Is thrilled to be participating in Dancers For Good’s celebration of the Actors Fund honoring the Legendary Chita Rivera and Bebe Neuwirth. Stephanie first met and had the pleasure of working with Ms. Neuwirth while dancing in the ensemble of her very first Bob Fosse show, the 1985 Revival of Sweet Charity. Bebe played Nicky Pignatelli and went on to receive her first of two Tony Awards for her portrayal of the tough-as-nails taxi dancer.
Ms. Rivera played the same role in the 1969 film version and it was there in her living room that Stephanie, a young girl from the projects of Spanish Harlem, first set eyes on the Latin spitfire named Chita….and dreamed! In 1993, when Stephanie was invited to join the cast of Kiss of the Spider Woman as Ms. Rivera’s stand-by, she jumped at the offer to watch and learn from the legend. As fate, luck and the gods would have it, she later got to sharethe stage with Ms. Rivera as none other than Velma Kelly (the role Chita originated and Bebe revived) opposite Ms. Rivera’s Roxy Hart in the national tour of CHICAGO.
Having appeared in over 10 Broadway shows, The Actors Fund is no stranger to Ms. Pope. Whether performing that extra show to help benefit the organization, performing her cabaret act with proceeds going towards it or seeking assistance herself, The Actors Fund holds a special place in her heart. The resources that they have in place from career and health insurance counseling to emergency financial aid to senior care and flu shots, the Actors Fund has been invaluable in her life and the life of countless others in the theatre community.
Tirelessly at the helm of the Actors Fund is its President, friend and colleague, Brian “Stokes” Mitchell. Ms. Pope has had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mitchell when he joined the cast of Jelly’s Last Jam where she appeared as one of the original Hunnies on Broadway.
Stephanie is a dancer, singer and actress and a musical theater veteran with a career spanning over 35 years. Broadway and touring credits include the revival of Pippin, for which she received an Astaire Award nomination, an ACCA Award and the beloved Gypsy Robe, Chicago(Velma Kelly), Thoroughly Modern Millie(Muzzy Van Hossmere), Fosse (Leading Player), Smokey Joe’s Cafe(Brenda), A Funny Thing… Forum(Gymnasia), Kiss of The Spider Woman(Stand-by for Ms. Chita Rivera), Jelly’s Last Jam(The Hunnies) and The Will Rogers Follies…just to name a few.
Stephanie has the distinct honor of having been hand-picked to work with the legendary director/choreographer, Bob Fosse, along with his former wife and muse, Gwen Verdon on her first two Broadway shows, the revival of Sweet Charity starring Debbie Allen and Bebe Neuwirth and Bob Fosse’e Big Deal. She holds the distinct and treasured title of being a “Fosse Dancer”.
In addition to her work with Mr. Fosse and Ms. Verdon, Stephanie has shared the stage with such luminaries as Chita Rivera, Ben Vereen, Donna McKechnie, MariLu Henner, Gregory Hines, Brian “Stokes” Mitchell and Nathan Lane. She has worked with directors and choreographers such as Tommy Tune, Christopher Chadman, Chet Walker, Anne Reinking, Rob Marshall, Kathleen Marshall, Peter Gennaro, Michael Kidd, Michael Peters, Jerry Zaks, George C. Wolfe, Hal Prince, Alex Sanchez, Diane Paulus and Regina Taylor.
In addition to her work on the stage, screen and television, Ms. Pope is a certified Hot Yoga instructor. In 2008, in an effort to give back to her Harlem community she opened Bikram Yoga East Harlem, which she operated for eight years and was named one of the top 10 hot yoga studios in the country. She continues to teach hot yoga whenever her schedule permits incorporating her understanding of the human body learned through her years of dancing.
When not performing or teaching hot yoga, Stephanie enjoys spending quality time with her fiance, Aarne Lofgren and her 15 year old daughter, Mari.