February 20, 2020

‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’: San Anselmo’s Jane Levy shines in musical series


Jane Levy, the San Anselmo native who stars in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” doesn’t have a musical theater background. Nor is she a trained singer or dancer.

She’s not even a big Broadway nerd.

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No matter. Levy is the leading lady of NBC’s new musical drama series and she’s having an absolute blast.

“Sometimes you feel like you are exactly where you’re supposed to be,” she says. “That’s how I feel right now with this show.”

Levy, 30, plays its title character, Zoey Clark. She’s a smart and driven computer coder forging her way through the Bay Area’s tech industry. But after enduring a weird experience, she suddenly starts to hear the innermost thoughts, secrets and desires of the people around her — through popular songs and colorful musical numbers. That includes her co-worker (Skylar Astin), who sings about his love for her, and her boss (Lauren Graham) who croons about her marriage.

Think “Glee” on hallucinogens.

Jane Levy

Initially, Zoey fears that she’s going bonkers. But she soon realizes that this unwanted curse just might be some kind of amazing gift — one that could allow her to connect with her father Mitch (Peter Gallagher), who suffers from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). It’s a rare neurological disease that renders him unable to communicate with his daughter, his wife Maggie (Mary Steenburgen) and everyone else around him.

Levy is no stranger to the stage or television. She was bitten by the acting bug as a youngster, performing in plays as a student at Brookside School and Drake High School. Her previous TV credits include “Shameless,” “Suburgatory” and “Castle Rock,” among others. Through it all, she has displayed impressive versatility via roles that range from comedic to highly dramatic.

But a high-concept musical series that, like “Glee” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” is stuffed with toe-tapping tunes and show-stopping choreography? That’s completely new territory.

“I thought the script was lovely and that I had an opportunity to do something I’d never done before on television,” she says. “And it has blossomed into something so much bigger.”

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” debuted with a sneak preview in January. But the show’s season is finally launching in earnest on Sunday, Feb. 16. In the early episodes, including a pilot partially shot in San Francisco, Levy’s character mostly observes the musical performances happening around her. Eventually, though, she joins the fun.

In the eighth episode, in fact, she takes over with a command performance that had her leading seven song-and-dance numbers.

“I might have had a nervous breakdown in preparation for it, maybe,” she admits. “…I was terrified.”

But Levy, who trained with a vocal instructor for much of last summer, powered her way through it and she …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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