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Theater Buff: ‘American Psycho”s Anthony Sagaria

April 20th, 2016 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. We’re losing our minds over this month’s sexy buff, Anthony Sagaria, now appearing in the highly anticipated musical American Psycho.

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Jordan Matter via The Broadway Blog.)

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Jordan Matter via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Anthony Sagaria

Hometown:
Centerville, Ohio

Do you think Broadway is ready for a musical bloodbath?
Completely. This show is dark, hilarious, bloody, and certain aspects are eerily relevant to today’s society. It’s the perfect time for this show to be making its way to Broadway.

You’re covering five roles in American Psycho — what was the audition process like and do you have a favorite?
The audition process wasn’t too bad actually. I read for one role, got called back to dance for a different role, and then at final callbacks read for both of them. All of that took about a week, and then a month and a half later, I got the call. As for a favorite part, they are all incredible in their own way. The P&P boys (Patrick Bateman’s friends) are probably my favorite, though.

American Psycho is set in the late 80s / early 90s – what is some of your favorite music from that era?
So much good music was being written at that time—from Queen to Michael Jackson, Tears for Fears to Genesis, Radiohead to Run-DMC. The list just goes on and on.

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Lindsay Hoffman via The Broadway Blog.)

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Lindsay Hoffman via The Broadway Blog.)

American Psycho’s lead character, Patrick Bateman, is known for his materialistic tendencies. If you had unlimited funds to fill your medicine cabinet with grooming products or closet with high-end fashions, what might we find?
A closet of well-tailored, good looking suits with ties, cufflinks, dress shoes, and shirts. A well-tailored suit can get you in just about anywhere.

If I wasn’t a performer…
I would be in marketing using my creative side to convince you to buy things you might not necessarily need.

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Brittney Callahan via The Broadway Blog.)

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Brittney Callahan via The Broadway Blog.)

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Places. The energy backstage while waiting for the house lights to dim is incredible.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
It’s a toss up between Glass House Tavern on 47th Street and Betti Bar at the Hourglass Tavern on 46th Street.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
The Thirsty Koala, in Astoria, which has incredible Australian food or Black Tap in SoHo for the craziest milkshakes you’ve ever seen.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
Italy or London.

My workout “secret” is:
Simply get to the gym. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes, those 10 minutes will eventually turn into 20 and then 30 and so on. Getting motivated to get off the couch and go to the gym is the hardest part.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Confidence and originality. If you’re happy with who you are, the rest comes easy.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
You’ve probably heard of it, but as a music lover it is Pitchfork.com.

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Damon Condon via The Broadway Blog.)

Anthony Sagaria (Photo: Damon Condon via The Broadway Blog.)

People would be surprised to learn that…
I am an amusement park fanatic. Nothing’s better than getting a group of friends together and going to Six Flags, Cedar Point, Disney World, etc.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
My dad. He has a gorgeous voice, can figure out how to fix anything, and is one hell of a hard worker.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Still acting and giving people reasons to support the arts.

American Psycho is currently playing at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 West 45th Street.

Theater Buff: ‘Trip of Love”s Brandon Leffler

March 16th, 2016 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month we get trippy with Brand Leffler, now appearing in Trip of Love.

Brandon Leffler (Photo: Travis Magee via The Broadway Blog.)

Brandon Leffler (Photo: Travis Magee via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Brandon Leffler

Hometown:
Mayfield Heights, Ohio

If you could go on a “Trip of Love,” where would you go and whom would you take with you?
Well, if there were no limits, I would probably go back in time to the 1960s and experience the decade of love for myself! James Walski, our director and choreographer, has given us so many details and stories about the 1960s. It was such an incredible time. Hmm, I would probably bring my grandmother, Gloria. She has firsthand experience with the decade and would make an excellent companion and tour guide. Sound good, Grandma?!

Brandon Leffler (Photo: Sean Turi via The Broadway Blog.)

Brandon Leffler (Photo: Sean Turi via The Broadway Blog.)

What are some of your favorite moments from the show?
One of my favorite moments in the show is “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” Dionne Figgins, who plays the role of ‘Jennifer,’ is absolutely incredible in this number and the dancers are killing it as well. There are constant intricate costume changes throughout the number. It is really a sight to be seen.

