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(Posted 7:30 p.m., Aug. 2)
Steffi D lands role with traveling Broadway show
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans own Steffi Didomenicantonio, better known to Canadian Idol fans as Steffi D, has landed a lead role on the Broadway National Tour of 'Spring Awakening'. File photo


Orleans' favourite performer Steffi Didomenicantonio has taken one giant step closer to realizing her dream of performing on Broadway after landing a role on a Broadway National Tour.

Better known as Steffi D to her many fans, Didomenicantonio will play Ilse on the Broadway National Tour of "Spring Awakening".

"It's the most exciting thing because 'Spring Awakening' is my favourite musical of all time, which is very odd and cool. I actually saw it for the first time about two years ago when I was in New York for some auditions and I fell in love with it right away," said Steffi before leaving for the Big Apple where the show is currently in rehearsal.

Steffi made it all the way to the top five during Season 4 of Canadian Idol in 2006. During her run on the popular reality show she was praised for her quirkiness and stage presence. Several of the judges predicted she would have a successful musical theatre career. One of the judges even went so far as to say that she would end up making more many than any other contestant on the show.

Ironically, Steffi auditioned for Idol as a lark with her friend and puppetry collaborator Ben Durocher. Durocher, who hails from Stittsville, failed it to make it past the first round of auditions, but Steffi sailed through to hell week in Toronto and made the Top 22 selected for the live show.

As an aside, Durocher ended up auditioning for the CBC reality series "Triple Sensation, which aired last fall, and made it all the way to the final two.

In the aftermath of her Canadian Idol appearance, Steffi became a bonafide celebrity. She was recognized wherever she went and was constantly asked for her autograph or to pose for pictures with admiring fans.

"I would walk down the street and people would be stopping me. I would just be grocery shopping and people were asking me for an autograph. It was exhilerating and crazy all at once," says Steffi.

After returning to De La Salle high school to complete Grade 12, she enrolled at George Brown Theatre School in Toronto to pursue a career in musical theatre. Before going off to college, however, she auditioned for and landed a supporting role on the French television series "Moitie Moitie" which aired on TFO in February.

The series was about two twins, Matisse and Mahee, who split their time between living with their father in the country and their mother in the city. Steffi played Mahee's city.

Despite her brush with television fame, Steffi's sights were still set on Broadway.

"My main goal will be and has always been Broadway," Steffi told a reporter shortly after the series aired. "I'm a big musical theatre geek."

Now that she's been hired to play the lead role on "Spring Awakening", Steffi will have to put school on hold for awhile. The traveling show will run for a year starting later this month and will include stops in a number of major American cities. Unfortunately the only Canadian city scheduled on the tour so far is Toronto.

"I'm really excited because I think it's going to be a challenge. Of course, because a year is a long time to carry a role and it has to be my job, like everybody else in the musical, every night has to be my best performance," says Steffi.

The character she is playing, Ilse, is somewhat of a free-spirit who runs away from home to live as a Bohemian. At first she wasn't sure if she got the part or not. Her agent left her a cryptic voice message while she was in class. Right away she called her mom, who told her the good news.

"I tried to calm down and then she tells me that they cast me in the show for the national tour. I was jumping everywhere in the middle of the hallways, so everybody heard me screaming ... when I got off the phone everybody was in suspense and were like, 'What? Tell us what's going on!' and I (told them) and everybody just started screaming and hugging me and it was great," says Steffi who is well on her way to achieving her lifelong dream.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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