Shalom Life | May 08, 2014

Top 20 Under 40 - Caissie Levy

Caissie Levy is set to appear in the Broadway revival of 'Les Miserables' as Fantine starting later this month.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: March 3rd, 2014 in Culture » Stage » Interviews

Shalom Life is proud to present our 4th annual Top 20 Under 40 list. Over the next 20 days, we will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to doctors, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Toronto home.

Top 20 Under 40: Caissie Levy

Age: Never ask a lady her age, but definitely young enough to land on this list!

Canada’s rising Broadway star, Caissie Levy, was born and raised in southern Ontario in an artistic family. Her brothers, Robi and Josh, are film directors, writers, and producers that have gained notoriety as ‘The Levy Brothers’. Originally planning on pursuing her love for theatre through a Canadian Shakespearean program, she auditioned on a whim for New York’s world-renowned American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and got in!

Immediately after graduating – literally a week later – Levy landed the lead role of Maureen in the U.S national tour of ‘Rent’. That was 12 years ago. Since then, she’s appeared in several popular Broadway and West End shows including ‘Hairspray’ as Penny Pingleton, ‘Wicked’ as Elphaba, ‘Hair’ and Sheila, and ‘Ghost: The Musical’ as Molly Jensen.

In 2013, Levy released an EP with her husband, David Reisner, and beginning on March 23rd, she’s set to appear at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre as Fantine in the revival of ‘Les Miserable’.

We got a chance to chat with Levy regarding her career thus far, plans for the future, and love of theatre.


SHALOM LIFE (SL): When you’re asked “what you do”, how do you normally respond?

CAISSIE LEVY (CL): I'm an actress and a singer. Sometimes simultaneously.

SL:What would you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?

CL: I feel quite proud that I moved to New York at 19 years old, not knowing a soul, and created a life for myself. I can honestly say that I worked my ass off to get where I am now, without a hand-out from anyone. That feels pretty good!

SL:When you’re not working, where can we find you?

CL: Preferably on a beach somewhere. On my off time in the city, my favorite thing to do is wander around my old neighborhood in the East Village and check out all the great vintage stores and up and coming designers.

SL: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How about 20?

CL: I try not to plan too much for the long term, but in the future I hope to continue working on challenging roles in the theatre, film and television, and to have a happy and healthy family. Beyond that, my husband and I are big travelers and there are still so many places in the world we want to see and explore.

SL: Why did you chose to become involved in theatre? Was there a specific moment or epiphany?

CL: I've always kind of known that theatre would be my life. My parents took me to see Les Miserables when I was eight years old in Toronto and instantly knew that's what I wanted to do with my life.

SL: How -if it all- does your Jewish heritage play into your life?

CL: I'm not a religious person, but I always enjoy spending the high holidays with my family, and especially Passover. My Dad leads a very fun and thoughtful Seder.

Check out the second half of our interview with Caissie Levy on the next page!

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