EXCLUSIVE: TALKING ‘TITANIQUE’ WITH CARRIE ST. LOUIS

There isn’t a theatrical experience in New York City at the moment that will make you laugh harder than Titanique.

An outrageous and hilarious Off-Broadway musical set to the iconic song catalog of Celine Dion, Titanique is equal parts a parody of and an homage to the classic film, Titanic. Full of nostalgia, biting pop culture references, and an absurdly brilliant take on “what really happened to Jack and Rose on that fateful night,” the show is a guaranteed feel-good time that will have you crying tears of laughter throughout its entire 100-minute duration.

As Rose (the leading lady made famous by Kate Winslet), Carrie St. Louis is an immediate stand-out amongst the vastly talented cast. With a soaring voice and impeccable comic timing, her Rose pays remarkable tribute to the source material while also reinventing the character into a scene-stealing comedienne. I caught up with St. Louis about her voyage on the ship of dreams, the enduring legacy of Titanic, how no two performances of Titanique are the same, and much more.

AKN: Growing up, what was your relationship to the movie Titanic? When did you first see it? Were you a big fan?

CSL: I first saw the movie when I was a teenager and I remember being blown away.  It then came on TV again in my early 20’s and I found myself glued to the screen and bawled my eyes out at the end. All of the CGI still stands up. It’s timeless!

Similarly, how impactful have Celine Dion and her music been on you as a vocalist?

I mean, what vocalist hasn’t been influenced by Celine Dion? She’s the GOAT! I definitely listened to her growing up and got to meet her when I was living in Las Vegas doing Rock of Ages. I’ll never be the same!

Of all the characters in the show, it seems Rose utters the most exact quotes from the movie. How do you balance the humor of this piece while reciting direct lines from the script?

I try to maintain the essence of Kate Winslet’s Rose from the movie instead of imitating her line readings. There’s a specific comedic style to Titanique, so it’s fun to play within those parameters while keeping my Rose earnest and true to the movie/story.

There’s a lot of room in the show for improv, which allows cast members to keep references and punchlines super current. For example, when I saw it, there were nods to the season two finale of The White Lotus and to Patti LuPone resigning from the Actors’ Equity Association. Do these adlibs keep the show as fresh for the performers as they do for the audience?

Oh yeah! No two shows are ever the same. I break onstage constantly because my cast mates are always cracking me up. It keeps things fun and fresh and the show is ever evolving. We are having an absolute blast onstage.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Titanic. As a result, the film was back at the top of the theater box offices and James Cameron even released a documentary focused on the infamous ending. What is it about the movie that you think makes audiences still have such a strong appetite for content surrounding it a quarter of a century after its debut?

As I said before, Titanic is timeless. The CGI stands up, the performances are stunning, the love story is iconic, and the score is *chefs kiss* ! There’s such nostalgia that accompanies it as well. You never forget the first time you saw Titanic.

Where do you land in the debate about whether Jack could have fit on the door with Rose?

He 100% could have fit!!

If Kate Winslet were to come see the show, would you want to know ahead of time? What do you hope that she would think of your interpretation of Rose?

I would definitely want to know if Kate came! I’d be so nervous but I would love to meet her!! I honestly just hope she’d laugh her ass off and have fun at the show!

Celine Dion’s repertoire is full of giant, octave-scaling power ballads. As someone who is also a vocal coach, how do you preserve your voice in between shows to be able to tackle these songs eight times a week?

8 shows a week are no joke! Vocal stamina is essential because it’s a marathon not a sprint. I preach about vocal health in my studio. Lots of sleep, lots of water, vocal warmups and relying on solid technique to get through the show!

In Cruel Intentions, Constantine Rousouli also co-starred as your love interest. Why do you think you two have such great chemistry and how is working with him this second time around different than the first?

Constantine is one of my best friends. We just get each other and bounce off of each other so well. We share the same sense of humor and he’s such a great teammate. We genuinely have so much fun both on and offstage which is essential. This show is different because Connie is one of the writers! I get to breathe life into material that my best friend wrote. It just fits. I’ll follow him to the ends of the Earth!

You also starred as Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. Are you excited for the movie? What do you hope that Ariana Grande brings to/expands upon with this role

I’m very excited for the movie! I think Ariana will be fantastic. Her brother Frankie was our original Victor Garber and I just adore him. He speaks the world of her (obviously) and her voice is insane. Plus, she’s a musical theater girl from the start! I can’t wait to see her portrayal of Glinda.

Additional Broadway credits of yours include Kinky Boots and Rock of Ages. Do you have a musical theater dream role/show?

Elle Woods in Legally Blonde! And I’d love to create a new Broadway role. :)

Titanique has been extended several times and is currently scheduled to close on September 10. Are you able to share where your fans might be able to see you next?

Since the show just got extended again, you’ll be able to see me as Rose a bit longer! And I have some upcoming news that I can’t share yet so stay tuned!


Buy tickets to Titanique, now playing through September 10 at the Daryl Roth Theatre in New York City.


PHOTOS | CHAD DAVID KRAUS

About ALEX KELLEHER-NAGORSKI 171 Articles
Alex has been writing for PopBytes since 2011. As the Theater Editor, he focuses on all aspects of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theater, and beyond. Alex lives in Western Massachusetts and can be found on Twitter at @AlexKNagorski.