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|Occupation||Actress, Recording Artist, Writer|
|Home town||Manhattan Beach, California|
Leslie Becker is an Award-winning Broadway actress, recording artist and writer who is best known for her work on Broadway and her hit single "Slow Burn" which reached #5 on the AC Billboard/Hot AC chart. She is also the author of the bestselling guide, The Organized Actor® and has spent her life inspiring, entertaining and educating others through her Make It Happen Coaching programs. As an actor, she originated the roles of Cumie Barrow and Governor Miriam Ferguson in the Broadway musical Bonnie and Clyde, which opened at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York on December 1, 2011. She also originated the role of The Queen in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which opened at Madison Square Garden and toured the country for two years in 2000–2002. In addition, she was in the Broadway production of the Tony Award–winning revival of Anything Goes, starring Sutton Foster and Joel Gray, the Tony Award–winning revival of Nine, starring Antonio Banderas and Amazing Grace. She toured the country in Broadway hits Wicked, Show Boat, Beauty and the Beast and more.
Born in Manhattan Beach, California, Becker's early years were spent juggling her love for performing and athletics. She was a member of the West Side Ballet Company for 10 years, where she performed in the ballet The Nutcracker annually, as well as studying classical piano and competing in a girls' softball league and tennis.
She began acting during high school, where she starred in many of the school's productions, including Laurey in Oklahoma!. Becker holds degrees in Journalism and Advertising from Cal State Fullerton. She continued to perform in professional regional theatres throughout California during her college years, including roles as Liesl in The Sound of Music, Alice in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and a role in 42nd Street, all before she was 21.
Even at a young age she was committed to helping others and created a Self Esteem for Teens Program through the Redondo Beach Park and Recreation, setting the foundation for a lifetime of empowering others.
Professional theater and The Organized Actor
After college, Becker played many starring roles in regional theatres in California including Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain (4 productions), Sally in Me and My Girl (2 productions) and Edith in My One and Only, winning her several critic awards, including a Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress for her work in Me and My Girl.
Drawn by her experiences as an actress and entrepreneurial instincts, Becker authored a motivational book for actors, The Organized Actor. Initially written to help other actors get organized, the title caught fire and is still one of the bestselling organizational tools for actors, already in its 6th edition. It spawned a second book and several motivational products for actors as well as speaking engagements and one-on-one coaching with artists, entrepreneurs and businesses. She appeared on ABCNews and a Life Coach Expert.
Her big break as an actress came in 1994 when she was cast in the Los Angeles production of Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, starring Susan Egan and James Barbour. After running nearly two years, she finally made the move to New York and quickly booked the national tour of Show Boat and spent 1996–1999 touring the country and starring in several regional roles, including Mary in It's a Wonderful Life, Cassie in several productions of A Chorus Line, Emily in State Fair, Irene in Hello, Dolly! and Anna in The King and I. Director Victoria Racimo called Becker on for her one-person play, titled Private Lawrence, based on the life of Gertrude Lawrence, which was sold out in New York City. Other credits include Mother in Ragtime, Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot, Meg in Damn Yankees, The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd and many more.
The Musical Writers Playground
In 1998, Becker co-founded The Musical Writers Playground with colleagues DJ Salisbury and VP Boyle in New York City. The group was formed to help musical theater composers and lyricists get their work seen by Broadway producers. The company disbanded in 2004, but the works that she wrote during that time are still in various stages of development. Her musicals include Fetching Water with collaborator Michael Hunsaker, A Proper Place with collaborator Curtis Rhodes and Here We Are with collaborator Mark Wilder. And her commissioned songs are still heard in cabaret venues across the country (many written with composer Mary-Mitchell Campbell) and have been sung by famous Broadway voices, including Laura Osnes, Marc Kudisch, Lynne Winterstellar, Erin Mackey, Barbara Walsh, and Celia Keenan Bolger.
Additional Broadway Credits
While serving as executive director of The Musical Writers Playground, Becker's acting career began to grow, and she was cast as The Queen in Madison Square Garden's production and tour of Cinderella, starring Eartha Kitt and Deborah Gibson in 2000. Becker received critical acclaim as the "funny, and archly mannered Queen."
Shortly thereafter, she was cast in her first Broadway show, Nine, starring Antonio Banderas, where she understudied (and performed) ten name actresses, including Chita Rivera, Mary Beth Peil and Sandra Santiago.
Bonnie and Clyde
In 2009, Becker originated the roles of Cumie Barrow (the mother of Clyde Barrow) and Governor Miriam Ferguson in the world premiere of Frank Wildhorn's Bonnie and Clyde at The La Jolla Playhouse and continued the development at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida in 2010, and finally on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, where she was noted for her "powerful strength and ability to bring two dynamic and contrasting roles to life," in 2011–2012. After its short run, she was cast in the Tony Award–winning revival of Anything Goes, starring Sutton Foster, which closed July 8, 2012.
A Proper Place
In 2013, Becker reunited with composer Curtis Rhodes to write the new musical A Proper Place which received a private industry reading in September 2013 and was quickly selected for Goodspeed's Festival of New Musicals in January 2014 and The Village Theatre New Musicals Festival in August 2014. Becker writes the book and lyrics for the new musical that has been dubbed a cross between Downton Abbey and Gilligan's Island. A Proper Place will get its World Premiere production at The Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA in March 2017.
Recording Artist and Songwriter
In August, 2015, Leslie teamed up with award-winning producer/songwriter Joe Vulpis (Lady Gaga and more) to release a country music EP featuring Nashville artists singing her songs. In February 2016, she will release her first single Slow Burn to major market Billboard© radio in the Hot AC/Top 40 markets. Her song quickly rose to #5 on the AC Billboard/Hot AC Chart and stayed in the Top 10 for 5 straight weeks. Her second single Confidential was also just released to radio.
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- BWW News Desk. "Fully-Staged Workshop of 'SIX OF ONE' Presented 5/16-27". Broadway World. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- BWW News Desk. "Leslie Becker to Perform 'All I Do is Sing' at Don't Tell Mama, 2/28". Broadway World. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
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