October 31, 2014
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Cranston singer in key role in ‘Cirque Dreams Holidaze’
Don Fowler

Christiana Rodi had just arrived at her hotel in Birmingham, Ala. when I caught up with her. The Cranston native flew there from Michigan, where the weather was much colder, and would perform in Delaware before coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center for a week’s run as the Ice Queen, one of three lead vocalists in “Cirque Dreams Holidaze.” From there, it is on to Hartford and then ending the tour on Jan. 2 in Ft. Myers, Fla.

“This has been a very exciting experience,” Christiana said. “I’m working with so many wonderful and talented people from 12 countries. Only seven of the 27 performers are from the United States.

“We had a short rehearsal time, which was a little tough with so many different languages spoken,” she said. “We have one interpreter who speaks six languages.”

Rodi grew up in Cranston, the daughter of Ed and Cookie Rodi.

“My mother is a very well-known singer in the Rhode Island area and she taught me everything,” she said. “I have been singing in Rhode Island since I was very young and have followed in my mother’s footsteps in that sense.”

Rodi attended St. Rocco’s school in Johnston and graduated in the class of 2007 at St. Mary Academy-Bay View. She attended the Conservatory Program at the Hartt School in Hartford. While growing up, Christiana did “a lot” of community theatre, including Cranston Community Theatre, City Nights Dinner Theatre and also at the all-boys Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick.

“Coming from an all-girls school, it was fun going to Hendricken to perform with all boys,” Rodi said. “They have an outstanding theatre program there.”

She has also been a cantor at St. Martha’s Church in East Providence since she was a high school senior and has sung with the Gregorian Concert Choir at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

“I’ve also sung at weddings, funerals and special occasions throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts,” she added.

While classically trained and encouraged in that direction, Christiana prefers musical theatre. She spent last summer performing in “Showboat” at Goodspeed Opera House.

“‘Cirque Dreams’ is filled with wonderful music and circus performers, and has a more traditional storyline to it,” Rodi said.

There are spectacular costumes and “astonishing feats of disbelief," according to the press reports. We saw “Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy” a couple of years ago and loved it. It is truly a show for the entire family.

Christiana returns home to her family and friends after the show closes and starts the inevitable search for her next show. With her incredible talent, she shouldn’t have any problem, although she admits that being out of New York City makes it more of a challenge.

“All of my family and friends are here, so it is always nice to come back and see them,” she said. “They are all so supportive and mean the world to me.”

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” is at the Providence Performing Arts Center Dec. 13-18. For tickets call 421-ARTS.


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