If I weren’t a performer, I would be: 
As a kid and to this day I have always been fascinated by the ocean. Growing up I really wanted to be a marine biologist, which then turned into the dream of being a dolphin trainer at Sea World. After the Blackfish documentary came out a few years ago, I was happy with my choice to be a Broadway dancer instead.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
I’m going to go with places. A fresh start every night.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Eataly or Chelsea Market.

Best pre- or post-show meal:
My current favorite spot to chow down is Bocca Di Bacco in Hell’s Kitchen. They have an incredible dish made with squid ink pasta and all kinds of delicious seafood goodness called Taglierini Neri con Grancho. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
Possibly Greece or Italy. I have some Grecian heritage that I have never explored.

Brandon Leffler (Photo courtesy of Brandon Leffler via The Broadway Blog.)

Brandon Leffler (Photo courtesy of Brandon Leffler via The Broadway Blog.)

My workout “secret” is:
I do go to the gym a couple of times a week, but my main workout is dance. I dance in the show at night, teach dance and take class when I can. All dance all the time and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Someone that can look me directly in the eye and speak freely, honestly and open.

People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
Have a crazy fear of heights! The only reason that’s surprising is because in every show that I’ve done I am attempting some incredible feat high above the earth. Not just tumbling, but also stilt walking, surfboard balancing, monkey cage climbing and understudying an enormous giant also on stilts.

(l to r) Kyle Brown, Kelly Felthous and Brandon Leffler in 'Trip of Love' (Photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Kyle Brown, Kelly Felthous and Brandon Leffler in ‘Trip of Love’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Paula Abdul.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Shaping and molding the next generation of incredible dancers and performing artists.

Trip of Love is currently playing at Stage 42, 422 West 42nd Street, NYC. 

Theater Buff: ‘Aladdin”s Yurel Echezarreta

February 18th, 2016 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month we go on a magic carpet ride with Aladdin’s Yurel Echezarreta.

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Yurel Echezarreta

Hometown:
Winter Haven, Florida

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Jeremy Folmer via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Jeremy Folmer via The Broadway Blog.)

If you could go on a magic carpet ride, where would you go and why?
I’d love to go to Australia. . . I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s massive, which means I’d want to stay for a while but with my magic carpet transportation it would be a breeze and I think the sights would be incredible from its vantage point! Also, you have New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea all right there. It’d be pretty cool. There’s also the whole “traveling across the world” thing, which would probably happen faster on my magic carpet than on a plane.

Forget three wishes from your Genie in a bottle. . . you’ve only got one. What is it?
To live a full life with no regrets.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:

Something active and maybe an extreme sport. Love rock climbing, SCUBA diving. . . but I also love science. Three things I wanted to be when I was a kid: marine biologist, archaeologist, or an astronomer, which has changed to be an actual Astronaut. Let’s go with an Astronaut!

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?

Curtain Call. You feel good because you accomplished something great, the audience is happy, and then you get to go home and eat all of the food and then cuddle up in your bed to sleep the night away!

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:

Vinyl in Hell’s Kitchen. They have delicious frozen beverages that get you feeling so nice…

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Chelsea Piers on 23rd Street and the Hudson River. It’s an amazing sports complex with every way to entertain yourself imaginable. I love it.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:

Somewhere in Europe. It’s easy to get around to visit different countries and I love an accent.

My workout “secret” is:

To stay active doing other activities. I’m lucky to have been born with good genes so I don’t have to go to the gym. Don’t hate me. It’s weird because there’s this whole gym culture that I’m just not a part of.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:

Someone who enjoys my humor. . . with my jokes and stories, you really understand who I am.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
CreditKarma.com. It provides you anytime-access to your credit score for FREE and does not negatively affect your credit report!

Yurel Echezarreta as Beyoncé. (Photo: Jason Russo via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta as Beyoncé. (Photo: Jason Russo via The Broadway Blog.)

People would be surprised to learn that I . . .

That I listen to music other than Beyoncé. I’m obsessed with her. If you haven’t seen her Super Bowl performance this year. . . do it now!

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
My neighbor, Kevin. He was so hot and could get all the girls. But I think really just wanted to him <wink>.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:

Content and happy—regardless of what I’m doing as a career. But as of now, I’d say married to the best guy in the world, shopping for a house somewhere, and working as a well-known and respected performer.

