A New York congresswoman who dreamt of being a ballerina as a teen before being badly hurt in a car crash is getting a chance to make her stage debut.
It may not be the biggest of roles — a corpse — but Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney will be on stage for opening night of American Ballet Theatre's production of "Romeo and Juliet" on June 10 at the Metropolitan Opera House.
"It's a lifelong dream and I've made it, even if it is as a corpse," Maloney said. "I don't think I'll be quitting my day job anytime soon, though."
Maloney will play one of the bodies in the Capulet family crypt during the famous final scene where Romeo and Juliet take their own lives.
Maloney said she always wanted to be a ballerina and studied dance "very seriously" as a youth. But at 17, she was hit by a drunk driver and was lucky to still be able to walk afterward.
She got a second chance at her dream after joking with a longtime friend, ABT Board President Sharon Patrick, last year. Maloney said Patrick encouraged her to take on the role — and will join her on stage because the scene calls for two bodies.
ABT spokeswoman Kelly Ryan said the role has been offered up to those outside of the company before as a fundraising prize. Last year, the role was auctioned off for $1,200.
"The role has become a little bit coveted," Ryan said.