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Bundy juggles musical appearance and TV show

Bundy will soon appear in 'How I Met Your Mother'

rcopley@herald-leader.comSeptember 30, 2010 

Laura Bell Bundy, who performed at the 2010 Red, White and Boom concert, will give a longer show Friday downtown.

  • IF YOU GO

    Spotlight Lexington: Laura Bell Bundy

    When: 8 p.m. Oct. 1

    Where: Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza stage, Main St. and Limestone

    Admission: Free

    Learn more: Spotlightlexky.com

    MORE SPOTLIGHT SHOWS

    This weekend's Spotlight Lexington lineup:

    Oct. 1

    CentrePointe block: Live Games telecast — eventing, 1-3 p.m.

    At Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza: Andy Davis, soul, 7 p.m. Laura Bell Bundy, country, 8 p.m.

    At Cheapside Park: Lexington En Vogue 2010 Fashion Show, 6 p.m. Track 3, classic rock, 8 p.m.

    At Triangle Park: Kentucky Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Oct. 2

    CentrePointe block: Live Games telecast — eventing, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

    At Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza: The City, jazz, 4 p.m. Swing Street, variety dance band, 8 p.m.

    At Cheapside Park: Young at Heart, big band, 1 p.m. Swingin' on Main dance event, 5 p.m.

    At Triangle Park: Kentucky Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. "Guys and Gals," 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mecca, dance group, 11 a.m. Banners community project, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. McTeggart Irish Dancers, 2 p.m. Recycled jewelry kids activity, 2-6 p.m. Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra Kinder Konzert, 4 and 5:30 p.m.

    Oct. 3

    CentrePointe block: Live Games telecast — eventing, 1-4:45 p.m.

    At Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza: Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, 5 p.m. Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, 7 p.m.

    At Cheapside Park: Jason Scott Band, country, 3 p.m. Better Off Dead, rock, 5:30 p.m. Stir Fry, world/jazz, 8 p.m.

    At Triangle Park: Kentucky Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jockey Silks: Design Your Own kids activity, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. David Garrard's Magic Show, 11 a.m., 2:30 and 5 p.m. Bluegrass Youth Ballet: Alebrijes, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Postcards From Kentucky kids activity, 2-6 p.m.

Every time Laura Bell Bundy comes home to Lexington, there's a new line on her résumé.

When she played the Red, White and Boom concert July 3, it was "country music hit maker" because she was promoting her major-label debut album, Achin' and Shakin'.

Now, as she prepares to take another downtown stage on Friday night for the Spotlight Lexington festival, Bundy is adding credits under "actress."

In the 1990s, she had appearances on Home Improvement and other TV shows, and a few film roles, most notably in Jumanji. As her adult career began, Bundy steered into daytime TV, spending a couple of years playing Marah Lewis on The Guiding Light before she took to Broadway, originating the roles of Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray: The Musical and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, and playing Glinda in Wicked.

But TV fans will see Bundy in their living rooms again in a guest role on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

"It was kind of out of the blue," Bundy said during a phone call last week. "I didn't prepare for it; I didn't audition for it. It was just sort of offered to me."

She said she knows she will appear in two episodes playing Robin's (Cobie Smulders) co-host and rival on Metro News One, and she goes on a date with Ted (Josh Radnor). That put her in contention to be the title mother, although reports quickly put the kibosh on that idea.

"I don't think anyone would want her to be the mother," Bundy, 29, said of her character. "She's supposed to be kind of annoying."

But leaving an air of mystery about the part, Bundy said, "If I was the mother, they wouldn't tell you, they wouldn't tell me either, or Entertainment Weekly."

Bundy said she is a fan of the show, and particularly of Neil Patrick Harris, who she said is a friend through Broadway circles. Her stint on the show prompted some fans to hope there would be a little song and dance between the two.

"Maybe karaoke at that little bar they hang out in," Bundy said, but at the time of the conversation, she did not know a lot about the part.

Shooting the show forced Bundy to bow out of Spotlight Lexington's Broadway showcase, set for Monday night on the Courthouse Plaza stage. That free show will include Central Kentucky Broadway veterans J.C. Montgomery and Lyndy Franklin Smith, and Jason Heymann, who has been on the national tour of Avenue Q.

But Bundy will bring her complete country show downtown on Friday.

It's the culmination of a progression of Achin' and Shakin' shows that started in April, when Bundy came to Lexington for an acoustic showcase at Wal-Mart in Hamburg the day her album was released. Red, White and Boom was an abbreviated showcase, but she said Friday "is going to be the way I like to put on a show: the full Bell Bundy burrito."

Some of the ingredients will be a few more Achin' and Shakin' songs than she sang July 3, some familiar tunes and "antics," she says. "I think the stage will be closer to the crowd, so it will be more interactive. I may start a mosh pit or something."

For Bundy, it is a chance to be part of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games experience; the Spotlight festival is being staged in conjunction with the Games. But then, "it always means a lot to me to come home and perform," the Lexington Catholic High School graduate says. "It reminds me of where I came from and where it all started."

Reach Rich Copley at (859) 231-3217 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3217.

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