The renowned theater actress Katie Rose Clarke is currently playing the role of Beth Shepard in the Broadway revival of “Merrily We Roll Along.” She replaced Kelli O’Hara in “The Light in the Piazza” in 2005 and was in the PBS broadcast of that show at Lincoln Center. She has also played Glinda in “Wicked,” both on tour and on Broadway, and originated the roles of Hannah Campbell in “Allegiance” alongside Lea Salonga and George Takei, and Ellen in “Miss Saigon.”
Below, she shares what she most loves about New York.
Where do you live in New York?
I live on the Upper West Side with my husband and three kids.
What is your favorite neighborhood in New York and why?
The West Village. My husband and I lived in a sweet little apartment on Hudson for the first six years of our marriage. Fabulous restaurants and beautiful history. It was a pretty idyllic place to be newlyweds.
What are some of your favorite spots in a Theater District, and what makes them so great?
Medi on 54th street and 9th Avenue for Mediterranean food and great wine is a beautiful date spot. Rancho Tequileria on 50th street and 9th Avenue because we love the staff and are friends with the manager. They have another location further uptown on 95th street and Amsterdam that we go to as well.
What is the best place for a pre-or post-theater meal and why? What are the dishes to order?
We’ve been enjoying the Mermaid Oyster Bar on 43rd street. It’s close to the theatre and the food is wonderful. It’s very kid friendly, which is great for my family. I’ll meet my husband and kids there between shows on Saturday for dinner. It’s such a nice way to squeeze in extra time with my family. It’s a big space which is nice for us as a family of five. There’s always a table available, even if I don’t make a reservation. That can be hard to find, particularly in Midtown. If you’re going before seeing a show, there’s a great happy hour with both drinks and appetizers. We love the spinach artichoke dip, fish tacos and grilled shrimp sliders.
What is the best Theater District watering hole and the drink to get?
Since having kids, I don’t go out for drinks after the shows as much as I used to, but I do love The Lambs Club and The Long Room on 44th street across from our theatre.
What are your insider tips for enjoying a Broadway show? Anything to make the experience better?
If I don’t know the show very well, I always do a little research to learn a little history of the show and the cast. I love to look at interviews with the cast and creative team about the process and how the show got to be on Broadway. It gives you so much appreciation for what you’re actually seeing onstage. It’s easy to just go as a consumer and enjoy a beautiful show, but it’s so much better when you understand a little more of the backstory.
What is the New York City theater you love to go to and why?
“Merrily We Roll Along” did an Off-Broadway run last year at the New York Theatre Workshop. It’s a beautiful and intimate jewel box of a theatre. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a show there. It’s so intimate that you feel like an insider. You’re so connected to what you’re seeing.
What other Broadway shows are on your radar right now?
There are so many shows coming to Broadway this season, which is thrilling. I’m excited to see the revival of “Spamalot.” And for me personally, “The Heart of Rock and Roll”!!! I was a part of the show as they were developing it, and I have so much love for that entire team. They have created a piece that has deep heart and tons of joy. I can’t wait to cheer them on.