage as a cast/crew and with the audience. It was electric.