Yurel Echezarreta is currently appearing on Broadway in Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd Street.

Categories: Show Folk, The Buzz, Theater Buff Tags:

Theater Buff: ‘Chicago”s Michael Scirrotto

January 20th, 2016 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. We kick off 2016 with a fresh look at Chicago, the long-running musical that also happens to feature the handsome Michael Scirrotto.

Michael Scirrotto (Photo: Amanda Julca via The Broadway Blog.)

Michael Scirrotto (Photo: Amanda Julca via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Michael Scirrotto

Hometown:
Jupiter, Florida

Chicago celebrates its 20th year on Broadway and the title of the longest-running American musical. How long have you been with the show and how do you (and the company) keep it fresh?
I have been with the show for almost two years now. I cannot speak on behalf of the company, but certainly for myself. It all comes back to when I was in acting class in high school. My teacher told us that whenever you step onto the stage, you have to put on your fresh ears/eyes, and always respond honestly as if you are hearing what is being said for the first time.

It is not about giving a consistent line reading night after night, but rather finding the truth in what it is you are doing. As for dance, I always deliver a full-out performance. I don’t know how to “mark.” It is not in my nature. Maybe it was my training. I am so passionate about Fosse and I feel the style suits me well. I have been studying it for years.

What’s your favorite number in the show and why?
Tough question! I absolutely love the “Overture” into “Jazz” but I think my favorite number is “Me And My Baby.” That is the point in the show where I really feel like I can finally bust out and dance. It is so playful, mischievous, and cheeky. It has great moments to showcase acting, Fosse technique and just plain old dance technique. For me, it’s a crowd pleaser.

Are you more Roxie or Velma?
Velma. For sure.

(l ro r) Denny James Paschall, Rumer Willis, and Michael Scirrotto in 'Chicago.' (Photo: Jeremy Daniel via The Broadway Blog.)

(l ro r) Denny James Paschall, Rumer Willis, and Michael Scirrotto in ‘Chicago.’ (Photo: Jeremy Daniel via The Broadway Blog.)

You’ve toured with A Chorus Line and West Side Story. How does this choreography (originally staged by Bob Fosse and interpreted for this production by Anne Reinking) compared to Michael Bennett and Jerome Robbins?
All three men were so different in their styles. Jerome was very ballet driven. In order to dance Robbins, you must have ballet technique. It’s hard stuff. Whereas I feel that Bennett was driven solely by the music and characterization. He did not necessarily have a “style” but rather choreographed to the music and to what made sense to him.

I believe Fosse is in his own category. Not only is it a style, but it is also a “way of being.” Bob was very much influenced by Jack Cole and from what I can gather, by the percussive sounds of Jazz. He played with isolation of the body and finding the stillness in a single movement. But what most people don’t realize is that his style is very actor-driven. You have to play the role of a magician.

I hate it when people say, “Fosse is so easy to dance.” It is more than just isolation. You cant expect to be able to just dance it; like most people think. You have to be a dynamic performer to execute Fosse correctly—otherwise his simplicity in movement is boring to watch. If you aren’t engaged and fully committed to being a jazzy-magician (lol) then you may as well take a seat. I feel that if you aren’t sweating after a simple “Fosse walk”, then you aren’t doing it correctly. Though it is rooted deeply in the isolation of the body, it all comes from the core. If your core isn’t engaged and pulled up tight, then you look sloppy. You have to learn to articulate all the way down to your finger, and then past it. It is at times slow and painful to dance, because you have to pull up very tight. It is sensual, cunning… and unlike any other.

Michael Scirrotto (photo courtesy of M.S. via The Broadway Blog.)

Michael Scirrotto (photo courtesy of M.S. via The Broadway Blog.)

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
I would probably be in sales like my father.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
PLACES. The energy is intoxicating.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
As a cast we like to hit up E&E Grill House, which is right by the theater. But I hold a special place for Medi. The bartender there makes a really great extra dirty martini.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Brooklyn.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
San Diego, Miami, or London

My workout “secret” is:
The show. I treat it like a workout. If I’m not sweating and tired, then I didn’t work hard enough. In addition, I hit the gym three times a week.

Michael Scirrotto (Photo: Amanda Julca via The Broadway Blog.)

Michael Scirrotto (Photo: Amanda Julca via The Broadway Blog.)

