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Phillipa Soo

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Phillipa Soo
Soo at the White House in March 2016
Born
Phillipa Anne Soo

(1990-05-31) May 31, 1990 (age 34)[1]
Other namesPippa Soo
Alma materJuilliard School (BFA)
Occupations
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active2012–present
Spouse
(m. 2017)

Phillipa Anne Soo[a] (born May 31, 1990) is an American actress and singer. Known for her leading roles on Broadway primarily in musicals, she has received two Grammy Awards along with nominations for a Tony Award and a Primetime Emmy Award.

Soo gained prominence for originating the role of Eliza Hamilton in the musical Hamilton on Broadway. She earned a nomination for the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album that same year.[2][3][4] Her performance was captured in the Disney+ live stage recording of Hamilton which was released in 2020 for which she earned a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Soo's other Broadway credits include the title role in Amélie (2017), Rebecca in The Parisian Woman (2017–18), Cinderella in Into the Woods (2022), and Guenevere in Camelot (2023). She also originated the role of Natasha Rostova in the off-Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2012) as well as the role of suffragist Inez Milholland in Suffs (2022).

Soo has appeared in the films Over the Moon, The Broken Hearts Gallery (both 2020), and Tick, Tick...Boom! (2021).[5] In 2013, she made her television debut in the NBC series Smash and has since acted in Hulu miniseries Dopesick (2021) and the Apple TV+ series Shining Girls (2022).

Early life and education[edit]

Soo was born in Libertyville, Illinois. Her father is Chinese American (her paternal grandparents emigrated from China to the United States) and her mother is white. Her father is a doctor and her mother, who is from Southern Illinois, is involved in the arts.[6]

Soo attended Libertyville High School in suburban Chicago from 2004 to 2008.[7] She graduated from The Juilliard School's acting program in 2012.[8]

Career[edit]

Theater[edit]

After graduating from Juilliard in 2012, Soo was cast as Natasha Rostova in the Ars Nova production of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, based on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. The show went on to transfer from Ars Nova to another Off-Broadway space, Kazino, a tent custom-built for the show.

Soo (left) performs with Hamilton castmates at the White House (2016)

After seeing her performance in Great Comet, director Thomas Kail and composer and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda asked her to take part in an early 2014 reading of the musical Hamilton, where she read the part of "Eliza" (Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton). Soo played Eliza when the show premiered off-Broadway at The Public Theater and on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater. For her performance in Hamilton, Soo received a nomination for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.[9] Soo played her final performance in Hamilton on July 9, 2016, and the role of Eliza was taken over by Lexi Lawson.[10]

Soo played the titular character in the pre-Broadway engagement of Amélie at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles from December 2016 to January 2017. Soo reprised her role when Amélie began preview performances on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 9, 2017, opening officially on April 3.[11][12] The show closed on May 21, 2017.[13] That same year Soo returned on Broadway as Rebecca in The Parisian Woman, an original play by Beau Willimon. The production began preview performances at the Hudson Theatre on November 7, 2017, and opened on November 30 for a limited run through March 11, 2018.[14]

In 2022, Soo portrayed suffragist Inez Milholland in Shaina Taub's musical Suffs. The production premiered Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre to positive reviews. Entertainment Weekly declared, "Soo, best known for originating the role of Eliza Schuyler in Hamilton, grounds the story with her poignant voice, infusing Inez Milholland with emotion and vulnerability so striking, you're reminded of why she's so closely associated with another woman who wrote herself into the narrative."[15] The production opened on April 6 and ran a limited run through May 29, 2022.

On May 26, it was announced Soo would play Cinderella in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at the St. James Theatre.[16] Soo starred opposite Sara Bareilles, Brian D'Arcy James, Gavin Creel, Joshua Henry, Patina Miller, and Cheyenne Jackson. She received acclaim for her role, with The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney describing her performance as, "one of her best roles since her shattering performance as the original Eliza in Hamilton."[17] She remained with the show through September 4, 2022.[18] Soo would go on to win her second Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for her work in Into the Woods.[19]

On August 2, 2022, it was announced that Soo would play Sarah Brown in a revival of Guys and Dolls at The Kennedy Center. The cast included Soo's husband, Steven Pasquale, as well as James Monroe Iglehart, Jessie Mueller, Rachel Dratch, and Kevin Chamberlin.[20] In The New York Times article on the Best Theatre of 2022, Scott Heller of praised Soo as "a gift to the musical theater" and that in that year she "showed more sides to her talent than ever".[21]

