An Interview with Lori Eure

This week at Brass Chicks, we are pleased to share an interview with Lori Eure. Lori is a singer, actor, musician, and dancer, who also doubles on a variety of instruments. In the recent Cabaret national tour, she performed on trumpet, horn, euphonium, and accordion, in addition to singing, acting, and dancing. A true quadruple threat, Lori has a unique perspective on musicianship and artistic life.

About Lori Eure

headshot 3 .jpgLori Eure, originally from North Carolina, currently lives in New York, NY. Lori is a singer, actor, musician, and dancer. Some theatre credits include: Broadway: Cabaret (at the infamous Studio 54) Sally Bowles understudy/Kit Kat Girl. National tour: Cabaret. Regional Theatre: Ring of FireThe Buddy Holly Story, Wonderland, We Will Rock You (Las Vegas Cast), Beehive at The Kennedy Center, Annie, and Guys-n-Dolls. TV credits include: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Spin City. Lori gives much thanks and love to her family and friends. “Life and love go on… Let the music play!”

From Ravelle Brickman’s review of Cabaret in DC Metro Theatre Arts:
“…Some of the stand-outs are Lori Eure, who cavorts on a bannister while playing a mean French horn, plus a gaggle of sax players, horns and strings, clarinets, accordions and drums and even a banjo.”


1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am originally from a small town called Roaonke Rapids in NC. (Don’t think anyone has heard of this town, haha.) I have been living in NYC for almost 20 years. I moved to NY to become a performer and work on Broadway. I have been fortunate to have worked as a performer/musician throughout most of my 20 years in NY. I mostly do musical theatre and play trumpet with bands on and off. It hasn’t always been easy, but I love what I do.

I recently just finished the National tour of Cabaret, where I had worked for the past year and a half. What a ride that was. I got to play trumpet, French horn, euphonium, and even the accordion. I was also a swing, which means I covered all the female ensemble roles, I was the understudy for the role of Fraulein Kost, and I was also the dance captain. Throughout that time, I had the joy of working with Music Director Patrick Vaccariello, who has been a mentor and inspiration to me. It has been a very busy year and a half!!

2. What do you love about being a female actor? What about being a female brass player?
Hummm. These are a couple of tough questions to answer. What I like about being a female brass player is that when I walk into a room or play a gig it’s unexpected. People assume women don’t play brass… women should play woodwind instruments. So that’s kinda cool, to blow people away with playing brass. Plus I think it’s sexy.

3. How has instrumental music played a role in your life since you began to pursue a career in theatre?
I guess you could say I have finally found my “niche” in my career in theatre. There seems to be a trend within the past 15 years in theatre that you have to play an instrument as well as sing, dance, and act. You have to be a quadruple threat. The revival of Cabaret in 98’ directed by Sam Mendes and choreographed by Rob Marshall was unique in the sense that the cast was the orchestra and played on stage. This was my first big show and I got cast because I happen to also be a musician who plays trumpet and French horn. I got lucky!!! However, it wasn’t easy to land this show; I auditioned for over a year before I got cast. Grueling, to say the least. I was very young and “green,” but I kept being persistent and never gave up because I knew this show was perfect for me.

Since Cabaret, there have been more musicals that require the cast to be quadruple threats. Director John Doyle, for example, likes to have his actors play instruments. He has directed Company and Sweeney Todd, which required all actors to play an instrument of some sort.

I have also done a lot of productions of The Buddy Holly Story where I play piano and trumpet, and also Ring Of Fire (Johny Cash), where I play guitar and stand up bass. So I am not the typical traditional musical theatre performer. I like to challenge myself and force myself to do as much as possible. I tend to go for shows that are more edgy.

4. How did you end up playing brass as well as acting, singing, and dancing in the recent Cabaret national tour? What did that job listing and audition look like? Additionally, how often were you practicing brass instruments before you got involved with this Cabaret production?
Let’s see. I got interested in music and theatre at a very early age. Started taking dance lessons at 5 years old and then I started taking piano lessons in the third grade. And then in the fifth grade I wanted to play the French Horn. However, at my school the band director said French Horn was too hard and I had to play the trumpet for a year. I wasn’t completely happy about that, but I am glad I learned the trumpet. Right after that year I switched to French Horn and played throughout my teenage years and actually had a scholarship to play French Horn in college. I was a busy young adult juggling band, dance, sports, and community theatre. Thankfully, I have a very supportive family in everything I do. I am very fortunate to have such great parents.

In college I was a double major in music and also musical theatre with a minor in dance. Then I decided to just be a musical theatre major and not French Horn. I wanted to be a starving actor, I guess.

When I moved to NY in ’97, I had $1,000 to my name, but I got lucky and booked a show called Hello Dolly. I was just in the ensemble but was thrilled to book my first show out of NY. Then I saw the ad for Cabaret which read something like this:

{seeking female/male actors who can sing and dance and also can play one of the following instruments… trumpet, violin, banjo, piano, sax, clarinet, and cello}

So I auditioned for Cabaret. I thought for sure I would get cast immediately… nope, I was wrong! Little did I know, it would take over a year to get cast. The audition process was insane! We had to sing, dance, read sides, and then play our instruments.

At that time I wasn’t playing my instruments much at all. I had to dust the cobwebs off a little. I remember getting my embouchure back into shape and thinking my lips were going to fall off my face!!!

But I booked the national tour in 2000 and then in 2002 I booked Cabaret on Broadway for my Broadway debut! I had the wonderful pleasure of getting to be the understudy for Sally Bowles in the show. What a dream come true. Then I recently booked the revival tour in 2016.

I remember the first day of rehearsal back in 2000 and the musical director asked me if I played euphonium and I said no… but I learned how! And now I am obsessed with the euphonium. It’s such a cool brass instrument and so much fun to play.

4.Are there any significant psychological differences for you between instrumental performance and theatrical performance? How do you prepare to perform, and does it change based on what kind of performance you are doing?
Absolutely, there are differences between preparing for instrumental and theatrical performances. When preparing for instrumental gigs, I have to warm up my instrument and do long tones and get my embouchure ready to play. When preparing for theatrical performances, I have to warm up my body, my voice, and get mentally prepared for the role. I feel it’s more time consuming warming up for a theatrical performance. That is why Cabaret was so challenging: I had to prepare for both before every show.

5. Is there anything you wish you had known as a student or young professional thatl you know now? Any advice that you’d like to share with younger female musicians?

Hummmm. I wish I would have known how hard it was going to be. I knew it was going to be tough and lots of competition, but goodness, I had no idea.

My advice is to practice every day and ALWAYS be yourself and true to who you are. “Compare” leads to “despair.” There is only one you, and no one can be as great as you. Don’t try to fit the mold that the casting director or musical director wants to put you into. Just be yourself, be persistent, be brave, be bold, and never give up. Oh, yeah, and discipline helps as well.

6. Any resources you recommend? For example, are there any books, podcasts, recordings, etc, that changed your life?
The one thing that changed my life and made me realize I wanted to be a French horn/brass player was a recording of The Planets, by Gustav Holst. The moment I heard this recording I knew I wanted to play French horn.

Now I listen to a lot of jazz, New Orleans funk, and old-school hip hop. I say, listen to anything that makes you feel good or moves you.

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