Rose Sezniak , a young CUA alumna, was featured in a June 20 Washington Post article about her lead role in the musical "Mamma Mia!" See the article below.

Dancing Queen Returns to D.C.

From: Washington Post Date: June 20, 2008 Author: Amy JoyceThe reality of an actor's life hit Rose Sezniak this year when it was time to do her taxes: There wasn't one acting gig she could list.

Fortunately, she was in the midst of rehearsals for her first big ( really big) break, playing Sophie, the lead in the touring production of "Mamma Mia!," making the tax-day reality check a little more palatable. "You don't realize how much time you spend bartending," she said recently while in St. Louis with the show.

Sezniak counts herself as one of the lucky ones. The 24-year-old graduate of Catholic University's Rome School of Music says she felt like the 2 1/2 years she spent bartending between auditions while living in her ridiculously expensive New York City apartment was an eternity.

"I just feel really grateful that I'm doing it every night," she says. "I'm still sort of in that state of awe when the overture plays. I still sit back there and get chills."

Sezniak's big break came while she was taking an acting class in Manhattan. Each week, a different casting director came in as a guest teacher. She took it as an opportunity to introduce herself outside of an open-call setting. One week, she did a few songs for one of the guest teachers. The next day, she got a call asking her to audition for the role of Sophie in the musical based on the songs of Abba.

She has been on tour for three months and is looking forward to coming back to the District when the show hits the National Theatre starting Tuesday. The grueling eight-show-a-week schedule can be hard on her voice and body, but "I'm finding my limits," she says.

Some of the tour stops have been in a little less than exciting cities that are populated by strip malls and movie theaters, mostly. But Sezniak says she tries to sightsee as much as possible. When she returns to this city, she plans to visit old friends and hit a few of her favorite restaurants, such as Pizzeria Paradiso on P Street, where she used to waitress.

"There are little things I can't wait to get back to," she says, listing such places as the Brickskeller (which she plans to introduce to some of her cast mates) and Thaiphoon, the Dupont Thai restaurant she used to frequent when she lived in the neighborhood. "In D.C. I'll have tons of stuff to do."

Mamma Mia! National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-628-6161. Tuesday-July 13. $46.50-$151.50.