Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, Hope has appeared on stages big and small from the St. James on Broadway to the Bluebird Café in Nashville where she sang with legendary songwriter, Don Schlitz. And these days, more often than not, you will find her surrounded by children whipping up her own brand of contagious theatrical, musical fun. According to Hope, it was less her training as an actress and her experience teaching music at the Sunshine Kids Club in New York City than it was her self-imposed training in the backyard” that lay the groundwork for her energetic, interactive concerts. “As a child, I created and directed elaborate variety shows starring my baby brother, my little cousins, family pets, stuffed animals and lawn furniture. They were all a unique distillation of ‘The Carol Burnett Show’, ‘Sonny and Cher’, ‘That Girl’ and ‘Peter Pan’…I destroyed many a nightgown ‘in flight’ off the porch!”
A graduate of the University of Virginia, and later the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, Hope worked on Broadway, Off Broadway, and in Regional and Stock productions. While working in theatre with renowned Broadway writer/producer Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, Scarlet Pimpernel, Civil War), Hope also recorded her original children’s lullaby project, Julie the Starfish and Other Lullabies, an ethereal blend of voice and guitar. Co-created with JR Getches, it was dubbed an “instant classic” by parents and has been called “the Magic Cd” which from the first note relaxes the entire family.
All at once
With the arrival of her two sons came new inspiration and a strong need to keep them entertained. Songs from Hope’s latest release, Cousins Jamboree (produced by Rob Friedman who among many other projects is the co-producer of the Dan Zanes Family Records) have live audiences dancing in the aisles!
At the same time
In between writing, recording and performing with her band, for the past three seasons, Hope has been a contributing scriptwriter and starred as Baker Bobbie in the acclaimed Chocolate Chip Chamber Music Series in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Recently, Hope and her husband moved with their two boys to Richmond, Virginia. But at the end of the day, she admits her most challenging gig is chasing her “NBA team in the making”, sons Beckett and Preston, around the kitchen without eating the cupcakes on the counter. To be continued…