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CCM grad Lisa Howard in 'Twilight Saga' grand finale

by Deborah Rieselman

A holiday weekend is the perfect time to catch UC alumna Lisa Howard, CCM '97, in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part Two," which brought in nearly $341 million its opening Nov. 16 weekend. Wearing red contacts and a red wig that took an hour to put on, the musical-theater grad is the vampire Siobhan (pronounced “Shi-von”), the head of the Irish coven, which works with Bella, Edward and Jacob to defeat the corrupt vampire leaders, the Volturi.

The movie broke international opening-weekend records:

  • In France, it had the best opening weekend of the year.
  • In Spain, it had the top-grossing three-day opening weekend of all time.
  • In Russia and the other Soviet nations, it set a new opening-weekend record for its franchise Lionsgate.

This was Howard's first film. She has done a little TV —  "Ugly Betty" and "Late Show with David Letterman" — but is best known for her Broadway performances.

In 2005, she nabbed a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Performance for playing the diva Rona Lisa Peretti in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Most recently, she had a starring role on Broadway in "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert," preceded by "9 to 5" and the "South Pacific" revival.

Next, Howard will take the lead in "Shoulda Been You," a new musical directed by David Hyde Pierce in which Howard plays a character named Jenny, who must deal with the wacky antics that ensue at her sister’s wedding. “It’s pretty much a dream role,” she told Broadway.com. Signs currently point to a Broadway opening in the fall of 2013.

For Twilight fans, here are a few more details about Howard's "Twilight" character: Siobhan is a vampire with such great presence that when she talks, everyone listens. The three members of the Irish coven — Siobhan, her mate Liam and a female named Maggie — are not vegetarians, but they are considered to be very civilized. Her friend Carlisle Cullen believes that Siobhan has the ability to wish for outcomes and they come true, but Siobhan thinks it is simply good planning.