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THEATER BUFF: Colin Cunliffe of “Pippin”

April 17th, 2013

Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer will fill out my nosey little questionnaire and offer a glimpse of what they look like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month, we’re going to need a cold April shower after meeting this handsome, charming and talented performer…

Colin Cunliffe. Photo by Martin Fitzpatrick.

Name: Colin Elliott Cunliffe

Hometown: Littleton, Colorado.

Current Show/Role: Pippin / Pig, Head, Player.

The best part of the show I’m working on now is: This job is truly a dream come true.  Fosse has always been where my heart is. While never feeling like I could ever perfect his style, it’s always been where I feel most comfortable.  Fosse was also the first Broadway show I saw. It starred Stephanie Pope and Brad Musgrove, both of whom I adore and am working with now. I also saw a show called La Vie about 6 years ago from Les 7 doigts de la main that changed my life. Gypsy Snider is one of the founding members of this troupe and is responsible for the circus choreography in Pippin. It was the most amazing circus I had ever seen — a bit more narrative, sexy and creative then what I had experienced before. It became my dream to do or create a show like that but never thought it was possible as most of these people had trained in circus their whole lives. I had also auditioned for Diane Paulus back when The Donkey Show was here (I think I was too hairy for the rollerskating fairy) as well as for Hair, where I totally bombed. So, when I heard about Pippin there was almost a sense of calm through the crazy audition process, almost being guided into where I know I needed to be. Now I am living out all of those dreams while beginning to colloraborate with my new AMAZING circus family. Where I am today feels right and am very grateful for it.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: Dance Captain for a show where there was an extremely high turnover rate. I will forever value the job of the Dance Captain and can not give enough props to the good ones. Two of the best that stick out in my mind were our BRILLIANT dance captain, mother, dancer, singer, actress, swing, equity rep, sex pot Jennie Ford from Evita, and the insane, handsome, fire-filled, talented, watch dog, multi-tasking, hilarious Brad Musgrove currently doing everything and more in Pippin.

If I wasn’t an actor, I would be: A Roller Derby Champion.

Colin Cunliffe. Photo by Melisio Nunez.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? I think I’m gonna have to go with Places on this one. The energy is so high, the excitement is always there for me, even on the tired days. I have a little ritual I go through for myself, putting me in check of where I am and being forever grateful for the opportunity to go out there each show. We have a great group ritual in Pippin where Terry Mann leads us in a group dance. I’m gyrating with Andrea Martin, grooving with Charlotte d’Amboise, surrounded by contortionists and acrobats. Are you kidding me?! Beyond a dream come true. My favorite call for places was while I was doing the National Tour of Sweet Charity. It was one of the most amazing and CRAZY male ensemble dressing rooms. I loved my opening outfit (a dancing pimp with a cocked hat, boots and a cigarette) and my cue to go down was the start of the overture which might be my favorite start to a show to this day. Thank you Cy Colman for those horns. You know how to get a pimp motivated.

Colin Cunliffe. Photo by Martin Fitzpatrick.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at: The Marquis Green Room with the cast of Evita. You had bourbon, music, Latin Pop stars, sexy dancers covered in bags of ice and some of my favorite people in the world. I think we should have opened a bar so everyone could come join us.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to: The Art Galleries in Chelsea. Its such a great way to take in this city without spending a lot of money. Grab a cup of coffee at Café Grumpy on 20th Street or Chelsea Coffee on 8th Avenue  and walk all the way west.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be: San Francisco. It has my heart. I have an amazing crew there and to be so close to such amazing mountains, rivers, etc is becoming more important to me the older I get. I grew up camping, climbing, snowboarding etc… I’m a west coast boy at heart.

Spring has sprung!  I know I have Spring fever because: I almost crash on my bike daily from oogling over the gorgeous men and women of NYC.

My workout “secret” is: Water, Pilates, Rollerskating.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than: Swagger (confidence, style, rhythm and respect in one unique, sexy package.)

Colin Cunliffe. Photo by Richard Ruiz.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is: Is this a trick question?

Board shorts, speedo or skinny dip? Board shorts to the beach stripped down to the speedo for laying out and then taking the suckers off to jump in the water in nothing but skins.

People would be surprised to learn that I: Once dirty danced with Debbie Boone to “Chain Of Fools.” Maybe this isn’t a surprise to anyone.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like: A Janet Jackson back up dancer. I’m still DYING to be one. Please people, hook me up.

Ten years from now, I’d like to be: Umm, a Janet Jackson back up dancer.

In honor of April Showers, pick your favorite precipitation:  Follies actor Ron Raines, ESPN commentator Hannah Storm or Parent Trap favorite Hayley Mills? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! I fell so hard for Ron Raines in Follies. Dear Ron, please be mine. Love, Colin.

Colin Cunliffe. Photo by Melisio Nunez.

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