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Individuality.

My favorite website is:
Amazon. I’m obsessed. I have a problem.

People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
Love to be outdoors. I’m a secret hippy.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Married with kids, living on a beach. Or on television.

Chicago
Ambassador Theatre
219 West 49th Street, NYC
Open-ended run.
NFL legend Eddie George appears as Billy Flynn through February 28.

Categories: Theater Buff Tags:

The Year in Buff, Part II

December 30th, 2015 Comments off

It’s been an incredible year for Broadway and beyond. The Broadway Blog has had the good fortune to cross paths with 12 of the most dedicated, handsome, and warm-hearted performers in the business for our monthly Theater Buff column. We’re looking back over the next two days to offer you snippets of each, along with a few updates so you can check them out in their current roles/shows. We didn’t need another reason to love the theater, but these 12 guys sure help! Here’s Part II!

July 2015 – Marc delaCruz

Marc delaCruz (photo: DJ StereOtype via The Broadway Blog.)

Marc delaCruz (photo: DJ StereOtype via The Broadway Blog.)

We caught up with Marc delaCruz when he was appearing in Transport Group’s Three Days to See. Our favorite Q&A…
Helen Keller is quoted as saying, “When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.” Is there a past ‘closed door’ that opened up an unexpected opportunity?
Five years ago I was booked for a show that was unexpectedly cancelled. With nothing lined up, I took some money I had saved up and enrolled in a yoga teacher-training program. At the time I had no idea how much I would enjoy teaching yoga. The experience brought me closer to the practice that is now an integral part of my life and introduced me to the caring, compassionate community at Yoga to the People.
Update: Mac is currently on the national tour of If/Then click here for tour dates!

August 2015 – Patrick Ortiz

(Photo provided by Patrick Ortiz)

(Photo provided by Patrick Ortiz)

Mamma Mia! indeed! Patrick was in the now-closed Broadway company of this ABBA-inspired musical. Our favorite Q&A…
The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I enjoy the Rum House attached to the Hotel Edison at 227 47th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway. The bar features old speakeasy-type signature cocktails and they have live jazz most nights. You can’t beat that after seeing a good musical.

September 2015 – Joshua Dean

Joshua Dean (photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Dean (photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

What goes up must come down, at least we hope that’s the case with Joshua Dean, who continues to perform with BOYS’ NIGHT: An All-Male Cirquelesque Revue. Our favorite Q&A…
People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
Grew up playing with a baby tiger. It is true. A friend of my parents had a tiger. It weighed as much as I did. The only rule when I was wrestling with it was that it was not allowed on the waterbed.

October 2015 – Steven Trumon Gray

Steven Trumon Gray (photo: Rodolfo Martinez via The Broadway Blog.)

Steven Trumon Gray (photo: Rodolfo Martinez via The Broadway Blog.)

Talk about a multi-tasker, not only is Steven a spectacular dancer and singer showcasing his talents as a member of Company XIV, he’s also a respected photographer. Our favorite Q&A…
After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
I haven’t even seen the traditional sites of New York and I’ve been here for three years, but I love going to metaphysical shops in the city. My favorites are Stick, Stone &

Bone in the West Village and Scent Elate on 48th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue. I love getting new crystals, tarot decks, incense and whatever my spirit needs to become more balanced. Being a Sagittarius I really suck at finding balance because I’m a “go get’ em” type.
Update: Steven is currently in Nutcracker Rouge through January 17.

November 2015 – Hector Maisonet

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

We’re on our feet for Hector’s Broadway debut in the Gloria and Emilio Estefan-inspired musical, On Your Feet! Our favorite Q&A…

On Your Feet! is your Broadway debut. How would you describe opening night?
Opening night was very surreal! On Your Feet! is my Broadway debut, and it was extra special because the story is not only about two people that fell in love, but about the lives of every single immigrant that has come to this country.

Not only did I have the support of my cast mates, but I also had my parents that came from Florida to share this wonderful experience with me. It meant more to me that my parents’ first Broadway show was one that their son was in, something I’ll always cherish!

