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Jewish actress plays role in
Vietnam-era inspired musical.
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were similarities in characters from
both plays. I got a callback and was
music from the show to learn.
After about a half hour of working
with the production staff, I got the
Kopf, who has learned to celebrate
Jewish holidays on her own while on
the road, has enjoyed her traveling
and seeing parts of the country she's
never visited. The actress has read 13
he St. Louis Jewish
Community Center helped
launch the career of an
actress soon appearing in
Miss Saigon at the Fox Theatre.
Rachel Kopf, 24, who will be in
Detroit March 23-28 in the role of
Ellen, knew she wanted to go profes-
sional with her first
pre-teen show, Annie,
and kept moving for-
becomes the wife of a
GI, Chris, who has
fought in Vietnam and
fallen in love with a
Kim," explains Kopf,
on her first national
tour. "Chris and Kim -
get separated during
the war, and he comes
back to the United
Stares. Ellen, who
starts out knoWina b
nothing about her hus-
band's time in
Vietnam, tries to do
what's right after they
meet up with Kim."
Kopf's character has
Rachel Kopf as Ellen in 'Miss Saigon"
two major songs in the
production — "I Still
Believe," a duet shared with Kim, and novels since joining the show nearly
"Now That I've Seen Her," a solo.
two years ago and speaks with her
"The music is what first attracted
mom and sister every day.
me to the role," Kopf says. "The score
"Getting my packing down to two
was written by the same composers
suitcases was a little bit challenging,"
who wrote Les Miz, and the vocals are she jokes. "I was subletting an apart-
very powerful and challenging."
ment, and my lease was up the exact
Kopf studied dancing before going
time I got this job. My sister, Jamie,
on to experiences with singing and
who writes for Consumer Reports, has
musical theater. She graduated from
since moved to New York, and I'll
the Boston Conservatory, where she
stay with her when the tour is com-
was prepared to try out for New York pleted in July." II
shows, and considers herself very
lucky to have been chosen for this
role within a year after graduation.
"I went to as many auditions as I
Miss Saigon will be performed 8
could, but I felt something special
p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 8
about this one, says Kopf, who was
p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30
earning money by waiting tables. "I .
p.m. Sunday, March 23-28, at
sang 'I Don't Know How to Love
Detroit's Fox Theatre. $28-$73.
Him' from Jesus Christ Superstar for
the original audition because there