‘The Sound of Music’ Tea w/Jill-Christine Wiley

If there’s one thing that remains true in today’s rapidly changing (and a tad bit crazy) world, it’s that The Sound of Music will remain as timeless as they come. 

A huge Broadway smash thanks to the talents of the incredible Mary Martin and the legendary production prowess of playwrights Rodgers & Hammerstein, the show would also go on to find phenomenal success on the big screen as well (hey there, Ms. Julie Andrews), raking in $158 million in 1965, which adjusts to a whopping $1.3 billion in today’s dollars.

Let that pop culture fact just blow your mind for a moment….

Based on matriarch Maria von Trapp‘s autobiography, The Sound of Music, tells the tale of a rather sugary sweet story involving nuns, Nazis, seven ridiculously cute children, and of course, lots and lots of fabulous hills. However, there’s just something about that dear sweet music when it comes to this ever lasting show, and with such classic tunes as “Climb Every Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” you know you’re going to be more than ready when all of these numbers come alive inside the Merriam Theater beginning tomorrow night through this Sunday, April 29th. 

But perhaps even more grand than all of the Music magic that will be taking over the City of Brotherly Love this week, are the many, many talents of leading actress Jill-Christine Wiley–dancing! singing! acting!–and she was gracious enough to stop by the Philly Mixtape entertainment tea table to spill about it all before she dazzles the city with her take on the iconic role of Maria. 

Of course, it may come pretty easy for Jill being that she’s already has a portrayal of another cherished character on her impressive resume–that of Belle in the national tour of Beauty of the Beast. So, now that you’re completely convinced to take the whole entire family to go see The Sound of Music while it’s in Philly this week, get those tickets right here……

…………but first get to know the lovely Jill Christine-Wiley below as she breaks mugs about, well, it all

Hey, Jill, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape! Kicking off our little spill, how does it feel to be playing the iconic role of Maria in ‘The Sound of Music?” It’s truly been the most wonderful experience! Getting to step into Maria’s shoes each night is such a privilege. Of course there have been so many talented women who have portrayed this role, such as Mary Martin, having originated the role on Broadway, to Julie Andrews in the film, not to mention the two other incredibly talented women who have led this tour before me. I think it’s also important to remember that Maria was a real person – the first thing I did was go right to her autobiography. I wanted to “get to know her” as best I could. I’m not only storytelling on stage each night, I’m “truth-telling.”

How many times have you seen the original? I think, having grown up watching the film it’s safe to say that I’ve lost count. It’s been a few months (dare I say even more) since I last saw the film….when you’re “living” it each night, it isn’t the first film you go to watch while out on the road…maybe this summer I’ll watch it again for fun!

Moving onto the stage for a moment, what are some personal rituals you do to relax and dive into each show before every curtain call?  I have a pack of Daily Affirmation cards – each card as one word to serve as an “intention card.” Before each show, I will draw a card and use that word as my intention for that performance. Last night, I drew the word, “truth” so I use that performance to really focus in on being truthful. Having that word intention set each night really helps keep me grounded and focused in my show.

There’s simply no denying that we’re in some really truly tough times right now, so we need those future entertainers more than ever!! What words of wisdom would you give to any aspiring actor or actress who decided right this very second to step onto that stage for the very first time? Embrace the mistakes. As performers/artists, we are always evolving, and no work is ever a finished product. Try not to self-edit or judge your work too harshly. We are in an industry where we are always looking to better ourselves – keep working, keep learning, keep growing.

Okay, let’s spill about the show! What can Philly fans expect from this production of ‘The Sound of Music?’ This is a classic and, at the end of the night, you’re going to leave the theatre humming the tunes you all know and love. This story has so much depth, it’s a story for all ages. It’s about the love of family, love of music, finding new love, the political aspects and fighting for what’s right and what you believe in.

How would you sum up it all up in one word? CAPTIVATING!

One last sip…..who are some of your favorite music artists that you simply can’t live without?  I can’t seem to get enough of The Civil Wars, Sara Bareilles or Damien Rice. Pre-show tunes, I can always go for some Barbra Streisand, Nat “King” Cole, Whitney and of course my personal favorite, Celine Dion!

For much more tea with the fabulous Jill-Christine Wiley, check this out…..

……and to get your tickets to relive and revel in ‘The Sound of Music‘ while it’s here in town until this Sunday, follow those hills to the box office right here.

Cover photo courtesy of the Kimmel Center








5 Ways to Get All Caught Up with Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa….

Just saying the “New Rules” songstress’ name plays out like a good ol’ time.

That’s because the UK-based former model-turned-singer-turned-chart-owner has been having a fabulous time touring the world and taking over music charts across the map thanks to her fiery self-titled debut set. And let’s not forget about those undeniably smoky-n-sassy vocals of hers, which have been all over seven charting album singles since the record’s release last year.

