Just a few weeks ago, Hawaiian-born actress Ruthie Ann Miles took home the Tony Award for her performance as Lady Thiang in Lincoln Center's revival of The King and I. Here, she shares her favorite New York City spots and what she thinks of the state of Broadway.
What's the best place to grab a cheap meal near Lincoln Center?
Blossom du Jour has been my favorite place to grab a salad or wrap before a performance. It's a 100% Vegan fast food, so they have a nice grab-n-go section. The area around Lincoln Center is a great place for hungry people. Between Columbus Circle and the intersection of Broadway/Columbus, there are lots of hidden gems. I never get tired of exploring new restaurants near my work.
Best post-show dessert?
Schmackary's Cookies. Hands down. And they deliver, too! (Plus the owner is a theater-lover, and hosts Broadway Bakes, an annual event that supports Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, so... a big cookie win!)
Best coffee shop?
I love a good chai latte! There's a small shop along Columbus called The Muffins Cafe, and they are the epitome of cute coffee shop. Their menu includes pastries and any kind of drink you could want. Also, Juice Generation has the Ginger Fix, which is essentially the best hot chai you'll ever have in your life.
PJ Clarke's is great for any definition of a post-show treat. My husband takes Scotch, I take a Hot Toddy.
Where do you go on your night off?
Theaters are typically "dark" on Monday nights, so Monday's are reserved for family time. I spend a lot of time at work, so when I am home, my husband and I like to support the local restaurants near our home in Brooklyn. We love the restaurants on both 5th and 7th avenues in Park Slope. We have a toddler, and we appreciate the kid-friendly restaurants in our 'hood.
What do you think of the state of Broadway?
I am excited to see the wave of new Asians stories coming on to the Broadway stage! Year after year in the city, so many talented, hard-working Asian-American actors audition for the chance to play one of the (very) few Asian roles available on Broadway. We are first, second, even fourth-generation Americans, but these are not the roles we often portray. We look forward to the day when we can play American roles, not just Asian-American roles—telling American stories, not just Asian-American stories.
What makes this revival of The King and I special?
This revival of The King And I on Broadway is special because the Lincoln Center Theater has cast every Asian character to be played by an Asian person. This is a great step in the ask for having more Asian-American presence on the main stage.
What makes the theater scene in New York unique?
Our theater scene is unique because New York is where many new writers come to be inspired. This is where they make connections and meet collaborators, where they create and test new work. Here, we have supportive audiences who give intelligent feedback, and we have stages of almost all shapes and sizes. From conception to reality, New York is where theater is born and raised. That's pretty special.
What are you most looking forward to about this summer in the city?
I look forward to very many things this summer! I look forward to Midsummer Night Swing dancing in Lincoln Center square; I look forward to eating the veggies growing in our backyard; and I especially look forward to teaching our daughter how to ride her scooter!
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