Heather Botts will headline the Montclair State PRSSA April 22 benefit for Autism NJ

Botts Understudies Laura Benanti in the Lead Role as Eliza Doolittle

You don’t get to rehearse with any of the elements before you go on and perform for a live audience. You have to practice on your own and know the show inside and out.”
— Heather Botts

MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, April 20, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- One of the participating headliners for the 7th annual Autism New Jersey Benefit Concert on Monday, April 22 at Montclair State University will be Heather Botts. Botts is a well-known understudy for several Broadway shows including “My Fair Lady,” “Doctor Zhivago,” and LCT’s “The King and I.” Botts discussed the challenges and joys an understudy role can bring and how this autism awareness event is relevant in her life.

Botts mentioned a couple of different factors of a live performance that differ from Broadway. “You don’t get to rehearse with any of the elements before you go on and perform for a live audience. You have to practice on your own and know the show inside and out. In some cases, you have no depth perception because you are basically watching from the sidelines to figure out and know your blocking and where you stand. Once you get in the sandbox, it can feel very different like an out of body experience,” she said.

Botts also mentioned the woes of hair, costume, and the thrill of a live experience. “It will be the first time you are wearing the wigs, the first time you are singing with the live orchestra, the first time you put the costumes on, it is so many foreign elements that you are experiencing for the first time which is why you have to know the script inside and out,” she said.

Out of all the challenges, Botts still remains enthusiastic with every role she gets. As she is headlining alongside other well-known Broadway stars, Rebecca Luker and Sierra Boggess, Botts reflected on what it meant to her to be able to do so and she stated, “It is an incredible honor, I am humbled.” Botts recalled the first time she heard the recording of “Secret Garden” with Luker, calling her voice, “one of the purest sopranos voices” she’s ever heard. She described seeing Boggess for the first time on the big screen for “Phantom of the Opera”, calling her “ridiculously amazing.”

Botts hopes to inspire the audience to give back to cause of helping Autism New Jersey, stating she is, “happy to be part of this legacy.” While Botts herself is not affected with autism in her immediate family, she stated, “I have friends that have kids that have autism, I know some adults that are autistic, and it is just such an important cause and I’m so excited that Montclair State University has this concert to raise awareness and funds.”
For tickets, please visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/broadway-stars-for-autism-new-jersey-tickets-57627293787

Larry M. Weiner
Montclair State University
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