A Big Performing Family

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In the performing arts field, Emily Tarallo is considered a “triple threat,” that is, “a performer who excels at acting, singing and dancing.” The Manhattan-born, auburn-haired young woman who grew up and still lives in Davie, admits she’s part of “a big performing family.” But to say her parents are just entertainers is a minimization.

Her dad, Barry Tarallo, has spent 40 years on stages across the nation. An actor, singer and guitarist, he performed on and off Broadway in Grease and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He toured in Cotton Patch Gospel, a show featuring music and lyrics by Harry Chapin. He’s been in regional shows far away and just up the road, at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, the Maltz in Jupiter, FAU Summer Rep, and the Wick Theatre in Boca Raton among others.

Emily’s mom, Amy London, has also trod dramatic venues as an actor, but often works as an artistic or stage director or a stage manager, most recently at Slow Burn Theatre and the Wick. A voice talent and freelance artist, she has even directed her daughter in dance shows.

But Barry and Emily jointly lament the fact they’ve never appeared in the same show together.

They nearly shattered that bit of theatrical history last month when they performed at two locations in Boca Raton. Emily portrayed Babette in the Wick Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast. And Barry, for the third consecutive year, was one of four Equity actors who joined Master of Fine Arts students at Florida Atlantic University for their two Summer Repertory productions – Sense and Sensibility and Into the Woods.

Emily has learned from her parents’ on-stage skills and pronounces them “my biggest inspiration.”

“My mother is a brilliant director/stage manager and my father is an actor/musician with one of the best voices I’ve ever heard,” she said. “I remember growing up, watching them perform in various theaters. It’s all I’ve ever known. They are amazing. They always give me insight from their own work experience, but they encourage me to create by own voice and craft. They are my biggest fans,” Emily said.

Barry also acknowledges his daughter’s skills. “A few performers have that extra little spark, something innate and natural. I always say that Emily has that.”

“I feel I have that because of my Dad and Mom,” Emily responded.

Though no longer married, Barry and Amy “are still very good friends,” he said. “She has stage-managed me and directed shows that I have been in.  I run a lot of things by her.”

While Emily’s passion is definitely for dance, she has learned the full range of stage performance by observing her parents. Emily smiles with much pride about how she loves walking the rear stairway of the Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables and seeing photos of her father in various stage performances hanging along the wall.

Still in her mid-20s, Emily has performed in Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Peter Pan, West Side Story, Footloose, Hair and other shows throughout the area. A choreographer and dance instructor, she has often served as dance captain in productions. “I’m responsible for conducting brush-up rehearsals, teaching choreography and making sure all the dance numbers look clean and sharp.”

When she completed the run of Beauty and the Beast, Emily moved on to another Disney-inspired show Tarzan, the Musical, which opens in October at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with Slow Burn Theater.

What’s the future hold for the young dancer/actress? “I have always dreamed of being on Broadway,” she said. “And I know that, one day, I will make it there.”


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