Broadway: "Tracy" in HAIRSPRAY; SISTER ACT
MARISSA PERRY was born for the stage. Born to two parents who loved performing, she was raised in theaters all over Connecticut. At age 4, her mother pulled her up on the stage for her first performance. From then on, it was hard to pull her away from it. Having trained all her life, Marissa felt ready to move to NYC at after high school. Not long after moving to New York, she began working on a new musical by David Zipple called PRINCESSES. In February 2004, Marissa was sent to “Tracy Camp.” She was sent to Toronto, Canada to learn the coveted role of Tracy Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY. It was there she obtained her AEA Card. After returning to the states, Marissa continued working on PRINCESSES, originating the role of Kit in the World Premiere (Goodspeed) and the Pre-Broadway run (5th Avenue). Unfortunately, that was the end of the road for PRINCESSES. It was the first Broadway contract Marissa was ever offered and her first big heartbreak. Broadway didn’t happen.
In 2007, she went back to her HAIRSPRAY roots and headed to Weston Playhouse to star in one of the very first regional productions. On opening night, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Composer and Lyricist extraordinaires) stopped to see the show. And as fairy godmothers do in every Cinderella story, they took Marissa under their wing and plopped her on the Broadway stage making her dreams come true AND taking the final bow. Marissa was a part of the closing company of HAIRSPRAY on Broadway. Marissa continues to reap the benefits of HAIRSPRAY in her every day life. It was truly life-changing. In the years to follow, she was nominated for an IRNE and a JEFF award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Tracy Turnblad in Boston and Chicago. SISTER ACT on Broadway went into rehearsals in January 2011. Marissa was overjoyed to be a part of an original cast (DREAM? CHECK!). And the cherry on top was getting to perform on the TONY AWARDS (DREAM: CHECK!). It was SISTER ACT that also brought two of her best friends into her life, Marla Mindelle and Sarah Bolt.
Marissa has performed on The View, Good Morning America, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Tony Awards (twice), at Birdland, Seven Angels Theater, Laguna Playhouse, LaJolla Playhouse, The York Theater, etc. She is currently living out her real life, growing up in as a full blooded Italian American girl off Broadway in MY BIG, GAY, ITALIAN WEDDING and MY BIG, GAY, ITALIAN FUNERAL. She plays Maria Pinnuzziato, the self-absorbed, Broadway bound sister. AND! Marissa recently was given the opportunity to try her hand at television. She is a proud member of the cast of Tainted Dreams - The Series which premiered on Hulu in Fall, 2013. Look for her character, Belinda, because she also gets to sing!
Marissa continues to follow her passion for teaching through her Musical Theater Master Classes, where she has coined the ever-popular “CHILL AND CHAT” experience. She is fulfilled on a regular basis through her students and being able to pay forward the knowledge she has gained in almost a decade, professionally, in show business. Marissa continues to be an advocate for positive body image and healthy self esteem for young people. She attributes all of her achievements to her beautiful, supportive, relentlessly loving parents and brother, who all keep her grounded and true to where she came from. And she dedicates all of her performances to every small town kid with a big city dream.