Emily Skinner (also known as Emily Scott Skinner) is a Tony-nominated American stage actress and singer. She has played leading roles in such Broadway productions as Side Show, Jekyll & Hyde, James Joyce's The Dead, The Full Monty, Dinner at Eight, Billy Elliot, as well as the acclaimed Actor's Fund Broadway concerts of Dreamgirls and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She has sung on concert stages around the world and on numerous recordings.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Skinner later attended college at Carnegie Mellon University. She moved to New York in 1992 and originated roles in various workshops, including Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll and Hyde, Stephen Schwartz's show "Snapshots", Polly Pen's "The Night Governess" and the Marvin Hamlisch/Craig Carnelia/Nora Ephron musical "Imaginary Friends". She created the role of "Emily" (young Scrooge's love interest) in the 1994 musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol at the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
In 1997, Skinner joined the original Broadway cast of Jekyll and Hyde as an ensemble member and understudy for the leads of Emma and Lucy. During previews, Linda Eder, who played Lucy, developed laryngitis, and Skinner sang some of Lucy's songs from backstage, while Eder acted and sang some songs onstage. Other Broadway credits include "Side Show" (1997), James Joyce's The Dead (1999; with Christopher Walken), The Full Monty (2001) and Dinner at Eight, where she was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award. She appeared in the Encores! concert stagings of the Gershwin musical Pardon My English, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Fiorello and No Strings, all at New York City Center. She also performed at the Broadway Actor's Fund benefit concert performances of Dreamgirls in September 2001 and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Skinner's role as one half of a pair of Siamese twins in Side Show earned her critical acclaim and a Tony Award nomination shared with co-star Alice Ripley. It was the first time in Tony history that two performers were co-nominated as a team for the Best Actress award. Variety noted that "If Ripley and Skinner should win, it would be the first time since 1975 that a pair of actors shared a single Tony. That year John Kani and Winston Ntshona, two South African actors, won a nod for the Athol Fugard double bill Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island." (Other joint nominations for the Tony include Donal Donnelly and Patrick Bedford for Philadelphia, Here I Come! in 1966; the children playing the seven Von Trapp children were nominated for best featured actress in a musical in 1960.)
Skinner has appeared Off-Broadway in numerous productions and workshops at The WPA Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, and the York Theatre. She was nominated for a 2017 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, for her portrayal of Rosemary in Picnic with The Transport Group.
She has directed and performed in a number of concerts in the "Broadway By the Year" series at the Town Hall in New York City. For example, in June 2003 she appeared in Broadway By the Year 1925; in March 2013 she was in The Broadway Musicals of 1961; and in February 2015, she performed in The Broadway Musicals of 1916-1940.
Skinner played the role of "Mrs. Wilkinson" in Billy Elliot in Chicago, starting in March 2010, and then went on to play the same role in the Broadway production in October 2010, until it closed two years later. She reprised her role in The Muny (St. Louis) production in June 2014.
She appeared in The Prince of Broadway at the revue's premiere production in Tokyo and Osaka in October 2015 through December 2015. The musical consists of works by the director Hal Prince. She appeared in the Broadway run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre which began in August 2017.
She will appear in The Cher Show as Georgia Holt, Cher's mother, in the pre-broadway tryout at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago June 12 - July 15 and in the Broadway run at the Neil Simon Theatre which begins previews November 1, 2018 with an official opening date of December 3.
- Recordings and concerts
Skinner and Ripley have collaborated on four recordings: Duets, Unsuspecting Hearts, Raw at Town Hall, and "Unattached". Skinner also recorded an excellent self-titled solo album, which was released in 2001. She has sung with orchestras around the world, including the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and the Virginia Symphony. She was the original Ursula in The Little Mermaid demo recordings and workshop, though she was replaced by Sherie Rene Scott for the resulting Broadway production. She is a featured vocalist on the cast albums for A Christmas Carol, Side Show, The Full Monty, and Prince of Broadway.
- Regional theatre and tours
At the Kennedy Center she appeared in Merrily We Roll Along and Company during the 2002 Sondheim Celebration, played Agnes Gooch in Mame (2006), starred in their production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2004), and has performed in concert there in the Barbara Cook Spotlight Series twice.
Elsewhere, she has appeared regionally in leading roles at The Long Wharf Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Old Globe (in San Diego), Ford's Theatre, St. Louis MUNY, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Bucks County Playhouse, Hangar Theatre, Virginia Repertory Theatre, and numerous others.
Skinner has performed at the Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia, in the U.S. premiere of The Witches of Eastwick in 2007, and in the new musical Ace in 2008. She played the title role in Dirty Blonde at the Hangar Theatre, Ithaca, New York, in June 2009, and was in the same play at Signature Theatre later that year. She then went on to play Mrs. Lovett in a well-received production of Sweeney Todd at the Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma in 2009. as well as Ursula in The Little Mermaid.
In November 2012 she originated the starring role of Adelaide, a diva mouse, in The Great American Mousical directed by Julie Andrews based on her book, at the Norma Terris Theatre at Goodspeed Musicals in Chester, Connecticut. She created the role of Monique McCandless in the Stephen King, John Mellencamp, T-Bone Burnett "southern gothic" musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at both the Alliance Theatre in 2012 and on a national 21-city tour, starting in Bloomington, Indiana in October 2013, which consisted of storytelling, music and singing.
She played the role of Charlotte in A Little Night Music at the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco. She played the role of Sandra in Big Fish at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma in July 2015.