On November 1, 2022 it was announced Soo would star as Guenevere in the Broadway revival of Camelot opposite Andrew Burnap, and Jordan Donica. The production debuted in March 2023 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center with Bartlett Sher as director and Aaron Sorkin with a revised book.[22]

Film and television[edit]

In 2013, she was cast in a small recurring role in the NBC television series Smash as the character Lexi. She appeared in five episodes in the second season before the show's cancellation.[23] She had a small supporting role as Nia in the 2014 television pilot Dangerous Liaisons, but it did not get picked up to series.[24]

In 2018, it was announced that Soo had been cast in the CBS series The Code.[25] The show aired for one season before its cancellation in July 2019.[26] In 2021, she received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie nomination for her performance in the Disney+ live stage recording of Hamilton which was released in 2020.

Soo is cast in the Ryan Murphy medical drama Doctor Odyssey for the 2024-2025 season on ABC.[1]

Other[edit]

She co-wrote a children's book, Piper Chen Sings, with her sister-in-law Maris Pasquale Doran. The book was published by Random House Studio in 2024 and became a New York Times best seller.

Philanthropy[edit]

Inspired by Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the character she played in Hamilton, Soo started the Eliza Project initiative in partnership with Graham Windham, the first private orphanage in New York City that is mentioned in the last song at the end of the show. Through the program, Soo plans to provide students at the Graham School with acting, dancing, and rap workshops. According to Soo, the core mission of "The Eliza Project" is "to use the arts as a means of expression, as an outlet for personal experience, and to uplift the creative spirit."[27]

Personal life[edit]

Soo became engaged to actor Steven Pasquale in February 2016.[28] They married on September 24, 2017.[29] In 2019, the two starred opposite each other in an episode of The Code.[30] She has a dog named Billie, which she adopted for her 30th birthday in 2020.[31] She and her husband practice Transcendental Meditation.[32]

Acting credits[edit]

Key
Denotes works that have not yet been released

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Keep The Change Karen Short film
2016 Moana Additional voices
2018 Here and Now Oona
2020 The One and Only Ivan Thelma Voice role
The Broken Hearts Gallery Nadine
Over the Moon Chang'e[33] Voice role
2021 Tick, Tick... Boom! "Sunday" Legend Cameo appearance
2022 Blue's Big City Adventure Audition Person #4 Cameo appearance
2023 One True Loves Emma Blair Also executive producer

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Smash Lexi 5 episodes [34]
2014 Dangerous Liaisons Nia Unaired pilot [35]
2019 The Code Lieutenant Harper Li 13 episodes [36]
2020 Hamilton Eliza Hamilton Disney+ special of the musical [37]
2021 The Bite Cydni Estereo 6 episodes [38]
2021 Dopesick Amber Collins 7 episodes [39]
2022 Shining Girls Dr. Jin-Sook Gwansun 8 episodes [40]

Theatre[edit]

Year(s) Production Role Location Category Ref.
2012 Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Natasha Rostova Ars Nova Off-Off-Broadway [41]
2013–2014 Kazino Off-Broadway [42]
2014 Hamilton Eliza Schuyler Hamilton The 52nd Street Project Workshop
A Little Night Music Anne Egerman Berkshire Theatre Festival Regional [43]
Alice by Heart Cheshire Cat / Tabatha / Caterpillar 2 Theatre Aspen Workshop [44]
The School for Wives Agnes Two River Theater Company Regional [45]
2015 Hamilton Eliza Schuyler Hamilton The Public Theater Off-Broadway [46]
2015–2016 Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway [47]
2016–2017 Amélie Amélie Poulain Ahmanson Theatre Los Angeles [48]
2017 Walter Kerr Theatre Broadway [49]
2017–2018 The Parisian Woman Rebecca Hudson Theatre [50]
2020 Tumacho Catalina Vucovich-Villalobos Connelly Theater Off-Broadway [51]
2022 Suffs Inez Milholland The Public Theater [52]
Into the Woods Cinderella St. James Theatre Broadway [53]
Guys and Dolls Sister Sarah Brown Kennedy Center Regional [54]
2023 Camelot Guenevere Vivian Beaumont Theatre Broadway [55]
2024 Gutenberg! The Musical! The Producer (One night only) James Earl Jones Theatre

