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By MYRON LOVE

Becky Frohlinger/Sophie Braunstein

After a whirlwind past few months, Becky Frohlinger has come home again – even if only for a short time.
“I am very happy to be back and so are my parents (Tom Frohlinger and Heather Pullan),” says the musical theatre performer who is appearing in the current Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre production of “Matilda”.

 

“There is no place quite like Winnipeg. No Matter where you go and however long you aware, you are always welcomed back here with open arms.”
The 24-year-old Becky is the youngest of the three talented Frohlinger siblings who all graced Winnipeg theatre stages while they were growing up. Oldest sibling, Alexandra, is currently appearing in an American touring production of “Hello Dolly” while their brother, Joey, has opted for the business world with a position with Microsoft in Seattle.
“Matilda”, Becky reports, opens on January 10 with a couple of preview evenings and will be running until February 2. “The production is true to the book,” she says. “I play the role of the acrobat who is a figment of Matilda’s imagination. The acrobat is part of a love story that Matilda tells to her friend Mrs. Phelps, the librarian.”
She notes that she finds it interesting working with the children in the cast as she understands what it is like – having been a child performer – for the kids working with adults in musical theatre productions.
“The kids are awesome,” she says. “They are incredibly well-prepared, totally professional and on top of their game.”
The young performer has been involved in the musical theatrical arts for as long as she can remember. “I followed in the shoes of my brother and sister,” she says. “Musical theatre is my passion. I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.”
She started dancing lessons when she was five or six. While growing up, she appeared in multiple RMTC shows including appearances in “Gypsy” and “White Christmas”. Her last performance here was at Rainbow Stage as the gingerbread man, “Gingy”, in the 2016 production of “Shrek: The Musical”. After finishing high school in Winnipeg, Becky applied to a number of musical theatre schools in the United States. “I auditioned for 14 schools and was lucky enough to be accepted to Elon University in North Carolina,” she says. “Elon has one of the top five musical theatre schools in the country. It was an incredible experience. Elon really prepares you for the professional world.”
After graduation two years ago, she made the natural move to New York City. After her extended student visa expired, she relocated to Toronto where she was accepted as a client by the talent agency, “Talent House”. Soon after, she landed the role of Frankie Valley’s troubled daughter in a production of “Jersey Boys” which was booked for a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship’s maiden voyage with 4,800 passengers.
“The show was amazing,” she says. “I was working with creative talent from the original Broadway production. It was a very high caliber show.”
The six-month cruise launched from the Netherlands, crossed the Atlantic, traversed the Panama Canal and sailed up the West Coast to Alaska. It was while doing “Jersey Boys” that she was cast in “Matilda”. “It was a luxury to be able to line up another role a few months in advance while still working in a role,” she says.
After Winnipeg, Becky and the ”Matilda” cast will be taking the show to Edmonton and to Vancouver for extended runs.
Along with being a member of the Canadian and American Actors’ Equity Associations, Becky is a member of ACTRA and has secured some work on screen. “It’s a tough way to earn a living,” she says of acting. “You are going to hear many ‘nos’, but the few ‘yeses’ are worth the grind.”.
She notes that her ultimate goal of course is to one day play Broadway.
While Becky Frohlinger is already a somewhat seasoned veteran of the musical theatre stage, young Winnipegger Sophie Braunstein is thrilled to be making her RMTC debut in “Matilda” as Alice and as a part of the children’s ensemble.
The 13-year-old Gray Academy student says that she has been taking dancing lessons since she was six or seven and singing lessons since she was eight. She has participated in dance and singing competitions over the years but “Matilda” is her first big production.
“I am very excited to be on stage with these amazing and talented performers,” the daughter of Danny and Amy Braunstein says of her fellow  “Matilda” cast members.
She reports that she will be following up her appearance in “Matilda” with the role of Ruben’s wife in Gray Academy’s upcoming production of “Joseph and His Amazing Technical Dream Coat” – to be followed by a role in Winnipeg Studio Theatre’s production of “Seussical the Musical” wherein she has been cast as Gertrude the bird.
We wish Sophie much success on her budding career in musical theatre.

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