CONNECTICUT CRITICS CIRCLE
A Woman of No Importance
KRISTIN HUFFMAN: A WOMAN FOR ALL SEASONS
BY BONNIE GOLDBERG
Kristin Huffman is a master at multi-tasking. She is an actress, but that that grazes the tip top of her
personal iceberg of talents. On her resume of achievements, she grew up in a singing family that
performed all over Ohio, abandoning her tomboy status to win Miss Ohio and be a runner-up for Miss
America, along the way. She calls her experience competing in the beauty and talent contest her
"finishing school," a stressful time when she adopted a platform of volunteer and charitable activities to
Her love for charities and doing good for others continues to this day as she performs in fundraisers
that help breast cancer, Alzheimer's and AIDS. Kristin also stages Slam/Glam, workshops to help
actors learn how to dress for success, with outfits, make-up and hairstyle tips, classes that can be
adapted to aid women wishing to be more beautiful and stronger, called Powerful Image."
For fifteen years, she has been a vocal and piano teacher, and has given master classes in
preparation for theater students. Her dream of performing on Broadway became a reality recently when
she took on the role of Sarah in "Company," which involved playing the flute, the sax and the piccolo,
in addition to acting and singing, no small feat. Her experience in the role has been captured in a
series of columns she has written for Broadwayworld.com in a blog entitled Actorquest.
The column follows her experiences through auditions and rehearsals and performances she calls "A
Funny thing Happened on the Way to Broadway." Kristin began writing the pieces years ago for family
and friends, to keep them informed about the numerous strange and humorous things that happened in
her life. They turned out to be therapy for her, to overcome her angst, and were also helpful for fellow
actors in the show business world who were struggling to stay optimistic. She describes the articles
as "me going WOW" about the amazing things that seemed to happen to her every week. One story
spoke to her trauma when her beloved flute, her "soul mate," was knocked off the piano during a
performance of "Company" and a piece broke off, yet she had to continue to play, while another story
spoke to the hammerlock positions she and her co-star found themselves in during a photo shoot for
posters for "Company." Her weekly columns will include her newest theater venture in Connecticut.
In addition to teaching and writing, Kristin has performed operas, symphonies and theater, all over the
United States, as well as a European tour of "Phantom of the Opera." Her favorite roles include Meg in
"Brigadoon," Gooch in "Mame," Grace in "Annie," Maria in "The Sound of Music," Nellie in "South
Pacific," and Anna in "The King and I." She enjoys playing women who are quirky and funny, with a lot
of humor and vulnerability. She has gotten what she asked for as she was recently cast as Cathy in
"The Last Five Years" with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and direction by Kevin Connors at
Music Theatre of Connecticut, April 4-13, in the intimate space at 246 Post Road East, lower level of
Colonial Green, Westport.
Kristin will play Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress, married to Jamie Wellerstein, a rising star of a
novelist, portrayed by Rob Sutton. This bittersweet musical is about two New Yorkers who fall in and
out of love over five years, looking forward and backward at what happened to their relationship. She
describes her Cathy character as loyal and needy, who identifies her self-worth by Jamie's level of
success. As to the music, she calls it "the coolest ever, contemporary, with a million different styles."
She especially identifies with a song she sings about auditioning that has lots of subtexts in the
middle of the play, a "been there, done that" moment.
For tickets ($35), call MTC at 203-454-3883 or online at www.MTCMainStage.org. ; Performances are
Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. An opening night party will
follow the Saturday, 8 p.m., performance on April 5 with additional pricing.
In the future, Kristin Huffman would like to play Velma Von Tussell in "Hairspray" or create herself
anew in a role yet to be written. Meanwhile, she has a lot on her plate: teaching piano and vocal
students at Hartt School, at the University of Hartford, and the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut,
giving Slam/Glam workshops and Powerful Image seminars, writing a weekly column for
Broadwayworld.com, that will now be on Stephen Sonheim's site The Sonheim Society, being married
for seventeen years to her landscape architect husband and helping him with his internet franchise
business, conducting theater master classes, participating in charity fundraisers and, of course, being
an actress who is both funny and vulnerable and occasionally sings while playing the piano, sax,
piccolo and flute. Over-achiever must be Kristin Huffman's middle name.
4/3/08 MIDDLETOWN PRESS