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Theater Buff: Marc delaCruz of ‘Three Days to See’

July 15th, 2015 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the 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’re stimulating all of your senses with Marc delaCruz, who appears in Transport Group’s premiere of Three Days to See, based on the writings of Helen Keller. You can look, but don’t touch!

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

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

Name: Marc delaCruz

Hometown: Seattle, WA

You’re currently appearing in Three Days To See, which explores the world of Helen Keller as portrayed by a diverse ensemble of actors—what was the audition like?
This was an extremely rare (and probably will never happen again) occasion where I didn’t have to audition. I worked with the director, Jack Cummings, on a four-week workshop earlier this year and a couple of months later he asked if I would like to be a part of Three Days to See. I was honored since this is a brand new work that he conceived himself. With Jack directing and Transport Group producing I knew it would be a great, highly original show, and I jumped at another chance to work with them.

Marc delaCruz (photo: Frank Louis via The Broadway Blog.)

Marc delaCruz (photo: Frank Louis via The Broadway Blog.)

If you had to lose one of your senses, which would it be?
Any sense but touch. If I were to lose any of the other senses I think I’d be able to adapt but I couldn’t do without touch. As Helen Keller said, “Paradise is attained by touch; for in touch is all love and intelligence.”

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
A baker. I love pies.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Curtain Call. It is the moment when performers and audiences get to recognize each other and a great reminder of who it is all for.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
Room Service. Try the Zeed Zaad.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Jeepney, a Filipino restaurant in the East Village, for Kamayan night. Every Wednesday and Thursday the food is served on banana leaves with no plates or silverware.

Marc delaCruz

Marc delaCruz

My workout “secret” is:
Yoga!

Swim trunks, speedo or skinny dipping?
Swim trunks! Growing up I spent a lot of time with family in Hawai’i where swim trunks are daily wear.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Wit. I’m a sucker for a wise ass.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of:
www.yesmagazine.org

People would be surprised to learn that I. . .
can sleep up to ten hours straight.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
My older sister. I always thought she was so cool—highly intelligent but down to earth and really good with people.

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.

Three Days to See
Transport Group Theatre Company
Theatre 79
79 East Fourth Street, NYC
Through August 16

Curious about Transport Group’s production of Three Days to See? Take a peek at the trailer…

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

Theater Buff: Jimi Stanton

June 10th, 2015 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the 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 wait this month to share New York’s latest arrival Jimi Stanton, who is appearing in the world premiere (and making is Off Broadway debut) in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait (written and directed by Daniel Talbott).

Jimi Stanton in 'Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait ' (photo: Daniel Talbott via The Broadway Blog.)

Jimi Stanton in ‘Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait ‘ (photo: Daniel Talbott via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Jimi Stanton

Hometown:
Pelham, New Hampshire

What has been the most challenging part about working on Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait?
This is my first play in New York and my nerves have been with me since the first rehearsal. At least once a day I need to take a step back and tell myself to calm down and focus on the work.

If you were stuck at an outpost in the desert, who and what would you bring with you?
I would bring my girlfriend and a giant box of Steve’s Snacks Whoopie Pies!

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.

(photo provided by Jimi Stanton.)

(Photo provided by Jimi Stanton.)

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Places! Nothing beats that feeling!

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
A Jameson and Ginger Ale at the West Bank Cafe!

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
I haven’t been there, but I would to try Jimmy’s Corner on West 44th 

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
I would move to Boston. The hardest part about being in the city is being away from my family and I’d love to see them more!

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Honesty is important to me. Even if we don’t click I would rather someone show me who they are instead of hiding.

Jimi Stanton (photo: Marly Hernandez via The Broadway Blog.)

Jimi Stanton (photo: Marly Hernandez via The Broadway Blog.)

People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
I have never seen E.T!

Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait takes place in the “not so distant future.” What does your not so distant future look like?
We’ll have to thaw out Sylvester Stallone to help us fight evil Wesley Snipes, who is trying to kill Dennis Leary, then we’ll all grab a bite at Taco Bell!… Demolition Man?! Anybody? Just kidding! I just hope to still be in touch with this incredible cast and crew!

Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
The Gym at Judson
23 Thompston Street, NYC
Through June 27

Theater Buff: Julius Anthony Rubio of “Finding Neverland”

May 20th, 2015 Comments off

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

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

Every third Wednesday of the 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 visit Julius Anthony Rubio, currently appearing in Finding Neverland, the charming new musical about the inspiration for J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Julius Anthony Rubio

Hometown:
Miami, Florida

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!

Who would you want to bring with you to Neverland? And would it look like a five-star resort, a camping site, or something in between?
If only I could have the magical power of reuniting the most important and influential people in my life. I’d bring my family (my two sisters, brother and mother) to a place that would include a beach, crystal blue waters, and gorgeous forested Spanish-style houses. So like Fiji and Miami together, is that even possible?

