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Foster City native to star in Hillbarn show: Melissa WolfKlain makes acting debut in her hometown
August 02, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Mark and Tracy Photography
Melissa WolfKlain of Foster City will act in the production of ‘Funny Girl’ at Hillbarn Theatre.

It’s a homecoming for Foster City-raised Melissa WolfKlain, who will be starring in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of “Funny Girl.”

WolfKlain, who now lives in New York City, will play Fanny Brice in the 2014-15 season opener that runs from Aug. 28-Sept. 21. She’ll be staying at her parents’ house during the musical. This is her first play in Foster City.

“This is my first show at Hillbarn and first show in Foster City too,” she said. “Unless you count a talent show at the rec center when I was 12.”

The director of the play, Dan Demers, called WolfKlain to say he was thinking about this show and thought of her immediately. She auditioned and got the part.

The actress, singer and dancer attended San Mateo High School and went on to the University of Arizona where she received a bachelor’s of fine arts in musical theater. She started her acting career in middle school.

“After that, I couldn’t stop,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s kind of a rush and then when people tell you how you touch them when you get off stage, it’s really very fulfilling.”

Following college graduation, WolfKlain, whose last name is a combination of both her parents’ last names, moved to Los Angeles and lived there on and off. She moved on to do shows in the Bay Area and Sacramento, along with national tours and independent films. She has one various awards, including the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Award for Best Female Principal Performance as Kathy Selden and the Stage/Scene LA Scenie Award: Best Performance by a Lead Actress for her role as Princess Fiona. Her main piece of advice to aspiring actors is to not stop trying to work.

“You can’t be scared of the word ‘no’ because that’s more than 90 percent of your career,” she said. “You strive to hear that ‘yes’ and it’s the best thing in the world when you do.”

Although WolfKlain can’t imagine not being an actress, she said she could see herself as a bridal consultant or a Pilates instructor.

As for the role of Fanny Brice, it’s a huge challenge, WolfKlain said. She sings songs like “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “People” and “You Are Woman, I Am Man.”

“You’re practically on stage the whole show,” she said. “All the songs are so iconic, so it’s going to be interesting to do my take on them because everyone has Barbra Streisand’s voice in their head. Playing Fanny — she was an iconic person in her own right.”

For more on Hillbarn, the show and to purchase tickets go to

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: wolfklain, hillbarn, fanny, stage, foster, actress,

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