House Blend | Episode 25a: Sara Niemietz
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sara made her Broadway debut as young Carol Burnett in Hollywood Arms, at 10, written by Ms. Burnett and her daughter, Carrie Hamilton. Its legendary director, Hal Prince, remarked that Sara “possesses an extraordinary voice and acting honesty, and a personality that leaps across the stage.” A short time later, Sara originated the title role of Pamela in “Pamela’s First Musical,” based on the book by Wendy Wasserstein, with music by Cy Coleman and David Zippel. Ms. Wasserstein praised Sara as “an astonishing performer.”
Having relocated to Los Angeles from her native Illinois, Sara started by releasing her first CD, produced by Charles Faris, “Live At The Cat Club,” which chronicled her 12-song set at the noted venue. She sang the National Anthem for both the LA Dodgers and San Diego Padres, and appeared on the “Sugar Beats” CD as a lead singer. She was the singing voice of Polly Pocket, and also recorded the end credit song in the animated Barbie DVD, “Barbie as the Princess and The Pauper.”
In addition to musical appearances, featured appearances include Providence (NBC), First Monday (CBS), and Gilmore Girls (The WB) and Polly in the hit feature film, Akeelah and the Bee, with Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.
In 2005, noted film composer Christopher Young hired her as the lead voice in his score for “The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.” After completing the music, Young remarked, “Without Sara’s voice, there would be no score – I have never in my life seen someone at her age so thoroughly professional.” She continued her work with Young in 2008 for the film “The Uninvited,” in which her vocals were featured.
While continuing acting and maintaining an “A” average at school, Sara also managed to record an independent CD, Without A Net. Sara teamed with well-known record producer John Boylan.
Sara is also featured in the cast recording of the upcoming musical based on the film, “Teen Witch,” called “Teen Witch, The Musical,” and recorded a song for the movie soundtrack, “Moondance Alexander.”
In 2007, Sara became the toast of the Los Angeles theatre community. After appearing in the workshop production, she landed the coveted role of Patrice, in Jason Robert Brown’s new musical, 13. It featured an all-teen cast, and enjoyed a two-month run at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles. According to director Todd Graff, Sara was perfect for the part: “She had the vulnerability and the sweetness and the intelligence that the character needed. And she sang her butt off,” Graff added. Sara’s reviews were phenomenal: Daily Variety praised her as a “standout” that has “genuine warmth.” Curtain Up magazine crowed “Niemietz shines during her solo, and takes impressive command of the stage with only a notebook sharing the spotlight.”
In 2010, Sara graduated 7th in her high school class and began working with Emmy award-winning composer and musician, Snuffy Walden. The two write extensively and enjoy a successful collaboration. Last season, Sara joined the TV show Glee as the on-stage guitarist.
Sara appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in May 2011, after Ellen came across a video of her singing and requested she perform.
In June of 2012, Sara appeared on Richard Marx’s DVD and television special, “A Night Out With Friends,” singing a duet of his classic, “Keep Coming Back.” Niemietz also collaborated with W.G. Snuffy Walden and released her new EP of original material, Push Play on June 14, 2012. Her work with Richard Marx continued when the two sang a duet on his album Christmas Spirit. Niemietz also released her own collection of Christmas music, titled Christmas Favorites.
Recently, B.J. Thomas invited her to record on his new record, The Living Room Sessions due out in the spring of 2013. Her writing and singing also appear in the end titles of several new films: “Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy,” “In the Key of Eli,” and “Stetson: Street Dog of Park City.” In January 2013, Sara was thrilled to return to the Mark Taper Forum to play the role of Wanda in “Enter Laughing,” a one-night production, fundraiser, and tribute to Carl Reiner.
Sara continues writing and recording music and frequently performs in the Los Angeles area, sharing her soulful sound with unique, heartfelt shows.
ABOUT THE HOST
“House Blend” host, writer and co-producer Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” 1992), award-winning radio writer-producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,” 1988-1990) and veteran record company executive (Capitol, Elektra/Asylum, Rhino). A Canyon Country resident since early 1988, Peeples wrote about the SCV music scene for The Signal newspaper in 2004-2006 and was Managing Editor of the My Santa Clarita community website in 2006-2007. He was The Signal’s Online Editor and social media manager from October 2007 to May 2011. In 2009 he was honored when The-Signal.com was named “Best Website” by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. A jazz and rock drummer since he was 12, Peeples was a member of the underground West L.A. garage band Peaking Duck from 1977-2008. In 2010, he co-founded the SCV-based jazz quartet RainTree.@2011SCVTV