December 2015 – Tyler Hanes

Tyler Hanes

Tyler Hanes

Our grand finale for the year was Tyler Hanes, who is appearing in American Dance Machine for the 21st Century at the Joyce Theater through January 3. Our favorite Q&A…

You’ve worked with some of the theater industry’s best directors and choreographers. In one sentence, how would you describe each of the following:

Ann Reinking: The living legend who changed my life forever and taught me what it really means to be an artist.

Bob Avian: One of the nicest, most generous people I have ever met who gave me one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my career.

Susan Stroman: A true visionary who made me discover the art of storytelling through dance.

Ann Reinking: The living legend who changed my life forever and taught me what it really means to be an artist.

Bob Avian: One of the nicest, most generous people I have ever met who gave me one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my career.

Susan Stroman: A true visionary who made me discover the art of storytelling through dance.

Categories: Theater Buff Tags:

The Year in Buff: Part I

December 29th, 2015 Comments off

It’s been an incredible year for Broadway and beyond. The Broadway Blog has had the good fortune to cross paths with 12 of the most dedicated, handsome, and warm-hearted performers in the business for our monthly Theater Buff column. We’re looking back over the next two days to offer you snippets of each, along with a few updates so you can check them out in their current roles/shows. We didn’t need another reason to love the theater, but these 12 guys sure help!

January 2015 – Albert Guerzon

Albert Guerzon (photo provided by Brilliant Talent Management via The Broadway Blog)

Albert Guerzon (photo provided by Brilliant Talent Management via The Broadway Blog)

Albert appeared in the short-lived Honeymoon in Vegas. Our favorite Q&A…
How do you channel your inner Elvis?
Hmm. My Elvis reminds me of The Dynamo outfits in Mamma Mia. I’ve done that show for so long I can’t help but compare the boots and spandex. But I channel the moment I get to take those heels off after the curtain call. LOL!

Update:
In addition to performing, Albert is a Team Beachbody coach. Click here for details.

February 2015 – Andrew Chappelle

(Photo provided by Andrew Chappelle.)

(Photo provided by Andrew Chappelle.)

When we interviewed Andrew, he was appearing at The Public in Hamiltonwe all know how that went! He’s now in one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Our favorite Q&A…
If I were going to run for political office, my slogan would be:
You’d never find me running for office, but my character, Shermika Ramsey from The Sketch Betch would say “Let A Bitch Know.” She has a zero tolerance policy regarding bad oral hygiene.

March 2015 – Manny Stark

Manny Stark (upside down) in "Gigi" (photo: Howard McGillin via The Broadway Blog.)

Manny Stark (upside down) in “Gigi” (photo: Howard McGillin via The Broadway Blog.)

Manny appeared in Gigi, starring Vanessa Hudgens. Our favorite Q&A…
Swim trunks, speedo or skinny dipping?
Well, it certainly feels most natural to skinny dip! 

Michael Cusumano (photo: Bill Goulding via The Broadway Blog.)

Michael Cusumano (photo: Bill Goulding via The Broadway Blog.)

April 2015 – Michael Cusumano
Michael appeared in the gorgeous production of An American in ParisOur favorite Q&A…
What would you do on your ultimate Paris dream date?
If I was to imagine my ultimate Paris dream date I would chose the holiday time of year because I fell in love with the outdoor Christmas market. We would hold hands browsing the cute shops, while of course sipping a mulled wine. Get the grand!

Then take a ride on the Ferris wheel, and finish the night being cheesy by going to the top of the Eiffel Tower— standing on top of the world and getting lost in each other’s eyes. (I’m a dreamer if you couldn’t tell!)

Update: Michael occasionally teaches at Ballet Arts City Center, so dig out your dance belt and get to class!

May 2015 – Julius Anthony Rubio

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Michael Charles via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Michael Charles via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius just finished his run in Broadway’s Finding NeverlandOur favorite Q&A…
If you could fly like Peter Pan, where would your first destination be and why?
Since Peter Pan originated in London, I think Big Ben would be my first stop. I could literally hang out on the hands of the clock as it’s in motion—taking in that view and feel of the city. I have a huge obsession with that town, let alone that monument, and still have never been. It’d be a dream to visit—flying or not!

(photo provided by Jimi Stanton.)

(Photo provided by Jimi Stanton.)

June 2015 – Jimi Stanton
We went Off Broadway for the month of June and discovered Jimi, making his New York debut in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait. Our favorite Q&A…

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
I would like to be to a social worker, specifically with Veterans. Over the past few years I have volunteered for different veteran charities and events and I love the idea of trying to help the people who have served our country.

