Ep. 49: Talking Princess Holiday Traditions New and Old with Garrett Clayton (A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS) and Joanna Li (CINDERELLA)

On this episode, I’m doing something a bit different. I am chatting with two different artists about two different princess stories, one steeped in Raleigh theater history, and one working its way to becoming a holiday panto tradition. First up, I’m talking to Garrett Clayton who plays The Huntsman in the Lythgoe Family Panto production of A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS. A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS runs through December 8th at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. For more information visit: https://nctheatre.com/snow-white-christmas.

Next, I’m chatting with Music Director Joanna Li. Li has been working with Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of CINDERELLA for the last three years. This year marks the 36th year for the family production. The show runs December 6th – 22nd. For more information visit: https://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/cinderella/.

About the Guests

Garrett Clayton is best known for his leading role in the hit Disney Channel movies “Teen Beach Movie,” and “Teen Beach Movie 2.” Clayton starred as Tanner, the sun-bleached surf star of a classic teen beach movie “Wet Side Story,” where two kids from the present find themselves mysteriously trapped. He recently made a dramatic shift to take the lead role opposite James Franco and Christian Slater in King Cobra, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016. Following that he took the lead in the thriller, Don’t Hang Up and joined the all-star cast of Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Kristin Chenoweth and Martin Short for NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” He recently finished up work on the drama, Reach, which will be released in 2018. Clayton has also recently found his way back to the stage, starring opposite Al Pacino and Judith Light in God Looked Away. The show premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse and is expected to make its way to Broadway later this year. He is currently working on a musical version of the popular film The Breakfast Club, which will open summer 2017. Past work includes a lead role in the musical version of Almost Famous. An actor, singer, and dancer, his television credits include a recurring role on the hit ABC Family series “The Fosters,” and guest-star roles on series such as Lifetime’s “The Client List,” and Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up” and “Jessie.” Clayton also led a talented cast in the Lifetime TV movie “Holiday Spin,” opposite Ralph Macchio. Raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Clayton performed in regional theater productions of “High School Musical 2,” “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “Peter Pan” and “Beauty and the Beast.” 

Joanna Li earned her Bachelors of Music from Baylor University and her Masters of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since then, she has music directed across the United States, including local organizations such as Theatre Raleigh, Cape Fear Regional Theatre, North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, Temple Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, and her own newly-formed company Two-Way Street Theatre, all while serving as the organist for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary. 

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