Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Lauren Nicole Chapman talks about all things travel

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?
When Lauren Nicole Chapman was a student at Emerson College, the musical theater major would see as many live performances as she could. The venues she visited included the Citizens Bank Opera House where, on Oct. 25, she will kick off a nearly three-week run as one of the leads in the national tour of “Frozen.” The West Bloomfield, Mich., native portrays Princess Anna — a role she played as a standby on Broadway and has performed on tour since May 2022. “Anna is not too far off from who I am as a person, so it’s been kind of an honor playing her. She has this unwavering optimism and joy that she infuses into everything she does,” said the 2013 Emerson graduate in a recent phone interview. “She has so much joy and humor and light and I get to bring myself to that role, which is a really special feeling.” Chapman said that in addition to the original songs from the 2013 Oscar-winning film, the score has been expanded to include 12 new songs by the film’s original songwriters. She was quick to dispel any misconceptions that the musical is solely for children. “We’re telling a story of love and connection and family, which is something I think everybody can relate to, so it isn’t just for kids,” she said. We caught up with Chapman, who lives in New York City with her fiancé, actor Michael Starr, to talk about all things travel.
Lauren Nicole Chapman with her fiancé, Michael Starr, at Disneyland earlier this year.
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I’ve never been out of the country. I know, that feels crazy. I am definitely getting the travel bug and I have dreams of heading to places like Italy and Greece. Hopefully next year.
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Where was the first place you traveled to after COVID restrictions were lifted?
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I went back to my apartment in New York City. I spent the majority of the pandemic with my family in Michigan. I am so glad I decided to go back when I did because I got to reunite with my now fiancé, Mike Starr.
Do you prefer booking trips through a travel agent or on your own?
I like to do the research and look up places on my own, but always stay open to my friends’ foodie recommendations.
Thoughts on an “unplugged” vacation?
Love it. Can we do that right now?
Do you use all of your vacation time or leave some on the table?
I always leave some on the table. I have dreamed of working in the theater since I was little, and I don’t want to miss a single moment of it. I am learning to balance taking a little more time for myself while also showing up for my dream job.
What has been your worst vacation experience?
I was on vacation when the COVID shutdown occurred, so that has to take the cake. I was in Miami, Fla., since I had a couple days off from “Frozen.” Luckily I was able to get home to my parents.
Do you vacation to relax, to learn, or for the adventure of it all?
A combination of all three. Just as long as there’s a loose plan.
What book do you plan on bringing with you to read on your next vacation?
I love mysteries. I want to read “The Guest List,” by Lucy Foley, next. But also, I love to re-read “Tiny Beautiful Things,” by Cheryl Strayed, frequently. It’s just the best.
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If you could travel with one famous person/celebrity, who would it be?
Speaking of books, I would love to travel with Reese Witherspoon [who starred in “Wild,” a 2014 film based on Strayed’s memoir of the same name, and founded a popular book club]. I have always been a fan of hers and she seems like she would be so fun to spend time with.
What is the best gift to give a traveler?
Restaurant recommendations.
What is your go-to snack for a flight or a road trip?
Kettle-cooked chips and a Diet Coke.
What is the coolest souvenir you’ve picked up on a vacation?
I bought a pink gemstone ring in La Jolla Cove, in San Diego, and I wear it every day.
What is your favorite app/website for travel?
I follow a couple travel Instagram accounts and that’s helped me find places I’d like to visit.
What has travel taught you?
To go with the flow. You never know what you might find when you’re exploring.
What is your best travel tip?
Pack light.
Juliet Pennington can be reached at writeonjuliet@comcast.net.

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