Categories: The Buzz, Theater Buff Tags:

Theater Buff: Tyler Hanes from ADM21

December 16th, 2015 Comments off

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Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. We couldn’t ask for a better holiday gift than Tyler Hanes, who will be dancing as a member of The American Dance Machine for the 21st Century at the Joyce Theater from December 21 – January 3.

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Audra Hatch Photography via The Broadway Blog)

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Audra Hatch Photography via The Broadway Blog)

Name:
Tyler Hanes

Hometown:
Marietta, Georgia

What is the mission of the American Dance Machine for the 21st Century?
To bring todays audience a living archive of some of the greatest moments in musical theater/dance history, performed by one of the most versatile and talented groups of performers around.

Tell us about your audition for the company:
Nikki Feirt Atkins first approached me about ADM21 after she saw me as Gabey in On The Town on Broadway. Once I knew Wayne Cilento was involved, I was in. I have had the pleasure of working under Wayne’s direction during the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity and am a huge fan of anything he does. His work in Sweet Charity is some of my favorite choreography I have ever danced (especially his Rich Man’s Frug) and I will always jump at the opportunity to work with him again. He is a genius.

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Kristin Hoebermann via The Broadway Blog)

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Kristin Hoebermann via The Broadway Blog)

You’ve worked with some of the theater industry’s best directors and choreographers. In one sentence, how would you describe each of the following:

Ann Reinking: The living legend who changed my life forever and taught me what it really means to be an artist.

Bob Avian: One of the nicest, most generous people I have ever met who gave me one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my career.

Susan Stroman: A true visionary who made me discover the art of storytelling through dance.

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Annette Tanner via The Broadway Blog)

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Annette Tanner via The Broadway Blog)

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
A director or an ice cream man.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Places. There’s nothing more thrilling to me than the calm before the storm. I love the process of getting into character, hearing the audience in front of the curtain and feeling the excitement that lives in my body before setting foot onstage.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I don’t drink but I do enjoy catching up with friends at Bar Centrale.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Chelsea Market, The High Line, or The Cloisters.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
Amsterdam

My workout “secret” is:
Dance, Bikram yoga (when I have the time)… and a lot of push ups.

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Annette Tanner via The Broadway Blog)

Tyler Hanes (Photo: Annette Tanner via The Broadway Blog)

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
A broad sense of humor is extremely important, as well as compassion, wit, drive, and honesty. And he must be named Van Hansis.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
www.breatheheavy.com

People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
am a diehard Britney fan.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Mikhail Baryshnikov

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Performing. Teaching. Creating. Directing. Choreographing. Producing. Married. Kids. The whole package.

Take a sneak peek at ADM21.

Theater Buff: Hector Maisonet From ‘On Your Feet!’

November 26th, 2015 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. We’ve got plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, including this month’s Theater Buff, Hector Juan Maisonet, who makes his Broadway debut in On Your Feet!

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Hector Juan Maisonet

Hometown: 
I was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico but moved to Orlando, Florida, at age 10.

Favorite Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine song: 
I love listening to “Dr. Beat.” That beat just gives me everything I need to get my day going. But I do love “1-2-3.” It’s one of my favorite songs to dance to in the show!

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

When did you first start dancing?
I’ve always loved to dance, but the very first time I started dancing and learning more about dance was at the age of 14. I auditioned and was accepted to attend Osceola County School for the Arts in Orlando. This was an amazing accomplishment, however, it was a culture shock for my family when they had to buy me my first pair of ballet slippers and tights. When my parents saw how much time and effort I had to put in for dancing (and how much time it was taking away from my school work) they decided to take me out of it. I knew that I had to continue dancing somehow, so salsa was it!

