Much like a utility infielder in baseball, Jersey Boys’ Katie O’Toole never knows what role she’ll be playing, if any, on a given night. She’s the “swing” for the Broadway production, meaning that she’s memorized the lines, staging and costume switches for all of the show’s female characters.
“You just need to be on,” explained the all-star understudy in a segment for NBC New York’s In the Wings. She took a week to learn each female role in the show, which has become one of the biggest Broadway hits of all-time since opening in 2005.
“When I started, I didn’t know what I looked like on stage,” she recalled referring to how confusing it is to continually switch between roles. Upon joining Jersey Boys, she studied each part by observing them while performing in the background.
Good thing her dressing room includes one of each female costume used in the show. One night, she was required to play two parts in the same performance. “We had two girls out at one time, so I had to play two of the three roles…” O’Toole laughed. “We had to do this crazy, crazy show, but it was so much fun. I was running from scene to scene to scene.”