Davie’s Julia Dale is that sweet, adorable, cutie-pie 12-year-old who belted “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Miami Heat NBA finals games and wowed us all.
But now, Dale is bringing her golden pipes to the role of a not-so-sweet, not-so-adorable, cutie-pie-from-hell in the satirical comedy “Ruthless! The Musical,” opening Friday night at Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables. She plays Tina Denmark, a pint-size sociopath in the musical mash-up of “The Bad Seed,” “All About Eve,” “Gypsy” and “Mame.”
“I never want to become her,” says Dale, who is in the seventh grade at Indian Ridge Middle School. “She is crazy. She’ll do anything. I hope I never turn out to be like Tina. She is intense. “
Dale started singing along with “The Wizard of Oz” when she was 2, and first hit the big time performing at a Marlins game at age 7. Since then, the 4-foot-3-inch diva has not only sung the national anthem at Heat games but also at boxing matches, a NASCAR race at Homestead Speedway, the Sony Open tennis tournament on Key Biscayne and Fort Lauderdale Strikers games.
I caught up with Dale just before a rehearsal for a quick Q&A:
How did you get this role, and what did you think about playing this little brat?
We had heard about the audition. I didn’t know much about “Ruthless,” and when I got the lines, I was very shocked. But I wanted to do it. I wanted to do it because it is such a hysterical play.
Have you done any stage work before this?
Yes, I’ve done certain things, but this is my first real professional theater. I’ve done “Cats” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts. And I did “Annie” and “Madeline’s Christmas,” also at Broward Center.
How do you deal with all this and school?
It’s definitely busy. My teachers are really supportive. I do my homework in the car drive down here, because it’s such a long drive down here. My family really helps me stay balanced.
There are some adult themes in this musical — really over-the-top, campy stuff. One female role is played by a man in drag. How do you handle that?
There are some parts that are for — I’m just going to say — for adults. But it’s nothing terrible that they felt like they had to change. It’s all in good fun. It’s all just hilarious fun and outrageous.
What do you do when you’re not working on being a star?
I love to read. I love to write, as well. I have a little sister who’s 7, and she helps me, when I’m not performing, to be a normal kid. I love to be with her.
I hear you don’t watch shows that might have inspired this kind of character, shows such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” or “Toddlers and Tiaras” or “Dance Moms.” So what do you watch on TV?
I watch “Glee.” I like “Pretty Little Liars.” Musical movies, anything with music, really. I just love all the things that 12-year-old girls love.
So what do you listen to?
I have a variety, like some of the older singers like Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn. I also like Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga. I have a very mixed iPod.
IF YOU GO:
Ruthless! The Musical
When: Oct. 11-Nov. 3, with shows at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. matinees Sundays
Where: Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
Cost: $40 for weeknights and matinees; $48 for Fridays and Saturdays
Contact: 305-444-9293 or ActorsPlayhouse.org.