Published works[edit]

  • Piper Chen Sings (2024). ISBN 9780593564691.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2013 Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Nominated [56]
2014 Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical Nominated [57]
2015 Hamilton Won [58]
2016 Tony Awards Best Actress in a Musical Nominated [59]
Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album Won [60]
2020 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Voice Actress in an Animated Movie Over the Moon Nominated [61]
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Hamilton Nominated [62]
2023 Grammy Awards Best Musical Theatre Album Into the Woods Won [63]
Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical Nominated
Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards Favorite Featured Actress In A Musical Won
Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Camelot Nominated
Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Performer in a Visiting Production Guys and Dolls Nominated [64]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pronounced /ˈfɪlɪpə s/.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Asian Actors Onstage: Lea Salonga, Phillipa Soo Sound Off on Broadway, Eliza Schuyler Representation, Cultural Perceptions". The Hollywood Reporter. November 24, 2015.
  2. ^ Windman, Matt (August 6, 2015). "Phillipa Soo on starring in Broadway's sold-out smash 'Hamilton'". amNewYork. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Nordstrom, Leigh (August 5, 2015). "Phillipa Soo Soars in Broadway Hit 'Hamilton'". WWD. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  4. ^ Schulman, Michael (August 6, 2015). "The Women of "Hamilton"". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Michael, Ordona (January 26, 2021). "Guiding light to new myth; Late screenwriter Audrey Wells helped 'Over the Moon,' a Chinese legend-inspired film voiced by Asian Americans, find its way". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "Asian Actors Onstage: Lea Salonga, Phillipa Soo Sound Off on Broadway, Eliza Schuyler Representation, Cultural Perceptions". The Hollywood Reporter. November 24, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2021. In terms of my own experience, my dad is first-generation, so his parents were from China, and my mom was born and raised in southern Illinois, and she was involved in the arts. My dad's a doctor. I was very much always encouraged, but the mentality of "get your education" was still there.
  7. ^ "ePawPrints | District 128". d128.org. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  8. ^ Robbins, Caryn. "BWW Interview - Debut of the Month: HAMILTON's Phillipa Soo". Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  9. ^ "See Full List of 2016 Tony Award Nominations | Playbill". Playbill. May 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Dziemianowicz, Joe (July 6, 2016). "'Hamilton' names replacements for Leslie Odom Jr. & Phillipa Soo". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  11. ^ Viagas, Robert (October 17, 2016). "Full Cast Announced for Broadway-Aimed Amélie Musical | Playbill". Playbill.
  12. ^ "New Musical Amélie Opens on Broadway April 3 | Playbill". Playbill. April 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "Instagram post by Amélie on Broadway • May 4, 2017 at 11:02pm UTC". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Hamilton's Phillipa Soo and Marton Csokas Join The Parisian Woman on Broadway | Playbill". Playbill. September 5, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  15. ^ "Suffs review: A rousing and inspiring story of the women's suffrage movement". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  16. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 26, 2022). "Encores! Into the Woods Sets Broadway Transfer With Patina Miller, Brian D'Arcy James, Phillipa Soo, Joshua Henry, Sara Bareilles, More". Playbill. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  17. ^ "Sara Bareilles in Stephen Sondheim's 'Into the Woods': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. July 11, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  18. ^ Hall, Margaret (September 2, 2022). "Stephanie J. Block, Sebastian Arcelus, Krysta Rodriguez, Montego Glover, More to Join Broadway's Into the Woods". Playbill.
  19. ^ "Into The Woods Wins Grammy Award For Best Musical Theatre Album". Playbill. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  20. ^ "Kennedy Center ups the Broadway ante with starry 'Guys and Dolls'". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  21. ^ Green, Jesse; Phillips, Maya; Collins-Hughes, Laura; Heller, Scott; Soloski, Alexis; Vincentelli, Elisabeth (December 5, 2022). "Best Theatre of 2022". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "Phillipa Soo to Play Guenevere in Aaron Sorkin Broadway Revival of Camelot". TheatreMania. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  23. ^ "Phillipa Soo". IMDb. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 20, 2018). "'Hamilton' Tony Nominee Boards CBS Drama Pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  25. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 21, 2018). "'Hamilton' Star Phillipa Soo Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'The Code'". Variety. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (July 23, 2019). "'The Code' Canceled By CBS After One Season". Deadline. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  27. ^ Brody, Leslie (December 30, 2015). "'Hamilton' Cast Helps Children in Need". Wall Street Journal.
