Two drop-dead gorgeous dancers climbing all over each other like spider monkeys talking at the same time. High-pitched squealing, lots of collapsed-over giggling “that makes other people on the street look at us like we should be committed,” the girl says, “Which maybe we should. Do they do musicals in psych wards or just plays?” Suddenly, the boy begins to sing “Snikka Lanzarone Snikka Lanzarone” to the tune of “Gary, Indiana” from The Music Man.
These two have now greeted one another.
No. No this is not the set of Desperate Housewives.
Nor is it a dormant memory from your weird dream last night.
It is not a party at Elton John’s house.
This is Nikka Lanzarone and Nick Adams, greeting one another in an everyday fashion.
“And then there were two…” Nick replies when asked for the name of this indie-short, and I would tell you which theme song should start playing as the camera pans out, but Nikka insists this might be a rather complicated matter.
“Here's how this would go: we would try to discuss having a theme song, but I wouldn't want any Britney, and Nick wouldn't want any Wilco, so talks would stall after three hours and we would get a cocktail instead.”
|...clearly up to NO good...|
“It was in 2001 at The Boston Conservatory,” Nikka reports when I ask about their origin story.
“Capezionik@aol.com!” says Nick, “We chatted online (with my mothers dial up Internet) before we were Freshman and I knew then we would be in kahoots. “
So. Because this super-stretchy pair’s friendship blossomed at The Boston Conservatory, (aka “BoCo”) I bring you:
[: : Jazz hands : :]
Now, everyone knows that college has the potential to be a veritable wilderness of insecurity, so it is always handy to have a companion. Nick and Nikka were matched instantly (the Lewis to each others’ Clarke, the Bill to each others’ Ted…if you will…and you will…) in and out of class,
“We were always paired together, since we were The Dancers, Nikka reports. But their Bostonian duet wasn’t always fun and games (or jazz hands and high kicking). “It also brought a lot of personal struggles and hurtles” says Nick concurs, continuing, “Nikka and I knew we had a very special bond early on in college.”
In fact, it was those particular struggles that helped to define the friendship further.
“I think the two dancers doing Shakespeare together our senior year of college truly defined our friendship,” says Nikka. “We didn't mean to wind up in this super-serious acting class, but it was the only one we could take that allowed us time to take ballet with the dance majors!” Quite. “It was WAY outside both of our comfort zones, but we knew we had to rally if we were going to do this in real life. That was the moment I knew that we were truly in this together, and that we would support each other forever.”
But what makes this College-to-Broadway friendship extra special?
“I can be myself with Nikka” Nick chimes, “I can be intellectual and silly all in the same conversation. She's that kind of girl…” Thinking further he adds, “She also inspires me with her incomparable fashion sense! Girl can put a look together.”
Word Nick. Word.
Super high-fashion Nikka Does. Not. Mess. Around. with the clothes.
But in all seriousness he adds,
“Nikka is the definition of unique. She's smart, beautiful, talented. I can always count on Nikka for a polarizing opinion and she has the ability to read my mind.”
And it is not just the love, but the admiration that is mutual for Nikka, “Nick's tenacity, drive, and spirit is one of the most amazing things I've seen in action. He's gotten to the level he's at and has kept the pure love for what he does intact—that is incredibly inspirational.”
So much joy comes from watching your friends grow into themselves—to find their path, to soar and achieve their dreams. From where I stand, it appears Nick and Nikka inspired one another to become the inspiring adults entertaining the Broadway community today. The last two years have had the extraordinary pleasure of watching one another catch their respective “great white whales.”
“Watching her make that legendary entrance for ‘All That Jazz’ as Velma Kelly in Chicago on Broadway...” Reflects Nick, “[with] tears streamed down my face and my hands clutched my heart…I'll never forget that.”
You can tell: this is what knowing someone from the very beginning is all about.
“There is nothing like watching one of your best friends in the world get entrance applause while starring in a Broadway show—” Nikka adds, “—it's such a magical moment, especially thinking back to all the late nights in college, dreaming of what our adult lives would be like. I cried watching him in Priscilla.”
When I asked them (separately!) how they might spend a day off together, I got these twin-like responses that I shall now share with you in TABLE form to further illustrate the point:
Take class at Steps.
Eat (where we'd argue uptown or downtown, but Five Napkin would probably win)
Dance class (we haven't done that together in awhile).
* * *
Nick is currently playing Adam/Felicia in the Broadway production of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre
Nikka is currently playing Florinda in Into the Woods at Baltimore Centerstage through April 15, and at the Westport Country Playhouse from May 1-26. For tickets to the respective engagements, please visit Baltimore Centerstage and Westport Country Playhouse online.