Talent and hard work helped provide a lead opportunity on Broadway for a 2004 Oneonta High School graduate.
Last Sunday, Carleigh Bettiol filled in for one of the lead actresses in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” several people said.
Bettiol, a cast member of the critically acclaimed show, is also one of the the understudies for Phillipa Soo, who plays Eliza Hamilton, the wife of the title character in the hip-hop-based production at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
The play is inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography “Alexander Hamilton.” Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, performs in the title role.
The opportunity arose because Soo was on vacation, Bettiol said earlier this week in response to emailed questions. Her standby filled in for the first seven shows of the week that began on Tuesday and Bettiol played the last one.
“They felt I was prepared to do it,” Bettiol said, “which was a very nice compliment and honor.”
Bettiol said she is not not surprised by the success of the show.
“Lin-Manuel is a brilliant man, and he has worked with a brilliant team of people to put this show together,” she said.
Her family was not able to see the performance, but she hoped there would be other chances.
Her grandfather, Gene Bettiol, said he was” very excited and very proud,” about her performing in the show.
“It’s something she wanted to do since she was a young girl,” he said. “It came about through a lot of hard work.”
Carleigh Bettiol said: “There are a lot of ‘No’s’ in this business, and you can’t let it get you down. You have to just keep moving on and try for the next thing!”
She added that she had wonderful teachers in Oneonta, and “I owe a ton to them.”
One of those involved along the way was Michelle Gardner, an adjunct dance instructor at SUNY Oneonta who said Friday she was among those who taught Bettiol as a young student at a local dance studio.
“She’s talented and gifted but also a hard worker,” Gardner said. She has earned every opportunity she has ever gotten. “She always gave more than was expected.”
For example, when Bettiol was a student at SUNY Oneonta, Gardner asked her to produce “A Chorus Line” as well as perform in the show. She choreographed it and ran the auditions among other responsibilities, Gardner said.
“She’s the total package,” Gardner said. “I’m very thrilled.”