  28. ^ Khan, Jessica (February 16, 2016). "Broadway's Steven Pasquale and Phillipa Soo Are Engaged!". Broadway World. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  29. ^ "Tony Nominee Phillipa Soo and Stage and Screen Star Steven Pasquale Marry | Playbill". Playbill. September 25, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  30. ^ Legit Bad Day, retrieved July 29, 2019
  31. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (October 27, 2020). "Phillipa Soo's Week: Fund-Raising Videos and 'Agents of Chaos'". The New York Times.
  32. ^ "Mornings with Phillipa Soo - Watch the Interview". August 10, 2020.
  33. ^ "Over The Moon Star Phillipa Soo Opens Up About Her Role In Netflix's Upcoming Animated Movie". LatestLY. October 22, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  34. ^ "10 Years Later, We're Somehow Living in an Episode of Smash". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  35. ^ "'Hamilton' Tony Nominee Boards CBS Drama Pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  36. ^ "Phillipa Soo Opens Up About CBS' 'The Code'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  37. ^ "Hamilton is getting released a year early as a Disney Plus exclusive". The Verge. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  38. ^ "The Bite, Starring Audra McDonald, Steven Pasquale, Phillipa Soo, More, Premieres on Spectrum May 21". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  39. ^ "Will Poulter and Phillipa Soo on 'Dopesick' and Telling a Frustrating Story About the Opioid Epidemic". Collider. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  40. ^ "Phillipa Soo Joins Elisabeth Moss In Apple's 'Shining Girls' Thriller Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  41. ^ "Phillipa Soo, Lucas Steele, Dave Malloy Star in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Opening Oct. 16". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  42. ^ "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  43. ^ Murray, Larry. "BWW Reviews: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Soars at Berkshire Theatre Group". Broadway World. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  44. ^ "Lear deBessonet to Helm Workshop of Steven Sater-Duncan Sheik Musical Alice By Heart; Phillipa Soo, Mike Faist, Noah Galvin Among Cast". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  45. ^ Dorian, Philip (September 26, 2014). "'The School for Wives' Stands the Test of Time". Two River Times. Retrieved July 14, 2024.
  46. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Brian d'Arcy James and Christopher Jackson Star in Miranda's Hamilton". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  47. ^ "'Hamilton': Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo Take Final Bows in Broadway Smash". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  48. ^ "First Look at Phillipa Soo in Amélie". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  49. ^ "Broadway Review: 'Amelie' Starring Phillipa Soo". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  50. ^ "Uma Thurman, Phillipa Soo, and the Cast of The Parisian Woman". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  51. ^ "Phillipa Soo, John Ellison Conlee, Andy Grotelueschen Will Star in Return of Tumacho Off-Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  52. ^ "Update: Off-Broadway's Suffs Goes on Hiatus Through April 10; Opening Night Reviews Will Release as Scheduled". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  53. ^ "Sara Bareilles Leads Star-Studded 'Into the Woods' Revival on Broadway This Summer". People Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  54. ^ "Watch James Monroe Iglehart, Jessie Mueller, Phillipa Soo, Steven Pasquale in Highlights From D.C. Guys and Dolls". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  55. ^ "Phillipa Soo on Camelot, Into the Woods, and the Smash Musical". Elle Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  56. ^ "Drama League Awards: 2013 Nominations". New York Theatre Guide. October 19, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  57. ^ "2014 Nominees". Lucille Lortel Award. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  58. ^ "2015 Nominees". Lucille Lortel Award. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  59. ^ "Hamilton's Tony-Nominated Leading Lady May Exit Broadway Hit". Playbill.com. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  60. ^ "Grammys 2016: Watch Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton perform". The Verge. February 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  61. ^ Hammond, Pete (November 19, 2020). "'Palm Springs', 'Lovecraft Country' Top Movie And Series Nominations For Inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards; Netflix Lands 35 Nods". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  62. ^ "2021 Emmy Awards: Complete list of winners and nominees". CBS News. September 20, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  63. ^ "2023 Grammy Nominations". Grammys. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  64. ^ Kennedy Center GUYS AND DOLLS, Kevin Chamberlin, And More Win Helen Hayes Awards

External links[edit]