Lilla Polyák, actor, singer
Lilla Polyák was born in Győr, Hungary in 1976. She moved to Budapest at the age of 17 and completed her secondary education at Madách Imre High School. After graduating, she spent a year at the National Theatre of Győr where her voice caught attention, granting her a chance to play the role of Kölyök (Kid) in the Hungarian musical A padlás (The Attic). She majored at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in dramatic acting; she was a student of István Horvai and Gábor Máté. She graduated in 1999. She landed her first leading role as early as her practicum in Vígszínház, one of the largest theatres in Budapest, performing as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
Immediately after obtaining her degree, she received an opportunity abroad in Vienna, Austria. She played Baroness Waldstätten in the Austrian musical Mozart! at Theater an der Wien. She toured with musical performances titled ABBA Tribute and Rockin’. Then she returned to the stage in Vienna once again, performing in Moby Dick.
In the 2001-2002 season, she portrayed the eponymous heroine of Anna Karenina at the Madách Theatre. She regularly performed at the Budapest Operetta Theatre as Sissy, the titular character of Elisabeth, which is one of the most beloved musicals created by Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze. In the same season, she performed in Pécs and Debrecen, playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Éva in Valahol Európában (Somewhere in Europe).
When the Budapest Operetta Theatre added Mozart! to its repertoire in 2003, Lilla Polyák once again took on the role of Baroness Waldstätten. From this year, she was a resident actress of the Operetta Theatre. After the birth of her first child, she returned to the stage in December 2004. She reprised her role as Baroness Waldstätten and played Lady Capulet in the highly popular musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. In 2005, she portrayed Madame de la Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast. The same year she took on the role of Christine in the Hungarian adaptation of The Beautiful Game at the Madách Theatre. In 2006, the musical Rudolf had its world premiere at the Budapest Operetta Theatre, with Polyák Lilla taking on the role of Princess Stéphanie, wife of Rudolf.
she received the professional Gundel Award in recognition of her work. In 2008, following the birth of her second son, she shone in a different role in Romeo and Juliet, taking on the character of the Nurse. The same season marked the introduction of Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Lilla Polyák as The Narrator. From 2009, she portrayed the Lady of the Lake in the Madách Theatre production of Spamalot, a piece full of humour. From 2010, she took on the role of the obsessive antagonist Mrs. Danvers in the Budapest Operetta Theatre’s new musical, Rebecca. The same year she received a new role at the Madách Theatre as well, playing Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. Between 2010 and 2020, she regularly toured in German-speaking countries with Beauty and the Beast, a successful Disney musical of the Budapest Operetta Theatre. From 2011, she played the role of Natasha in the Hungarian musical Csoportterápia (Group Therapy) at the Madách Theatre, then in 2012 she was cast in new roles again. She performed as Flóra Kozmutza in the Hungarian musical Én, József Attila (I, Attila József), played the leading role in Mary Poppins, the world-famous Disney production, and starred in the musical Marie Antoinette at its 2016 Hungarian premiere at the Budapest Operetta Theatre. In the same year she played Bess, the wife of Houdini, in the premiere of The Houdini Musical. In the autumn of 2018, the Budapest Operetta Theatre cast her as Sarolt in its grandiose István, a király (Stephen the King) production.
From 2020, she played Violet in 9 to 5: The Musical at the József Attila Theatre. From 2021, she reprised her role as Elisabeth at the Katona József Katona Theatre of Kecskemét.
she was one of the contestants in Sztárban sztár (Stars Within the Stars, one of the most watched shows in Hungary, it is the domestic version of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’), appearing in 8 episodes in season 4.
From the autumn of 2019, for two seasons, she appeared on television every evening in a series titled Mintaapák (Exemplary Fathers, a series loosely based on Sres. Papis).
She has achieved a remarkable level of success as a singer, lending her voice to numerous songs in animated musical films and performing in several musical CDs. A pivotal moment in her career as a singer was in 2008 when she won the Csináljuk a fesztivált! (Let’s Make a Party!) show with her performance of the song Woman in Love. She released two albums with her former husband, actor Zsolt Homonnay. The album Ketten (Both of Us) was released in 2009 and soon became a gold record. Their second album titled Két szív (Two Hearts) was released in 2010. In 2013, her song Valami más (Something Else) reached the semi-finals of the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2014, her hit Karcolás (Scratch) was one of the 30 best songs. In the autumn of 2021, she released a new original single, Maradj (Stay). 2014 marked the release of her first solo album, featuring selected songs, under the title Most és Mindörökké (Ever Ever After). So far, she has lent her voice to five audiobooks.