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THEATER BUFF: Philip Rosenberg of “Pippin”

May 15th, 2013

Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out contributor Tom Mizer’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For May, we’re bending over backwards for a handsome, talented (and flexible) performer…

Philip Rosenberg. Photo by Katia Kosova.

Name:  Philip Rosenberg

Hometown:  San Francisco, California

Current Show/Role:  Pippin Player and Acrobatic Captain

The best part of the show I’m working on now is:  I have to say that the best part of Pippin is getting to work with such an incredibly talented cast. I don’t think I ever in my career worked in a show in which every single member of the cast brought such such energy, creativity and skill to the stage. I normally work solely with other circus artists, so the whole world of musicals are generally new to me. Coming into the project, I knew little about singing or dancing in the style of Mr. Fosse, but I feel I couldn’t have been luckier to be introduced to this by my fellow cast mates, most of whom are Broadway veterans. We couldn’t ask for a better group of circus artists as well.  In my opinion some of the greatest talents spanning the globe. So I guess I have to say that it is extraordinary people in this show that really makes Pippin extraordinary.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was:  One of the most challenging jobs I ever had was also one of the most rewarding. I was working with a small canadian circus called “Vague de Cirque” touring across the country in a small circus tent. Every town, with a group of about 15 people, we would set up the tent from early morning to night. If it was hot outside, it was miserably hot inside the tent, and if it was cold, freezing cold inside. We slept in little trailers surrounding the tent, and spent the greater part of our days preparing for the show. It was hard work, but an experience and new family that I will never forget.

Philip Rosenberg. Photo by Antoine Carabinier.

If I wasn’t an actor, I would be:  Well, I consider myself to be more a circus artist than an actor, but if I didn’t have a job performing, I would be a painter.  I have been painting for my whole life and when I can, I try to keep it up. I try and paint things that I relate to my life, and incorporate a lot of imagery that relates closely to my career as a circus artist. Funnily enough, I had just finished a painting that strangely resembles Pippin days before I had news of the audition.

Philip Rosenberg. Photo by Bertil Nilsson.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? Definitely curtain call.  I love to perform, but I always find that the moments I pass seconds before the performances start is where I get the most jitters. As soon as the performance begins I can just play and live in the moment, but the word places always gives me butterflies in my stomach. Plus, there is nothing better than the curtain call after having great performance.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:  Honestly I haven’t had the chance to explore the city too much yet… but I did quite enjoy this mysterious green martini that I had when I went to go see Sleep No More. I have been trying to re-create it ever since.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:  Today I discovered how beautiful the view is coming from Queens on the 7 train. I think the view of manhattan from the other boroughs is pretty magical.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:  San Francisco, California. I was born and raised [there] and have always seen myself moving back one day. It’s such a beautiful city; I love how easy it is to just drive right outside of the city and find yourself in nature.

Pick your favorite May “Flower”:  Great Gatsby’s Daisy, Titanic’s Rose or Annie’s Lily St. Regis?  Hmmm, I guess I would have to go with Titanic’s Rose.  

My workout “secret” is:  No secret, just many years of hard work. I started circus when I was about 7 and I used to train a lot more and harder than I do now. I have the skills and now it is more about maintaining them.  I try to stretch and do a lot of handstand training. I feel like handstands are a great way to work balance, strength and stamina.

Philip Rosenberg. Photo by Roland Lorante.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:  Someone creative.  Creativity is a huge turn on for me and most of my past relationships have been with people who like to move, create and have a lot of fun.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:  I like checking out documentaries at Tons of different categories and hours worth of watching. I like putting on something with David Attenborough before going to sleep.

Board shorts, speedo or skinny dip?  Skinny dip… in the ocean.

People would be surprised to learn that I:  That I love to knit, cook, craft and eat ice cream every night.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:  Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister. I was determined to hunt down and chase tornados.

The Tony Nominations were announced this month; whom do you most wish had been singled out but wasn’t?  There are two people that I wish had been singled out but weren’t. One is Rachel Bay Jones who plays Catherine in our show. Night after night she makes me laugh on stage and off and I believe she is an extremely talented actress with exceptional comic timing.  A natural clown.  Her Catherine is beautifully executed and played with so many layers.  The other is our circus choreographer Gypsy Snider.  I have known Gypsy from since I was young and it is always a great experience working with her. She has found and added choreography that is extremely unique to this production and to the entire world of Broadway. I don’t think New York has ever seen circus arts with such style, humor and energy and it is all thanks to this beautiful woman.

Philip Rosenberg. Photo by Steven Stuts Photography.

Wonder what The Broadway Blog thought of Pippin? CLICK HERE to read our review.

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