A Few Sassy Questions For Kelli O'Hara

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By all accounts, Kelli O’Hara is no diva. But the Tony Award-winning actress (she’s been nominated seven times), played one with delicious delight in the revival of the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate, which ended its Broadway run in June.

O’Hara lives in Westport with husband and actor Greg Naughton and she will headline the Westport Country Playhouse gala, along with Sirius/XM radio personality Seth Rudetsky, on Sept. 14. The event, dubbed the Black & White Ball: A De-Lovely Evening, will celebrate the music of Cole Porter.

I caught up with O’Hara via email in Japan, where she is returning to the role that finally earned her a Tony in The King and I. She talks about growing up in Oklahoma, her career and her favorite yoga position.

In Kiss Me Kate, you play a hyper-theatrical star in a Broadway musical. What’s the most diva-like thing you’ve done in your career?

Ha! I’ll never tell! Honestly, I guess asking for a private plane to fly me back home from the West Coast for less than one day so I could walk my kids to the bus for their first day of school and then fly back would count.

Kiss Me Kate allowed you to show off your comedy chops, proving that sopranos can be funny, too. Was it liberating to let loose and kick butt (literally)?

I had a blast doing this show. I think we all have so many different sides of us, but we don’t always get the chance to use all of them in our careers. So finding different kinds of roles has always been my goal. I don’t have any specific roles in mind, per se, but I’ll know them when see them.