Carole Demas’ career as an actress and singer has taken a surprisingly diverse path. In the world of the Broadway Theatre, Carole is best remembered for her acclaimed creation of the female lead in GREASE , Broadway’s third longest running musical. To a generation of young people who grew up watching TV’s THE MAGIC GARDEN, she will always be their beloved childhood hero, “Carole”. Through her work in the various media (FILM, TV Dramas and Soaps, Live Theatre, Concerts and Cabaret), this lovely, talented actress continues to enthrall audiences with her wonderful voice and gracious charm.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Carole Demas holds a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont and continued her studies at the New York University Graduate School of Education. She spent several years as a teacher in the New York City Board of Education System, including a sentimental semester teaching at P.S. 198 in Brooklyn, which she had attended from grade 5 through her graduation as the smallest kid in the eighth grade.
Carole made her professional show business debut with the Champlain Shakespeare Festival. Later, she was featured for three seasons with the New York Shakespeare Festival Elizabethan Singers as one of a quartet consisting of Paula Janis (who was to become her co-star on WPIX-TV's THE MAGIC GARDEN) and their brothers, Jonathan Rosen and Alex Demas.
Off-Broadway, Carole was the ingenue lead in Fred Ebb's MORNING SUN (with Patricia Neway and Bert Convy). She also created starring roles in the Off-Broadway productions of RONDELAY and HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION. She played “The Girl” in THE FANTASTICKS, one of her favorite parts, at the Sullivan Street Playhouse for almost 2 years. Carole's association with Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, creators of THE FANTASTICKS (the longest running Off-Broadway show in theatre history), led to her participation in the “Portfolio” workshop where she was seen Off-Off-Broadway as the original female lead in PHILEMON and THE BONE ROOM.
On Broadway, Carole stole the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her captivating portrayal of “Sandy”, the female lead, in the smash hit musical, GREASE. As Clive Barnes said, “Carole Demas could not have been better.” This enduringly popular show spawned 2 movies and countless productions all over the world and is returning to Broadway once again, in the much anticipated revival this May.
In another new show headed towards Broadway, Carole originated the title role and opened to critical acclaim, once again, in the Los Angeles production of David Merrick’s ill fated, THE BAKER’S WIFE. Ron Pennington, in Stage Reviews, Los Angeles wrote, “CAROLE DEMAS . . . has a fascinating quality that conveys an interesting combination of jaded sexuality and affecting innocence”
No stranger to Stock and Regional Theatre her credits include major roles in BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (with Joan Bennet), ENTER LAUGHING, ABSENCE OF A CELLO (as Hans Conried's daughter), A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM as “Philia”, OH, WHAT A LOVELY WAR, and her favorites, “Regina” in ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST at the Pennsylvania State Repertory Theatre, and “Angel” in CELEBRATION at A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle.
Recently, Carole was chosen as one of “150 Stars of the Musical Theatre remembering 50 years on Broadway” whose triumphs and heartbreaks fill the new Schirmer book SING OUT, LOUISE! by Dennis McGovern and Deborah Grace Winer. Broadway insiders are also familiar with Carole’s misadventures as the “first” Nanette, in the now infamous Broadway revival, as meticulously chronicled by David Dunn in his Citadel book, THE MAKING OF NO, NO, NANETTE.
For the popular PBS Series GREAT PERFORMANCES, Carole joined other stars of the Great White Way for Lorimar’s “SHOWSTOPPERS - THE BEST OF BROADWAY” -- in which memorable moments from Broadway musicals were recreated by the original stars. Carole has guest-starred on many TV shows, among them BARNABY JONES, KOJAK, MANNIX, FANTASTIC JOURNEY, THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS, etc., playing everything from victims to girlfriends to murderers. She played recurring roles on AS THE WORLD TURNS and THE EDGE OF NIGHT.
Seen in FILMs (often on cable or late night) Carole appeared with William Devane in the 300 YEAR WEEKEND. Her other films include THE SPACE WORKS for Trans-Lux Corp, A LOVELY WAY TO DIE for Universal Films and more recently in THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM.
Carole Demas and co-star Paula Janis starred in the immensely popular and highly praised children's TV program THE MAGIC GARDEN, which aired on WPIX-TV and its affiliates for over 12 years. During this time Carole and Paula formed CAP Productions, Inc., and produced and marketed 3 records for children, selling over 100,000 copies to date. They wrote and starred in over 100 "Live" SRO appearances, bringing music and fun to thousands of children and their families with their many performances at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Shubert Theatre (New Haven), The Shakespeare Theatre (Stratford), The Papermill Playhouse, The McCarter Theatre, The Bardavon Playhouse, Colden Center, The Walt Whitman Theatre and at various fund-raising events.
Under their CAP Productions banner, Carole and Paula wrote, produced and starred in “A MAGIC GARDEN CHRISTMAS”, a one-hour television special which received a local Emmy nomination. Their current performances delight old fans and new alike throughout the Tri-State area. Several new recordings and a pilot for a new TV show are in the works.
Carole's wonderful versatility has been seen and heard in over 200 commercials for television, promoting everything from Men’s Cologne to Peanut Butter.
In New York (at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Eighty-Eight’s and The Westchester Broadway Theatre) in Los Angeles (at The Improv) and in St. Croix at both CCT and at The Reef Pavillion, Carole has been seen in her Cabaret Act, which is an ongoing project. She is currently scheduled to appear at various venues, please see the listings on the Upcoming Events page. Recently, in NYC, Carole garnered rave reviews in her new cabaret show, Summer Nights, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. She was featured in Town Hall’s Broadway Originals Concert, Off- Broadway Close Up at Merkin Concert Hall, and 50th Anniversary Concerts for WBAI Radio, The Fantasticks (Night of 1000 Luisas) and The Lincoln Center Library For The Performing Arts. Her cabaret and concert performances have brought funds and attention to many worthy causes including most recently at Birdland for Zaby’s Furry Friends. Carole and her Magic Garden partner and lifelong friend, Paula Janis, were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in November.
Carole is married to Sound Designer/Audio-Visual Engineer/Consultant/Producer, Stuart J. Allyn. They live in Westchester with 2 adopted cats, 2 Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, their turtle, six ducks and a pond full of wildlife. Carole continues to work as an actress and singer and is also pursuing projects as a writer and producer.