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Mission’s Belle

From broadway to local stages, actress and singer Susan Egan hits all the right notes.

Susan Egan

Susan Egan had been in the theater biz for about 14 years and was headlining on Broadway as Thoroughly Modern Millie when she met Liza Minnelli. The advice the famed entertainer gave her? “She yelled at me for slouching,” she says. “Sixteen years of ballet couldn’t get the slouch out.” Regardless, Egan has seen her name in lights more than a few times. And now her schedule’s filled with a lineup of concerts, including the Romance of the Mission gala on Sept. 20. The soiree this year benefits the preservation of the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano and its Sala building, and she’ll perform a selection of numbers in The Great Stone Church. Her excitement is palpable. “I was obsessed with the California missions [as a child],” she notes.

Egan, who lives in Irvine with her husband, Robert Hartmann, and their daughters, Nina and Isla, made her Broadway debut in 1994 as the original Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations followed, along with more roles. She starred in Cabaret, playing the character of Sally Bowles longer than anyone in history. She also landed on the silver screen, in flicks like 13 Going on 30 and Disney’s Hercules. She’s appeared on TV shows, performed with symphonies and has six solo CDs to her name.

While Egan is currently taking a break from Broadway, she hasn’t stopped entertaining. Comedian Jeff Dunham tapped her for a new animation project, Achmed Saves America, set to debut next year on Comedy Central. And she often combines her concerts with master classes for performing arts students. (She’ll be at Surf City’s Golden West College this month.) “[These kids] are so hungry to learn,” she adds. “I show them how to pull a performance out of themselves… It intrigues me, and I love it.”

Egan’s Hots
Homegrown veggies, a great novel, laughter, my children, learning

Egan’s Nots
Attitude, inefficiency, regret, wasting time, ignorance