Carole Demas

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Carole Demas

Photo: Yolanda Perez 2009
BornCarole Marya Demas
(1940-05-26) May 26, 1940 (age 72)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Singer
Years active 1960–present
SpouseStuart Allyn (1983-present)
 
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Carole Demas

Photo: Yolanda Perez 2009
BornCarole Marya Demas
(1940-05-26) May 26, 1940 (age 72)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Singer
Years active 1960–present
SpouseStuart Allyn (1983-present)

Carole Demas (born 26 May 1940, Brooklyn, New York) is an American actress and singer, best known for originating the role of "Sandy" in the 1971 Broadway musical Grease, and for her role in the long-running children's television show The Magic Garden.

Contents

Biography

Demas was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont and continued her studies at the New York University Graduate School of Education. She spent several years as a teacher in the New York City Board of Education System before making her theatrical debut with the Champlain Shakespeare Festival. Later, she was featured for three seasons with the New York Shakespeare Festival Elizabethan Singers as one of a quartet consisting of Paula Janis (her eventual co-star on The Magic Garden) and their brothers, Jonathan Rosen and Alex Demas.

Career

Theater

Demas' theater career began in 1963 with a role in Morning Sun, an early Fred Ebb effort (before his partnership with John Kander).[1] She was later cast as a replacement for the role of "Louisa (The Girl)" in The Fantastiks.

In 1971, Demas was cast in the title role of the revival of No, No, Nanette, but was dismissed from the cast during rehearsals, owing to a disagreement between the director and the casting director.[2]

Demas was next cast as "Sandy" in the original Broadway production of Grease. She worked with writers Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey to develop the role,[3] which, in the original Chicago play (Grease Lightning) on which the musical was based, was considered too dark for the mainstream Broadway audience.[3] For her role in Grease, Demas, along with the rest of the original Broadway cast, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Demas left Grease to join the cast of a new musical, The Baker's Wife, produced by David Merrick.[4]:182 The play, which was being produced in Los Angeles in preparation for a national tour prior to a Broadway opening, proved problematic from the start, and several efforts were made to fix it, including replacing Demas with Patti LuPone,[4]:183 but to no avail. The Baker's Wife never came to Broadway.[4]:188

Television

While working in Grease, Demas and long-time friend Paula Jarnis began producing the television show The Magic Garden for WPIX-TV in New York City. She and Paula continued presenting this daily children's television show from 1972 until 1984, with live concerts continuing long after the television show's demise.

Demas has also appeared as a guest actor on many daytime and primetime series.

Cabaret

Demas has turned to cabaret in her later life. She has produced her one-woman show Summer Nights at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, and appears often in Broadway reviews and retrospectives.

Roles

Title Role Notes
Theater
Grease Sandy Originated role
A Race of Hairy Men Understudy
The Baker's Wife Geneviève Title role
Originated role
The Fantastiks Luisa (The Girl)
How to Steal an Election Female Lead
Rondelay The Maid Featured role
Morning Sun Mellie Ingenue lead
Philemon Female Lead
Barefoot in the Park Corrie
Enter Laughing Wanda
Absence of a Cello Joanna
Celebration Angel
Another Part of the Forest Regina
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Philia
Oh, What a Lovely War Multiple Featured Roles
Henry IV, Part I Margaret Champlain Shakespeare Festival
As You Like It Phoebe
Much Ado About Nothing Hero
Television
SHOWSTOPPERS - Great Performances (PBS) Guest Star
The Magic Garden Carole
One Life to Live Lynn Walls Recurring
The Edge of Night Guest Recurring
Barnaby Jones Guest Two episodes
The Fantastic Journey Guest Star
The Man from Atlantis Guest Star
N.Y.P.D. Featured Role
Dilby (The Paul Ford Show) Leading role Pilot only
Kojak Guest Star
Mannix Guest Star
Khan! Guest Star
Route 66 Featured Role
FYI Featured Role
Film
The Space Works
(Trans-Lux Corp)
Female Lead
The 300 Year Weekend
(ABC Feature Film)
Leading Role
A Lovely Way to Die
Universal Films
Featured Role

Recordings

Miscellaneous

Personal

Demas presently resides in Westchester County with her husband, Stuart Allyn.

References

  1. ^ Martin, Andrew (12 February 2012). "It's Nice to Say Hello... to Carole Demas!". It's Nice to Say Hello. http://themartinreport.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/its-nice-to-say-hello-to-carole-demas/. 
  2. ^ Dunn, Don (1972). The Making of No, No, Nanette. Citadel Press. ISBN 9780806502656. 
  3. ^ a b Gans, Andrew (16 February 2007). "Chatting with Original Grease Star Carole Demas, Plus Betty Buckley in Concert". Playbill. http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/105800-DIVA-TALK-Chatting-with-Original-Grease-Star-Carole-Demas-Plus-Betty-Buckley-in-Concert. 
  4. ^ a b c De Giere, Carol (2008). Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked. Applause Theatre & Cinema. ISBN 9781557837455. 
  5. ^ "About Us". New York Children's Theater Festival. http://www.newyorkchildrenstheaterfestival.org/about_us.html. Retrieved 27 August 2012.