Lena Hall

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Lena Hall
Lena Hall in 2015
Lena Hall in 2015
Background information
Birth nameCelina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal
Born (1980-01-30) January 30, 1980 (age 40)
San Francisco, California, US
Genresrock, blues, glam rock, broadway
Occupation(s)actress, singer-songwriter
Years active1998–present
Websitehttp://www.lenahall.com/

Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal,[1] known professionally as Lena Hall (born January 30, 1980) is an American actress, singer and songwriter best known for her work on Broadway,[2] originating the role of Nicola in Kinky Boots, and her Tony Award-winning performance as Yitzhak in the 2014 revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which also earned her a Grammy nomination for the musical's official album.[3] She made history by becoming the first person to play both Hedwig and Yitzhak in the same production during the national tour of the musical in 2016.[4] Her other Broadway credits include Cats, 42nd Street, Dracula, the Musical and Tarzan, the Musical. Hall has also starred in Off-Broadway productions such as Radiant Baby, Bedbugs!!!, Rooms: A Rock Romance, The Toxic Avenger, Prometheus Bound, Chix6, and the 2017 original play How to Transcend a Happy Marriage.

Hall has appeared in films such as Sex and the City (2008), The Graduates (2008), Born from the Foot (2009), The Big Gay Musical (2009), and Becks (2017), for which she received widespread critical acclaim. She has also appeared on TV shows like ABC's All My Children, HBO's Girls,[5] Amazon Prime's Good Girls Revolt,[6] and voiced the role of Countess Coloratura on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[7] In 2020, she joined the cast of TNT's science fiction epic Snowpiercer as Miss Audrey.[8]

Hall was the lead singer of the band The Deafening, they released an album with original songs in 2012 titled Central Booking.[9] In 2015, Hall released her first solo album, Sin & Salvation: Live At the Carlyle.

Biography[edit]

Hall was born Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal in San Francisco, California on January 30, 1980, to Carlos and Carolyn (née Houser) Carvajal. Her father is a ballet dancer, choreographer and the co-artistic director for the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival,[10] her mother was a prima ballerina and is now a yogi master.[11][12][2][13]

She has Filipino,[14][15] Spanish,[16] and Swedish ancestry through her father.[17] Her paternal grandfather arrived from the Philippines to San Francisco in 1926,[15] and her paternal grandmother is Swedish.[18] Her sister is Calliope "Calli" Carvajal, a hair stylist.[1]

She is a graduate of Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, where she first studied dance,[19] and an alumna of the Young People's Teen Musical Theatre Company in San Francisco.[20]

Her first big break was singing for Pope John Paul II at Candlestick Park in San Francisco for over 50,000 people at the age of 7.[21]

Hall changed her professional name from "Celina Carvajal" to Lena Hall in 2013, saying she had created it for her music persona and now wanted to use it for her acting career as well.[22] She explained her name change to Broadway.com: "Multiple people in the industry suggested I have one name for everything. [Lena Hall] is just two shortenings of my first name and my last name. So Lena Hall is Celina Carvajal. It seemed like an easier way of people getting to know me. Lena Hall is a nice symmetrical name, and it reminds people of Lena Horne, who was a singer. And when people hear my name, I want them to think of a singer".[22] She later found out that "Carvajal" is actually a stage name taken seven generations back that became a family name.[14] Hall said that it was one of the reasons why she was able to let go of the Carvajal name because it was a stage name, and it felt like her ancestors would agree with her name change.[14]

Career[edit]

Hall made her Broadway debut in 1999[23] in Cats,[2] taking over the role of Demeter after first performing in the national tour in 1998.[23][24] She next took over the role of Ann "Anytime Annie" Reilly in 42nd Street.[2] She also performed in a national tour of Annie Get Your Gun,[25] understudying the lead role.

