Kennewick grad, Broadway star returns to Tri-Cities

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 5, 2013 

Janet Krupin is living her Broadway dream. The 25-year-old former Tri-Citian wrapped up a six-month Broadway gig as one of the stars of Bring it On: The Musical last month.

And later this month she'll begin rehearsal for a new show, Hands on a Hardbody, which opens in March at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York City and stars Keith Carradine.

But success in the entertainment world hasn't changed this 2006 Kennewick High grad, who caught the acting bug after joining the Academy of Children's Theatre in Richland many years ago.

Krupin is home for a visit this week and will conduct a master theater class starting at 5 p.m. today at the ACT studio, 213 Wellsian Way in Richland. Following the workshop, she'll perform a concert of favorite Broadway tunes starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.

All ages are welcome to take part in the one-hour workshop at the studio. Cost is $15 and includes admission to the concert. Walk-ins are welcome.

"When I was a kid, I thought for me Broadway was as far away as the moon," Krupin said. "I cannot believe my luck at where I'm at now. I am so blessed."

Some might say luck had nothing to do with Krupin's success. She's what is referred to these days in the entertainment industry as a triple threat -- she can sing, act and dance.

Krupin, the daughter of Paul and Nancy Krupin of Kennewick, lives in a small apartment near West Harlem in Manhattan, near Columbia University.

And even though she's a small town girl from Southeastern Washington, she navigates the bustling streets of the world's most famous city like a pro.

"Working in theater means a lot of night work, and it's not always fun riding the subway home at midnight," she said. "But you get used to it and I don't act like a victim, so I haven't had any problems."

Krupin left for Los Angeles after graduating from high school to attend the University of Southern California, where she began studying filmmaking. She added a minor in theater a couple of years later, and by the time she was a senior she'd nabbed a lead role in Bring it On: The Musical touring show. She also won the Next Great Stage Star Competition in 2010, held in L.A.

It was during her touring stint with the musical that she met Lin-Manuel Miranda, an up-and-coming composer and lyricist in New York City.

"I so looked up to him while I was in college," she said. "Then when I worked with him (on Bring it On) we became friends. He's such an inspiration in this business."

Krupin says the TV series, Smash, is pretty true to form about what it's like to work in theater in New York City, including long hours and a lot of hard work.

But the thrill is always there and worth all that hard work, she added.

What she doesn't like about living in the Big Apple are the smells, the dirtiness, the crowded streets and the bitter cold of winter.

She'd eventually love to slide into TV or film work as an actor as well as the technical side of the industry as a writer.

"But New York is where I have to be right now to do what I want to do," she said.

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