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be: 
I would be one of two things:

  1. Chiropractor: I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and how much it can do. Whenever I’m alone, I always seem to catch myself finding different ways of cracking parts of my body that won’t crack. Those times are when I wish that I had the knowledge of a chiropractor.
  1. Special Education Teacher: Back when I was 19, I had an encounter with a young special needs child and his father that forever changed my life. Meeting him and seeing the way he looked up to me truly touched me. Seeing the look in his eyes when he saw me perform on stage inspired me in a way that I had never been before, and that’s when I knew that I wanted to do the same for every other child.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
I’d have to say places because of the powerful and inspirational circle we have as a cast before every show. Our circle is a constant reminder of how fortunate and blessed we are to do what we do for a living, and stand on that stage with people that are now considered family. Plus, hearing the audience go wild at the rip of the curtains is an exhilarating and rewarding feeling.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I will have to say that right now, the best post-show cocktail is at Chelsea Grill. I enjoy going anywhere, but I love it there because of the best bartender, “straight Dan.” He’s great and always hooks me up!

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to: 
This amazing place called Cachapas y Mas! It’s way uptown, but trust me when I tell you that it’s definitely worth the ride. They have the most delicious guilty-pleasure Latin food you can imagine. I personally recommend the yoyo con pernil (sweet plantain sandwich with shredded pork), along with a palito de queso (fried cheese sticks)… or six of them, haha! Also, make sure you get the special sauce to dip them in.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
Paris or Barcelona. I’ve never really imagined myself living anywhere else other than New York City, but something about living somewhere in Europe just feels right. The culture of those cities is something I’ve always wanted to experience.

My workout “secret” is:
It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you now, would it? I really enjoy taking class and going to the gym whenever I have the chance. I’m not too crazy about working out, but when I do, I commit. Another huge workout secret is eating a whole container of Oreos. Not just regular Oreos–double-stuffed!

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Hector Maisonet (photo: Brad Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Confidence, honesty and good hygiene. I’m very observant, so even the smallest details catch my eyes.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
I google everything!

People would be surprised to learn that I . . . 
Have been around the world and back, have ADHD, and a twitch that I can’t control.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like: 
Ricky Martin! I mean, he’s only one of the hottest guys on the planet! Except, I secretly wanted to be like Britney Spears. Lol!

On Your Feet! is your Broadway debut. How would you describe opening night?
Opening night was very surreal! On Your Feet! is my Broadway debut, and it was extra special because the story is not only about two people that fell in love, but about the lives of every single immigrant that has come to this country. Not only did I have the support of my cast mates, but I also had my parents that came from Florida to share this wonderful experience with me. It meant more to me that my parents’ first Broadway show was one that their son was in, something I’ll always cherish!

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
I would love to still be performing, appearing in movies and other Broadway shows. I would also love to have someone I can go home to and share my experiences with. Someone who will love me… flaws and all.

On Your Feet! is currently playing at the Marquis Theatre.

Matthew Wexler is the Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @roodeloo

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Theater Buff: Cinderella’s Steven Trumon Gray

October 21st, 2015 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month our fairy tales become a naughty reality with Steven Trumon Gray, who currently stars in Company XIV’s Cinderella.

Steven Trumon Gray (photo: Rick Day via The Broadway Blog.)

Steven Trumon Gray (photo: Rick Day via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Steven Trumon Gray

Hometown:
Iowa City, Iowa

What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
Peter Pan. I think there’s something about not feeling like I belong on this plane of existence/reality that I resonate with. I also feel like I’m meant to create, explore and approach life with an air of playfulness in this lifetime. So, it seems like Peter Pan is quite the fit.

Company XIV's 'Cinderella' (photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

Company XIV’s ‘Cinderella’ (photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

You have quite a range of talents—from stage performer to a successful photography career—which came first and how have your various disciplines evolved?
I actually began photography when Hurricane Sandy ruined Company XIV‘s old space in Brooklyn at 303 Bond. I was out of a job and for my birthday my mom bought me a cheap Canon camera, because she wanted to know how I saw the world. And I ended up realizing I like photographing humans more, so after a commercial gig I acted/modeled in, I spent all my buyout on upgrading my equipment and took my times in between performance projects to learn Photoshop, do test shoots, and try to teach myself how to be a “professional.”

I started gymnastics at age 3 and quit at age 17. I started dancing soon after quitting gymnastics then went to the University of Iowa where I double majored in Dance and Vocal Performance. All my aerial skill sets are fairly self-taught, or I learned from YouTube videos. I’ve had one pole private to prep for a pole duet Allison and I did for Nutcracker Rouge last year, but haven’t had any Lyra training. Allison taught me a few partnering skills she gathered from Cirque and I had to learn my own solos and fill in the transitions. I’m lucky to have done gymnastics or dance, aerial and the physicality I have wouldn’t have been as easily obtained. I’m glad I also work with patient partners as I’m learning new skill sets for shows.

