New jukebox musical & Juliet serves up the pop culture works of renowned songwriter Max Martin, and delivers it on a perfect platter of Broadway goodness that leaves everyone with a smile on their face. The show, which transferred to Broadway from London’s West End this past fall, was nominated for an impressive 9 Tony Awards, including its star Lorna Courtney for Best Actress In a Leading Role in a Musical. In speaking to HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview, the 24-year-old gushed over her love for the musical that focuses on a ‘what if’ scenario — if Juliet did not die at the end of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
“What I love being able to do every night is to inspire and uplift, empower people and bring joy to people. You see it and you feel it. You feel it every single night and it’s so much fun,” the Queens native beamed. “No matter how tired I might be feeling, how exhausted I am, I always have fun. The audience always is standing up by the end, dancing, and it’s a wonderful feeling. It just makes you fall in love with the job all over again and want to do it again, and again.”
Swedish songwriter Max Martin has written hits from The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” to Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” to Katy Perry’s “Roar.” & Juliet uses 29 of Martin’s original songs, which every audience member will know and love as the songwriter is tied with George Martin for the most Hot 100 number-one songs as a producer, with 23 as of 2021.
Lorna noted her favorite moment in the show is when her Juliet steps out to perform “Roar.” “That’s when the quick change happen and I love sparkles, I’m in a sparkly costume, and I’m really standing in my own truth, finding my voice,” she recalled. “And I get to be a pop star too. I’m lifted up on stage, there’s confetti everywhere. It’s a great moment.”
Each character in & Juliet goes on their own journey of growth and self-empowerment, and Lorna noted that she feels Juliet’s path details the important lesson of self-love. “She represents owning your choices and your decisions, and knowing that everything happens for a reason and trusting all of that,” the Best Actress nominee told HL, before joking, “Also, she starts at 14 and ends up being 20, so there’s automatic growth there!”
This interview is part of HollywoodLife’s Tony Contenders series, in which we interview the biggest current stars on Broadway who are in contention for the upcoming Tony Awards on June 11, 2023.