Ingrid Michaelson is heading to Broadway!
The singer-songwriter will make her Broadway debut this summer in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. From July 3 to Aug. 15, the New York native will play Sonya in the Tony-winning musical, which currently stars Josh Groban as the titular male lead.
PEOPLE exclusively caught up with Michaelson, 37, about her foray into music theater.
You started doing musical theater at a young age. Once you found success going the singer-songwriter route, did you think you’d make your way back to theater?
I’ve been involved in theater forever, since I was a child. And I was actually even teaching musical theater to children right up until I got my first “big break” in music. It was actually a scary thing, to step away from good job in theater with health benefits and a salary to try to make this music thing happen. Now it’s scary to head back! [Laughs] But I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’ll always love making music, so I’ll never stop that, but it’s exciting to get to develop these other interests as well. I really do feel blessed.
What does it mean to you to make your Broadway debut?
It’s incredible. It’s such a huge opportunity for me, and it’s not one I take lightly. I’ve been approached in the past about joining other shows but this just felt right. The show, the music, the incredibly talented artists involved — everything was perfect. Also, I’ve been dreaming of this since I was 9!
Why was The Great Comet the right fit for you?
First, the music for Sonya is written for someone who doesn’t have that traditional “Broadway voice.” I don’t have that traditional Broadway voice either, and that’s why, in a technical sense at least, this was such a perfect fit. Beyond just that, though, it’s a truly unique show — the stage and the audience are not separate, the show happens in the audience, and the audience is part of the show. It’s like nothing else on Broadway.
What was the first show you ever saw?
The first show I remember seeing was Guys and Dolls when I was 8 years old. I was hooked. Everything else just disappeared, and I was engrossed in the story that felt like it was being put on just for me. I knew I had to be up there.
Do you remember the first production you were a part of?
It’s hard to remember. However, I recently came across an old VHS tape of me performing in Music Man in 8th grade, and it’s just as embarrassing as you’d think it would be!
You and Josh Groban are pals — have you talked to him about joining the cast? Did he share any advice?
Josh is so good, he is Pierre! Josh and I have talked about the show a bunch. I wish our time overlapped, but I’m so thrilled to get to work with “Oak” [Okieriete Onaodowan], who originated the roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in Hamilton, because I am a huge Hamilton fangirl. The biggest.