The time is finally right for Jessica Biel’s singing debut


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Actress Jessica Biel may have surprised film and television fans when she signed on to sing the part of laced-up missionary Sarah Brown in “Guys and Dolls in Concert” at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, but the actress has always been a sucker for a good musical.

When she was 16, she made certain she’d be able to buy tickets for a touring production of “Rent” in San Diego. “I loved that show so much that I slept on the street outside the theater,” she says. “We brought our sleeping bags so we’d be first in line.”


Years later, Biel was offered the part of Maureen in the Broadway production as well as a role in “Beauty and the Beast,” but she turned both down. “They’d been on for a while, and I would have been stepping into someone else’s position,” Biel says. “And I just felt like I wasn’t 100% confident in myself. I just wasn’t ready for it. I thought something else will happen for me at the right time, and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.”

As things turned out, it did. And now Biel is preparing for her professional singing debut onstage in the Frank Loesser classic opposite Broadway űberstar Brian Stokes Mitchell, who plays her gambling love interest, Sky Masterson.

“I’m going to do something that really scares me, that I wasn’t ready to do before and probably would have messed up,” she says. “You know when you feel in your gut, ‘Do I really want to do this now?’, instead of forcing yourself and saying you should.

“And I also want to sing. It’s that hobby that I do by myself privately in the shower or in the car. It’s that gut reaction of pure bliss. I really feel my 9-year-old self inside doing cartwheels when I sing.”

To read more about Jessica Biel, check out Tuesday’s Calendar section.

--Irene Lacher