By January 2016, the transition to Scott Nixon as Harry Hunsacker was in full swing. Scott was playing Harry several times a week as Kurt’s understudy and would become our full time Harry in January 2017.
Now, what to do about the role of the Lady in Red? I was still in that role and enjoying it. But it was time to find someone closer to Scott’s age. As luck would have it, I learned that Scott had a girlfriend, Stephanie Felton, with an acting background. Might Stephanie be interested in the role? She was! How to implement the plan?
With Scott, we had planned a multi-year transition to give our audience time to adjust to a new Harry. We felt the adjustment to a new Lady in Red would be much easier. Stephanie could start any time. But we couldn’t resist introducing her with a splash!
For Stephanie’s first performance as the Lady in Red, we decided to surprise Scott. We picked a performance in January 2016 when Scott would be playing Harry. During the second act, both Stephanie and I donned red dresses but Stephanie stayed hidden. I went backstage as if I were going on as the Lady in Red. When Scott saw me, he assumed it was business as usual. He went out to take his bow and then told the audience to “please welcome Barbara Weinberger” to the stage. Out walked Stephanie, looking stunning in red!
Scott’s reaction was priceless! He was speechless for several moments as he composed himself. Stephanie explained the switcheroo to the audience. Then Scott and Stephanie stood hand in hand as the audience responded in delight. I stood backstage, knowing I was witness to the dawn of a new era for Pegasus.
Stephanie got her own tailor-made red dress for the next Living Black and White show. In January 2017 she became our full-time Lady in Red. Stephanie understands the legacy she is carrying on and is proud to do so. For our part, we feel very lucky to have her! When you come see the show, you can meet Stephanie in person in the lobby after the show.