In 2003, Hall appeared in Radiant Baby,[26] a musical about artist Keith Haring, in various roles. In 2004 she was in the original ensemble of Dracula, the Musical,[2] and was the understudy for Kelli O'Hara as Lucy Westenra. In 2006 she was in the original ensemble of the musical Tarzan,[2] and was also the understudy for Jennifer Gambatese as Jane Porter.[27]

In 2008, she competed in the reality show Legally Blonde: The Musical – The Search for Elle Woods, in which she was the 3rd contestant eliminated,[28] and starred in the Off-Broadway musicals Green Eyes,[29] and Bedbugs!!!, in which she played the role of Carly at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.[30][31]

In 2009, she was the understudy for Leslie Kritzer in the role of Monica P. Miller in the musical Rooms: A Rock Romance.[32] Also in 2009, she took over the lead role of Sarah in the musical The Toxic Avenger at the New World Stages.[33]

In 2011, she performed as Daughter of the Ocean in the musical Prometheus Bound,[34] inspired by Aeschylus's Ancient Greek tragedy, at the American Repertory Theater,[35] and also appeared as Blaze in the musical Chix6.[36] In 2013, Hall originated the role of Nicola (played on film by Jemima Rooper) in the musical Kinky Boots,[2] which won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

In 2013, her band The Deafening released an album with original songs titled "Central Booking".[9]

In 2014, Hall was cast as Yitzhak in the Broadway production Hedwig and the Angry Inch,[2] (a role previously played off-Broadway by Miriam Shor) opposite Neil Patrick Harris, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.[37] She left the role on April 4, 2015, after playing Yitzhak opposite Harris, Darren Criss, Michael C. Hall, Andrew Rannells and John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig. In 2016, she was cast in the national tour of Hedwig, which opened on October 2, 2016, reprising her role as Yitzhak, and for one performance a week, playing the title role of Hedwig for a total of eight performances in Los Angeles and San Francisco,[38] making her the first actor to play both roles in the same production.[39] She played the roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles alongside Glee star Darren Criss.[40]

Following her run in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hall toured North America alongside Josh Groban on his "Stages" tour.[41]

On September 28, 2015, Hall released her first solo album, "Sin & Salvation: Live At the Carlyle", featuring Hall's renditions of songs from artists such as Led Zeppelin, Tori Amos, Hozier, and James Brown. The album was recorded at the legendary Carlyle Hotel during Hall's musical show "Sin & Salvation", which ran for two weeks.[21]

Her TV work include 9 episodes of All My Children in the role of Treena in 2009, Juicy Lucy in Good Girls Revolt (2015), the voice of Countess Coloratura/Rara in the 115th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, titled "The Mane Attraction".[42][43]

In 2016, Hall played a seductive yoga instructor in an episode of the HBO series Girls.[44] She also performs the songs along with Tony Vincent for the fictional band "Dog Gone" in the 2015 PBS series Nature Cat.[45]

She has appeared in five movies: Sex and the City (2008), The Graduates (2008), Born from the Foot (2009), The Big Gay Musical (2009), and Becks (2017), in which she plays the title role and her first leading role in a feature film,[46] and received widespread critical acclaim for her performance.[47] which won the U.S. Fiction Award at the LA Film Festival.[48]

In 2017, Hall starred in the role of Pip on Sarah Ruhl's Off-Broadway play How to Transcend a Happy Marriage starring opposite Marisa Tomei at the Lincoln Center.[49][50]

In 2018, Hall began to release a monthly series of digital EP's titled Obsessed. The January release consists of selections from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, while each of the others features her renditions of several songs by a different artist.

Discography[edit]

  • Central Booking (2012) – with The Deafening
  • Sin & Salvation: Live At the Carlyle (2015) – solo
  • Obsessed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (January 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Peter Gabriel (February 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Elton John (March 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: The Cranberries (April 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: P!nk (May 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Radiohead (June 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Jack White (July 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: David Bowie (August 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Beck (September 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Muse (October 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Nirvana (November 2018) – solo
  • Obsessed: Chris Cornell (December 2018) – solo
  • The Villa Satori: Growing Up Haight Ashbury (April 2020) -solo

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Sex and the City Twenty-Something Girl No. 4 (as Celina Carvajal)
The Graduates Inga
2009 Born from the Foot Barney
The Big Gay Musical Wife / Eve
2014 Russian Broadway Shut Down Lesbian Short film
2017 Becks Becks

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Legally Blonde: The Musical – The Search for Elle Woods Herself (as Celina Carvajal) 5 Episodes
All My Children Treena (as Celina Carvajal) 9 Episodes
2015 BoJack Horseman Voice Episode: "Yesterdayland"
Good Girls Revolt Juicy Lucy Pilot
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Countess Coloratura / Rara (voice) Episode: "The Mane Attraction"
2015–present Nature Cat Dog Gone female performer Episode: "The Treasure of Bad Dog Bart/Pet Sounds", "Freezin' in the Summer Season/Total Eclipse of the Sun", interlude segments
2016 Girls Holly Episode: "Queen for Two Days"
2020-present Snowpiercer Miss Audrey Main Role