It also doesn’t hurt that she’s been taking over worldwide dance floors as well by becoming beat besties with thunder makers Martin Garrix, Major Lazer and most recently Calvin Harris, as the two are heating up the summer strobe lights with their deliciously deep romp, “One Kiss.”

It’s all yas when it comes to the booming world of Dua Lipa

And although Mizz Lipa hasn’t owned the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 (yet), her future is looking wide open for a long, healthy slay in the music industry. So, whether you’re a total “New Rules” kween or have no idea who the hell she even is, here’s 5 ways to get all caught up with this red-hot and rising English Breakfast tea sipping diva-in-training. 

1.Watch the video for “New Rules” on repeat…..some more……. What happens when you take a ridiculously catchy (and quite empowering) break up anthem, mix in lots of fabulous and fierce girl power with some sleek choreography and add it on top of a Miami backdrop? You get all of the reasons why the video for what’s become her signature single has surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube. Yes. 

2……and then do the same for “IDGAF”…….   Double the Dua equals double the werk, especially when it comes to this slicked back, gender bending visual that you’ll wish you were a part of once you dive straight in. 

3.Watch her slay Jimmy Kimmel……  Although Ms. Lipa doesn’t have a gaggle of backup dancers behind her with every performance like most pop divas out there today do, she still gets the job done with her shy, yet booming stage presence. Music case in point, this subtle, yet slaying performance of her debut single,”Be the One,” which as much you won’t be able to stop staring at those big ol’ chandelier earrings she’s rockin,’ this is another, um, one you won’t be able to get out of your damn head…

….and we love every minute of it. 

4.Read this British GQ article…….   “For a female artist, it takes a lot more to be taken seriously if you’re not sat down at a piano or with a guitar, you know? For a male artist, people instantly assume they write their own music, but for women, they assume it’s all manufactured.”  

That’s the “Blow Your Mind” singer spilling all of the tea (plus, wait until you see the incredible photo shoot) in May’s British GQ. Also on the table, the young starlet breaks mugs about the #MeToo movement, what fame means to her and serves out first details about her sophomore set (!!) and you can take a seat and revel in it all right here. 

But first, there’s this performance of Lipa covering the late, great Amy Winehouse‘s “Tears Dry on Their Own” alongside baby makin’ crooner Gallant that you have to hear to believe. It’s that good. 

5.Add “One Kiss” to your #summerscomin playlist…….     Since it’s never too early to begin crafting those sun-kissed lists (see…January), there’s no reason why this palm tree worthy number shouldn’t head straight to the heart of your SPF’d up life. If you haven’t jumped into Mr. Harris’ latest romp featuring our girl, do it now as your general well-being will thank you,

It will also thank you when you repeat steps one-through-five, because if this lovely list proves anything, it’s that it’s Ms. Dua Lipa‘s world and we’re just starting to live–and revel–in all of it. gurl.

Cover photo courtesy of GQ 

Want more Philly Mixtape in ya damn life? Check this and this out and join the party!! 



Rewerk Wednesday/Dash Berlin

Whether in their native Netherlands, on dance floors across the globe, or at NOTO this Friday night, tantalizingly trance-d up dance music trio Dash Berlin knows how to give their massive audience the music business on the dance floor. 

Consisting of friends Eelke Kalberg, Sebastiaan Molijn (both producers) and Jeffrey Sutorius (front-runner), the group got their official start in 2006 after Sutorious came up with the concept and name. With all three of these gentlemen being well versed in pretty much every genre of electronic music and influential study of musical instruments, it was no surprise that their debut ditty, “Till the Sky Falls Down,” became a massive success when it hit dance floors a decade (!!) ago.

Boy, time really flies when you’re livin’ it up in those strobe lights, doesn’t it? 

Besides taking the dance charts by storm, Dash’s freshman powerhouse club anthem not only caught the headphones’ attention of fellow DJs across the planet, but also of the legendary Armin van Buuren, who showed the single lots of love during various shows and on his very own personal playlist. This would lead Dash Berlin to hit the touring scene hard (as any DJ should do if they want to get it), and pretty much since they crash landed into our shimmering worlds, they’ve been going non-stop across the world and beyond, which is most likely the reason you’re going to be living for them this weekend.

You know you are.

Of course, you can’t own the scene without a plethora of fresh studio romps to go along with it, and over their pulsating career, Dash Berlin has released a crate full of studio albums and have served up rewerks for The Chainsmokers, Janet Jackson, Justin  Timberlake and Annie Lennox, just to name a few on their esteemed list of slay.

But since there’s no use in going on and on about all of Dash Berlin‘s accomplishments (see…this) it’s better off to just hear them all, especially when it comes to their most recent L.P., “We Are(Part 2), which features lots of thunder as well as an incredible cover of Roxette’s classic ’90s rock ballad, “Listen to Your Heart,” that you just have to get down to right about…now. 

And then get those tickets to see Dash Berlin take over NOTO this Friday...your dance music life will thank you.