|My performance debut was as a sea
anemone in my ballet nursery school's annual recital.
I started singing lessons at age 12 and debuted
at Nova High School at age 14 in every English
class that Mrs. Hall could book me into: Eliza
Doolittle, Just You Wait 'enry 'iggins, My Fair
Lady. High School and the Performing Arts solidified
my ambition: I was bitten and smitten.
I went to the University of Cincinnati Conservatory
of Music and then to University of Miami School
of Music where I was taken into the Miami Opera
Company. I grew impatient and when a show band
called Life called, I left college and went
on the road. When the band came back through
Florida I auditioned for a dinner theatre production
of Funny Girl and won the part. After that run,
I left for New York City. I auditioned for the
Grease open calls and the casting director was
impressed with me and got me an audition for
the first national company of The Magic Show.
Within three months of moving to New York, I
had my equity card and was touring the country
in a first class production. In September of
1974, I made my Broadway debut as the first
replacement for Cal in the Magic Show. I was
out of high school for two years: I was 20.
What a whirlwind!
After this opportunity I decided that I was
too naive to understand the likes of Grover
Dale, so I decided that I needed to expand my
experiences in other areas of life, so I traveled
to Europe and landed in Israel on a Kibbutz.
I stayed for 1 1/2 years until I missed the
U.S. and performing. I returned to Florida to
witness my parent's divorce and I started to
write music and play the bass guitar and form
a band. I moved back to NYC and within 2 months
of my return I was once again on Broadway, this
time in Oh Calcutta. I did that show for 1 1/2
years. I started my acting studies at the Lee
Strasberg Institute and continued to perform
in a more avant garde/downtown scene: Richard
Foremena's Dr. Salevy's Magic Theatre; Bill
MacDuff's production of the Beggar's Opera conceived
by Mac, Pete and Paige with MSG as choreographer,
Allen on the Keyboards and Gary Mendelson among
the Players; Actor's Collective, a repertory
theatre in the Village; Music Theatre Works
production of Boys in a Live Country Band; the
Broadway-Bound comedy Chekov in Yalta with me
as Fyokla, at the Walnut Street Theater in Philly
and the swansong, co-written, co-produced, co-directed
by me called Cleo Leiberman's All Girl Revue
at the Ballroom, NYC.
At age 33, I retired from show biz. I felt
I needed a life-re-alignment. I didn't like
the men i was meeting, I didn't seem to be getting
to greater heights. I felt worn, used and generally
I got a job at Penthouse Magazine, in the accounting
department! and I went back to school. Columbia
University. Graduated cum laude with a degree
in Political Philosophy in 1992 and that same
year started Law School at Yeshiva University's
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, NY. Graduated
in 1995, passed the bar first time and was admitted
to the practice law in the State of New York
Currently, I am specializing in corporate law;
I do both corporate litigation and transactional
work. I have a great position, with lots of
creative control and wonderful clients!
Most importantly, a wonderful man found me
on 5/24/97. Mark Simons. He asked me to marry
on 8/8/97 and on 9/1/97 we eloped into the Catskills,
where we met. We rent an apartment in Brooklyn,
own a house in the Catskills, we drive a white
Pathfinder, which we lease. We have two cats
we rescued from our neighborhood.
THANK YOU, all you old friends and you wonderful
new friends for the perspective you have given
me about life. THANK YOU.
Love, Dara. xxx