Steven Trumon Gray (photo: Jeffery Beasley via The Broadway Blog.)

Steven Trumon Gray (photo: Jeffery Beasley via The Broadway Blog.)

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
I would love to work as a Director of Photography on film sets, so I’d get to craft, experiment and travel, or I would teach dance at a university.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?
I enjoy the curtain call. For almost all my XIV experiences I don’t even show up on stage for about 30 minutes to even an hour in, so intermission is usually my call to places. My anxiety preshow is pretty elongated then I feel as though I get shot out of a canon for the rest of the show. So curtain call is my “Namaste, have a nice day… I survived… Yay!” moment.

Cinderella is quite risqué in the costume department—any secrets to keeping everything in place?
Haha… That’s a good question. I’m always worried my right nut is going to fall out the side of my thong (yes, only my right) so I have to pull up the sides of the thong way too high… almost like the Pamela Anderson Baywatch-style one piece as it sits under the corset so it doesn’t fall down and create slack in the undergarment. That usually does the trick. Oh and manscaping is key… The audience is WAY too close even for their own comfort sometimes.

There’s SO much more! Take the leap…

Read more…

Theater Buff: Joshua Dean from ‘Boy’s Night: A Cirquelesque Revue’

September 17th, 2015 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month we’ve gone to new heights to bring you Joshua Dean, who appears in Boy’s Night: An All-Male Cirquelesque Revue.

Joshua Dean (photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Dean (photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Joshua Dean

Hometown:
Piketon, Ohio… on a farm.

Joshua Dean (Photo: Andrew T Foste via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Dean (Photo: Andrew T Foste via The Broadway Blog.)

When did you first become interested in becoming an aerialist?
I was doing a show for director/choreographer Mark Robin and he had two people doing a circus act in the show. I chatted with their coaches and took a workshop with them. Then a director friend of mine, Donna Drake, asked me to do some silk work for her and that started the bug. Then I ended up getting a little burned out on dance, and I wanted to still do something physical and artistic. It seemed like a great fit for me.

What is unique about Boy’s Night: An All-Male Cirquelesque Revue?
The humor. We play up the sexiness and the boylesque, but the humor is what makes the show special. People come to our show for a lot of different reasons but they all end up laughing.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Curtain Call. That means it’s time for drinks with friends.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
Probably a massage therapist. I love studying and healing the body. It comes very natural to me.\

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:  
Wherever I just performed!

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to: 
Anella in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It is my favorite restaurant in the city.

Joshua Dean (Photo: Ben Trivett via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Dean (Photo: Ben Trivett via The Broadway Blog.)

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
I am trying to figure that one out. I know I want to eventually move out of the city, but where?

My workout “secret” is:
Do circus training most of the hours of the day.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
The personality. I love someone I can laugh with.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
The funny thing is I joined Instagram last week. Everyone else might have known about it, but I missed the boat on that one. Catching up slowly.

Joshua Dean (Photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Dean (Photo: Mark Shelby Perry via The Broadway Blog.)

What is Aerial Arts NYC?
AANYC is a circus training school in Manhattan. We offer classes in Silks, Trapeze, Contortion, Handstands, and much more. Most people come in for fun and a workout, but I have several clients that have made this their gym. I’m their aerial personal trainer.

What would you suggest as an introductory course?  
Beginning Silks. Most people like to start with that, but if that doesn’t feel right, try trapeze or hammock.

People would be surprised to learn that I . . . 
Grew up playing with a baby tiger. It is true. A friend of my parents had a tiger. It weighed as much as I did. The only rule when I was wrestling with it was that it was not allowed on the waterbed.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Nightcrawler. He is blue and has a tail and was an acrobat in the circus. I managed part of that one.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Own a bed and breakfast somewhere with my adoring husband.

Boy’s Night: A Cirquelesque Revue performs the first Thursday of every month at The Slipper Room, 167 Orchard Street, New York City. www.slipperroom.com

Joshua Dean (Photo: Theodore Kofman via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Dean (Photo: Theodore Kofman via The Broadway Blog.)

Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. His writing has appeared in more than 20 publications worldwide. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at roodeloo.