- 1994-95: A Christmas Carol - Emily, notable for: "A Place Called Home"; World premiere
- 1997: Jekyll & Hyde - u/s Emma, u/s Lucy (performed)
- 1997-98: Side Show - Daisy Hilton, Tony Nomination (with Alice Ripley)
- 1999-2000: James Joyce's The Dead - Off-Broadway and Transfer to Broadway
- 2000: The Full Monty - World Premiere; 2001: The Full Monty Broadway premiere
- 2004: Breakfast at Tiffany's - as Mag, New Production, The Muny, St. Louis, World Premiere
- 2004: On the Record - World Premiere / National Tour
- 2007: The Witches of Eastwick - United States Premiere, Arlington Virginia
- 2010: Billy Elliot - as Mrs. Wilkinson Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Chicago, Illinois and Broadway
- 2010: Ten Stories Tall (film) - as Claire
- 2012: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County - as Monique, Alliance Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
- 2014: Mame as Mame, Virginia Repertory Theatre, Richmond, Virginia
- 2016: Follies as Phyllis, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
- 2017: Picnic as Rosemary, The Transport Group, Off-Broadway
- 2017: Prince of Broadway, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Broadway
- 2018: The Cher Show as Georgia Holt, Oriental Theatre, Chicago
- Gerard, Jeremy. "A Christmas Carol", Variety, December 5, 1994 – December 11, 1994, Legit Reviews; Non-Broadway; p. 80
- "The People: The Artists who have Contributed to Jekyll". Jekyll-hyde.com, accessed March 31, 2011
- Lefkowitz, David. "Dreamy Night for Dreamgirls Actors' Fund Benefit, Which Reaps $1.1 Million", Playbill, September 28, 2001
- "Facts & Trivia, Together Forever" Archived June 9, 2003, at the Wayback Machine. tonyawards.com, accessed March 31, 2011
- Isherwood, Charles. "Tony Lift: Play's The Thing", Variety, May 11, 1998 - May 17, 1998, p. 173
- Sommers, Michael. "Tony Trivia", The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), June 7, 1998, p. 10
- McPhee, Ryan. " 'Hello, Dolly!', 'Come From Away', and 'Anastasia' Lead 2017 Drama Desk Award Nominations" Playbill, April 27, 2017
- Gans, Andrew. "Skinner, Kudisch and Graae Join Broadway By the Year Concert June 23", Playbill, June 19, 2003
- Gans, Andrew. "Christine Andreas, Emily Skinner, Kerry O'Malley and More Pay Tribute to the Broadway Musicals of 1961 March 11", Playbill, March 11, 2013
- Gans, Andrew. "Broadway By the Year Season Launches Tonight with Tonya Pinkins, Karen Ziemba, Emily Skinner, Josh Young and More", Playbill, February 25, 2015
- Brantley, Ben. "And Blessed Are the Singing, Pole-Dancing Fetishists". The New York Times, January 31, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. " 'Billy Elliot' Opens in Chicago April 11". Playbill.com, April 11, 2010
- Lewis, Jessica. "BWW Interviews: BILLY's Emily Skinner". Broadwayworld.com, November 8, 2010
- Hetrick, Adam. "Emily Skinner, Daniel Oreskes and More to Star in Billy Elliot at the Muny" Playbill, April 21, 2014
- Breen, Kerry. "BWW Retrospective: How PRINCE OF BROADWAY Finally Landed at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre" broadwayworld.com, August 27, 2017
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen. "Tony Yazbeck, Emily Skinner & Josh Grisetti Circling The Prince of Broadway in Japan, Starring Ramin Karimloo" broadway.com, July 24, 2015
- Gans, Andrew. "Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley's "Raw at Town Hall" Hits Stores Dec. 19". Playbill.com, December 19, 2006
- Gans, Andrew."Merrily We Roll Along Begins Kennedy Center Previews July 12," July 12, 2002
- Gans, Andrew. "Emily Skinner Cast in Kennedy Center's Mame," September 27, 2005
- "Tennessee Williams Explored: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'". kennedy-center.org, accessed March 31, 2011
- Gans, Andrew. "Disney's On the Record — with Emily Skinner — Officially Opens Nov. 19," Playbill, November 19, 2004
- Jones, Kenneth. " Witches of Eastwick—Skinner, Noll & Donovan—Sing in Revised U.S. Staging of Onetime London Musical". Playbill.com, June 15, 2007
- Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway-Bound Ace Musical Takes Wing in VA; Noll, Scott, Skinner, Paice, Stanek, Lacey Star". Playbill.com, September 3, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. Emily Skinner Is a Dirty Blonde for Ithaca's Hangar Theatre Starting June 3". Playbill.com, June 4, 2009
- "New Season" sig-online.org
- Probst, Andy. "Jeff McCarthy and Emily Skinner to Star in Lyric Theatre Sweeney Todd". Theatermania.com, October 20, 2009
- Jones, Kenneth. "Great American Mousical, Directed by Julie Andrews, Begins World Premiere in CT; Emily Skinner Stars" Playbill.com, November 8, 2012
- Hetrick, Adam (November 9, 2011). "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County Musical to Star Shuler Hensley, Emily Skinner and Justin Guarini". playbill.com. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Melissa Ruggieri (May 10, 2013). "King, Mellencamp's 'Ghost Brothers' going on tour". AccessAtlanta.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew. "ACT's A Little Night Music Will Feature Karen Ziemba, Emily Skinner and Patrick Cassidy", Playbill, April 1, 2015
- Holloway, Anna. "Big Fish is getting away at Lyric" newsok.com, July 24, 2015
- Gans, Andrew. "Side Show's Kennedy and Skinner to Star in Muny's Breakfast at Tiffany's; Summer Season Announced". Playbill.com, May 21, 2004
- Wren, Celia. "Emily Skinner returns to Richmond theater in 'Mame" Richmond-Times DispatchNovember 22, 2014