Disney Starlet Broadway Bound
"What's the sitch?" That's the question usually asked on Disney Channel's popular action 'toon, Kim Possible. For Christy Carlson Romano — the voice behind the cheerleader-turned-crime-fighter — here's the sitch: At 19, the Even Stevens star will be the youngest performer ever to play the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She debuts today. So we decided to call — not beep — Romano to reach her about returning to the Great White Way.
If you didn't get that "beep" reference, don't feel bad — it just means you're old. "It has always been a dream of mine to be Belle," she tells TV Guide Online. "Most of the girls who are either big fans of Even Stevens or Kim Possible are about 6 to 14, so they love Belle, anyway. But they'll see me in a different light, I think."
Well, not too different. Though theatergoers will get to witness her singing and dancing talents, Beauty and the Beast isn't exactly as shocking as Hairspray. Romano's young admirers, and their parents, will be relieved to know this young actress wants to keep up her PG image. "I am really not attracted to roles that exhibit bad behavior or send any sort of bad messages to kids," she insists. "I think that is just not appropriate for me. If I'm going to do something, it should at least have a good and positive message. At the end of the day, I'll like myself for it. I very much accept being a role model for kids."
If that sounds very diplomatic, it should. In between working on Kim Possible, rehearsing for Beauty and trying to record her first album, the busy Romano is a political science major at Manhattan's Barnard College. What's this Hollywood girl's attraction to politics about?
"When I was about 14, I did this leadership conference in Philadelphia, where I met Bush, Clinton and a lot of other political figures," she says enthusiastically. "I got to interview Gore and I was bitten by the bug then. I started thinking, 'Oh, wow, maybe I should start thinking about what I really want to do with my future.'"