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998–1999 Cats Demeter (Replacement) / Bombalurina (Replacement) / Cassandra (Replacement) National tour
1999–2000 Demeter (Replacement) Broadway, Winter Garden Theatre
2000 Annie Get Your Gun Annie Oakley (Understudy) National tour
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Dancing Ensemble Off-Broadway, Encores! Concert
2001 42nd Street Annie (Understudy) Broadway, Lyric Theatre
2003 Radiant Baby IV / Pop Girl / Business Person / Prom Goer / New Yorker / SVA Student / Graffiti Artist / Celebrity / Gallery Owner / Art Patron / Bath Boy / Police Off-Broadway, Joseph Papp Public Theater / Newman Theater
2004 Dracula, the Musical Second Vampire / Ensemble (Original) / Lucy Westenra (Understudy) Broadway, Belasco Theatre
2006 Tarzan, the Musical Ensemble (Original) / Jane Porter (Understudy) Broadway, Richard Rodgers Theatre
2008 Green Eyes Off-Broadway, Theater 80
Bedbugs!!! Carly (Original) Off-Broadway, New York Musical Theatre Festival
2009 Rooms: A Rock Romance Monica P. Miller (Understudy) Off-Broadway, New World Stages Stage II
The Toxic Avenger Sarah (Replacement) Off-Broadway, New World Stages Stage I
2010 The Last Goodbye Rosaline Williamstown Theatre Festival
2011 Prometheus Bound Daughter of the Ocean (Original) American Repertory Theater
Chix6 Blaze Off-Broadway
2013–2014 Kinky Boots Nicola (Original) Broadway, Al Hirschfeld Theatre
2014–2015 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Yitzhak (Original) Broadway, Belasco Theatre
2016 Hedwig / Yitzhak National tour, Los Angeles and San Francisco
2017 How to Transcend a Happy Marriage[49] Pip (Original) Off-Broadway, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
2019 Bat Out Of Hell[51] Sloane New York City Center

