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Springs native moves happily from Disney to Depression 

click to enlarge It aint easy being poor and sober.
  • It aint easy being poor and sober.
Most people spend their undergrad toiling away at serving or retail jobs, just to make enough dough to buy the value pack of ramen, instead of the regular size. After all, it's part of the college experience.

Amy Sue Hardy, musical theater actress and vocalist, is not most people.

Although Hardy harbored an interest in singing throughout childhood, she didn't receive a break until 16, when she auditioned for a show at a Six Flags in Missouri. This led to a series of small gigs that financed Hardy's music education degree at the University of Illinois, a feat that her family and friends never imagined possible.

"My parents didn't even know I could sing," she says.

After college, Hardy performed with Disney pop group Nobody's Angel for several years before moving to Colorado Springs in 2001 to play Sandy in Grease at the Fine Arts Center.

"I've never called anyplace but the Springs home," Hardy says. "My whole philosophy on my future is, if opportunity comes your way, you just have to say 'yes.'"

This free-spirited, open-to-anything attitude led Hardy to embrace Prohibition- and Depression-era music that she discovered to be "so well-written." Singers like Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday inspired her to venture out of her bubble-gum-pop comfort zone.

"There was a real wealth of emotion coming from that era," she says.

Amy Sue Hardy Sings Songs of the Prohibition and Depression Eras, a one-woman show, aims to recreate pieces from the Jazz Age and 1930s movie musicals. However, the production is much more than a simple recital of pieces. Hardy enthusiastically emphasizes the spoken-reflection portion of the show, a portrayal of life in the '20s and '30s.

"We are trying to give people a theatrical approach," she says. "Our goal is to give people the emotion of the time."

Amy Sue Hardy Sings Songs of the Prohibition and Depression Eras first of five concerts in the Thursday Night Recital Series

Louisa Performing Arts Center at The Colorado Springs School,

21 Broadmoor Ave.

Thursday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $10-$15; call 475-9747 for more information.

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