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Carrie Manolakos takes a turn from musical theater, releases a singer-songwriter album

For almost a decade, Syracuse native Carrie Manolakos concentrated hard on her musical theater career.

Then while touring the country as an understudy in a national production of “Wicked,” Manolakos turned to an old friend.


Then she made a newer friend.


“I had a lot of time to kill,” says Manolakos, a 2002 graduate of Manlius Pebble Hill School who went on to major in musical theater at New York University. “I played piano when I was little. I took lessons a couple of years but didn’t continue. Guitar has been pretty new to me. I learned a few chords and continued on the road.”

She picked out tunes and wrote lyrics.

One song led to another.

And last week she released her debut CD, “Echo.”

Manolakos has taken her singer-songwriter act to clubs around her home in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

“I still love theater, and if the right projects come along, I’d love to be part of that,” Manolakos said in a phone interview the day her CD dropped. “But I know this feels really right, and it’s getting a great response so far. I’m going to continue doing this music.”

Manolakos says “I love going back to Syracuse. My parents are still there, near DeWitt, near SU. There’s so much support there. I feel so lucky. I’d love to play a show in Syracuse as soon as I can.”

She’ll be back for her 10-year reunion at MPH in June.

Until then, she’s starting work on the soundtrack for a screenplay being written by her boyfriend.

“I think we’re on the right track,” she says.


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