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 NYMF Excellence Awards[52] Outstanding Individual Performance Bedbugs!!! Won
2014 Tony Award[20] Best Featured Actress in a Musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Won
Drama League Award[53] Distinguished Performance Nominated
Broadway.com Audience Awards[54] Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
2015 Grammy Award[3] Best Musical Theater Album Nominated
2017 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award[55] Featured Performance Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Kinky Boots Star Celina Carvajal". Playbill. April 2, 2013. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lena Hall". Internet Broadway Database. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "ALADDIN, BEAUTIFUL, HEDWIG Among Grammy's Best Musical Theater Album Nominees". Broadway World. December 5, 2014. Archived from the original on September 27, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  4. ^ "Lena Hall Makes Hedwig History Tonight". Playbill. October 9, 2016. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "Girls Hannah Lesbian Sex Scene".
  6. ^ "Good Girls Revolt So So View of Feminist Triumph". San Francisco Chronicle.
  7. ^ "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic/Countess Coloratura".
  8. ^ "TNT's Snowpiercer, Featuring Tony Award Winners Daveed Diggs and Lena Hall Gets Series Order". Playbill.
  9. ^ a b "The Deafening". bandcamp.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "Meet the Man Behind the Scenes of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival". KQED.org. June 6, 2015. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Lena Hall on Her Tony Nomination for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'". Black Book. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  12. ^ "People and Places – Lena Hall" Archived March 25, 2017, at the Wayback Machine TheatreGold.com
  13. ^ "Run For You Life Dance Company". Archived from the original on December 24, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c "Broadway Actress Lena Hall Discusses Upcoming "Hedwig" Tour and Her Filipino Heritage". Caamedia.org. October 3, 2016. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "StoryCorps: Carlos Carvajal and Four Generations of Filipinos in the Arts". Caamedia.org. October 3, 2016. Archived from the original on April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "Lena Hall Opens Up With New Cabaret 'The Villa Satori: Growing Up Haight Ashbury'". The Village Voice. November 24, 2015. Archived from the original on July 9, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  17. ^ "Carlos Carvajal. 2004 resume" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine runforyourlife.org. Retrieved June 3, 2014
  18. ^ "San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is calling". San Francisco Gate. May 31, 2012. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  19. ^ "Separating from Hedwig". The Bay Area Reporter Online. April 16, 2015. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  20. ^ a b "HEDWIG's Lena Hall Wins Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical". Broadway World. June 8, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Tony Winner Lena Hall Releases SIN & SALVATION Live Album Today!". Broadway World. September 28, 2015. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  22. ^ a b Ferri, Josh. "From Celina Carvajal to Lena Hall: the 'Kinky Boots' Rocker Explains her Recent Name Change" Archived November 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine broadway.com, July 16, 2013
  23. ^ a b "7 Former Cats Cast Members on Learning to Play Feline". Vulture.com. July 29, 2016. Archived from the original on April 9, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  24. ^ "CATS – US National Tour IV – Grizabella: The Glamour Cat". October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on April 10, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ "Annie Get Your Gun". Variety. August 14, 2000. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  26. ^ "Radiant Baby". Variety. March 2, 2003. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Lena Hall" Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine playbillvault.com
  28. ^ "Where are they now?: Legally Blonde – The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods". Stage Door Dish. September 3, 2013. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  29. ^ "Green Eyes, with Blaemire, Carvajal, Watkinson and Bloch, Begins Aug. 16". Playbill. August 16, 2008. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  30. ^ "Futuristic Pop Tuner Bedbugs!!! Begins NYMF Run Sept. 16". Playbill. September 16, 2008. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  31. ^ "Enter Singing: Giant Bedbugs, Fancy Boys, Bank Robbers, Potato Farmers". The New York Times. September 30, 2008. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  32. ^ "Rooms: A Rock Romance". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Archived from the original on April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  33. ^ "Celina Carvajal to Play The Toxic Avenger's Sexy Blind Librarian". Broadway.com. May 29, 2009. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  34. ^ "Lea DeLaria & More Join A.R.T.'s Prometheus Bound, Starring Gavin Creel". Broadway.com. February 1, 2011. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  35. ^ "Prometheus Bound". Variety. March 7, 2011. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  36. ^ "'Chix 6,' a rock kaleidoscope for the senses". Queens Chronicle. October 13, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  37. ^ "Interview" Archived June 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine broadwayworld.com, April 14, 2014
  38. ^ "Lena Hall Hopes to Play Hedwig in Her Own Run". Playbill. December 5, 2016. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  39. ^ "Lena Hall on her history-making double play in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'". Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2016. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ "Tony Winner Lena Hall Will Hit the Road Alongside Josh Groban For STAGES Tour". Broadway World. September 11, 2015.
  42. ^ "VIDEO: Tony Winner Lena Hall Makes Singing Guest Appearance on My Little Pony". Broadway World. November 24, 2015. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  43. ^ "Lena Hall: Rara Reacts to Rara [MLP Countess Coloratura]". November 21, 2015. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017 – via YouTube.
  44. ^ Allen, Rebekah "Get ready to fall in love with Lena Hall" Archived March 25, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 28, 2016
  45. ^ "VIDEO: Sneak Peek – Lena Hall & More Broadway Stars Set for New PBS Series NATURE CAT". Broadway World. November 18, 2015. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  46. ^ "That's a Wrap on Becks!". JP Sound. September 5, 2016. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  47. ^ "Film Reviews: Becks".
  48. ^ "Lost Angeles Film Festival Award Winners 'Becks'".
  49. ^ a b "How to Transcend a Happy Marriage". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  50. ^ Schek, Frank (March 20, 2017). "How To Transcend a Happy Marriage Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  51. ^ Meyer, Dan (August 9, 2019). "Read Reviews for American Premiere of Bat Out of Hell". Playbill. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  52. ^ "NYMF Excellence Awards Announced!". Bedbugsmusical.com. October 23, 2008. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  53. ^ "Drama League Awards Go Broad with Crowded List of 2014 Nominations". Variety. April 23, 2014. Archived from the original on June 22, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  54. ^ "Time to #VoteBway! Les Miz & If/Then Lead 2014 Broadway.com Audience Choice Award Nominations". Broadway.com. May 5, 2014. Archived from the original on December 6, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  55. ^ "Darren Criss, Lena Hall, and More Earn Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Nominations". Theater Mania. February 24, 2017. Archived from the original on April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2017.

External links[edit]