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Brie Mueller: Lead of ‘Sugar: A Cabaret’

CDN’s weekly community profile

Brie Mueller is lead of "Sugar: A Cabaret," a Bellingham production funded by American Theatre Northwest, a nonprofit theater company founded by Mueller and her husband. (Jack Warren/Cascadia Daily News)
By Jaya Flanary Digital Editor/Designer

Brie Mueller

Age: 46

City: Bellingham

Lived here for: 9 years

Originally from: Tampa, Florida

Notable: Co-creator of American Theater Northwest, lead of "Sugar: A Cabaret," mother, real estate agent, PTA president, lead singer of The Brie Mueller Band.

Has theater/music/performing always been a big part of your life and/or your childhood?

I probably started dancing and singing when I was 3 years old. My mom was an actor, and so I kind of grew up around that. I was able to do professional children’s theater pretty much half my childhood life. It was just a passion. I kind of got out of it for a little bit, then got back into doing my band stuff and formed a band when I was like 19 or 20. Auditioned for everything — ‘American Idol,’ ‘The Voice’ … When I was 27, I decided that if I didn’t go to New York, I would never leave. So I moved from Florida to New York and lived there for about 10 years. There’s millions and millions of extremely talented people there, so I was going from this big fish in a little pond to this huge pond and this little tiny fish.

What was it like moving from New York to Bellingham?

It was a bit of a shock when we first got here … [but] being from a smaller town in Florida … it kind of felt like home. The arts and the culture was here, but it’s definitely grown since we got here almost nine years ago. So it was kind of like, ‘OK, how do we do this? How do we manage? How do we create?’ I think that was something my husband and I really wanted to do, was bring our side of theater here to Bellingham, so that’s when we created American Theatre Northwest — that’s our nonprofit theater company. It’s kind of what allows us to put on ‘Sugar.’ We’ve done some plays underneath that as well. I wish we could do more. But theater costs a lot of money, and I think it’s something that people don’t understand.

Have you ever had stage fright? Did the show go on?

I don’t think I’ve ever had stage fright. I definitely get nervous. I have the worst butterflies. And I think that as I got older, I realized that’s such a good thing. Once you stop getting nervous, you just stop caring.

You seem to be juggling a lot. Have you ever felt like giving something up, and in that moment, what made you keep going?

There are times after “Sugar” where I’m like, ‘I’m never gonna do it again’ … [but] the feedback that I get from the people that come to the show and the amazing support from the community … People that come and see my show and just leave feeling empowered, leave feeling like they just saw something that they’ve never seen before. It wasn’t at all why I created it and I think that’s what keeps me doing it. Because it’s hard. It’s a lot of work. It takes a lot of strain on me physically because I’m old, and I’m dancing with 23 year olds.

If you had a whole day to not be busy with any of the above, what does your dream “day off” look like?

I would probably spend it with all of my dear friends that I don’t get to see — ones from Florida and here and New York, and just have a big day of drinking margaritas and eating queso. And probably shopping and just being stupid and silly, like a big summer party with my girlfriends.

Gallery: ‘Sugar Does Broadway’ takes the stage at Mount Baker Theatre

“Faces in the Crowd” is published online and in print Fridays. Have a suggestion for a “Faces in the Crowd” subject? Email us at

Jaya Flanary is CDN's designer/digital editor; reach her at; 360-922-3090 ext. 106.

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