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?
I definitely have to say curtain call. If you could only see the audiences’ faces and tears from being so touched by the show, especially with how emotional the show ends. It’s the best and most rewarding payoff.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I’m going say Industry, primarily because my incredible boyfriend works there and I love visiting him. I mean c’mon!

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Diamond Horseshoe’s Queen Of The Night at the Paramount Hotel. It’s by far one of the most gorgeous and sexiest venues, and one of the most exhilarating subversive dinner theater experiences I’ve ever had. There’s nothing like it and the food and entertainment is beyond.

My workout “secret” is:
Eight shows a week and daily weight training conditioning definitely helps but I’d say my secret is swimming. I figured since that’s how I got to this country I’d keep doing it… totally kidding!

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
A silly sense of humor and “swag” (aka confidence). I can barely take myself seriously but will charm you just the way my momma taught me. That combination is golden.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
The YouTube page belonging to my collaborative performance and nightlife group called “The JamFam,” which features New York-based recording artist Mila Jam.

People would be surprised to learn that…
My siblings’ and my mother’s names are Julien, Julie, Julia and I’m Julius.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Ricky Martin. I still do, though. Is that bad?

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Owning, directing and choreographing my own Broadway shows and commercial tours/events, along with a family to call my own. One day!

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

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Theater Buff: Michael Cusumano of “An American in Paris”

April 15th, 2015 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the 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 visit Michael Cusumano, who appears in the new Broadway musical, An American in Paris. Based on the Academy Award-winning film and directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, it’s one of the hottest tickets of the season. Tres bien!

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

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

Name:
Michael Cusumano

Hometown:
Freeport, New York

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!)

Favorite French pastry and where to get in NYC?
I’m not a big pastry fan, but I tell ya, I fell in love with ham and cheese crepes. I ate a bit too many while in Paris. There came a time where I had to force myself to walk another route back to the hotel so I wouldn’t pass my favorite crepe stand. If there’s a good crepe place in New York City, please don’t tell me cause I will be in trouble again. 

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Photo provided by Michael Cusumano.

If I weren’t a performer, I would be:
I may have been a roller coaster designer. When I was a kid I was obsessed with two things. Ballet and roller coasters. I asked my parents to pay for a subscription to ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) Yes… a roller coaster magazine and club, which I belonged to for a few years. At school I would be in class and draw ballerinas or roller coasters all day. Somehow I got straight A’s—don’t ask me how. 

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Places! I like to blurt out random, inappropriate, silly things to my boys during our excitement before we hit the stage. We are all a little loony in the dressing room. I like to believe it gets us pumped up for the show. I love my boys. I’m lucky to be around them every night. Read more…

Theater Buff: Manny Stark of “Gigi”

March 18th, 2015 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the 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. Ooh la la! This month we visit Manny Stark, who is appearing in the new Broadway musical Gigi.

Manny Stark (photo: Lelund Thompson via The Broadway Blog.)

Manny Stark (photo: Lelund Thompson via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Manny Stark

Hometown:
Lake Jackson, Texas 

Gigi takes place in the world of La Belle Epoque Paris—what is your most romantic destination?
Nowhere specific comes to mind, but picture a cabin somewhere surrounded by woods and nature, on top of a mountain and overlooking a beautiful body of water in the warmth of summer. That would be the perfect romantic atmosphere for me.

Favorite French pastry?
I haven’t been fortunate enough to try many authentically French pastries, but I do love an éclair (especially topped with chocolate icing)!

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
Roaming all of Europe with a bag on my shoulders doing odd jobs to get me by as I experienced and lived a multitude of cultures. There’s always been something so enticing about backpacking freely throughout different European countries. 

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.)

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
In Gigi, I love intermission because that’s when we all get to cool down from a sweaty production number and strip down to fun swimsuits in preparation for the beach!

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is:
Glass House Tavern—it’s a reliable source for an enjoyable time with good drinks and food. 

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
The Cloisters! During the warmer months in NYC, it’s a beautiful escape from all the hustle and bustle.

Manny Stark (photo: Howard McGillin via The Broadway Blog.)

Manny Stark (photo: Howard McGillin via The Broadway Blog.)

My workout “secret” is:
A pull-up bar always does the trick for me.

Swim trunks, speedo or skinny dipping?
Well, it certainly feels most natural to skinny dip! 

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Confidence and a good mental and physical connection. 

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
www.digitalblasphemy.com
I love changing my desktop background with its interesting art pieces every so often. 

People would be surprised to learn that I :
Will be riding my scooter to and from rehearsal and/or the theater in NYC, especially when the weather gets warmer!

Manny Stark (photo: Lelund Thompson via The Broadway Blog.)

Manny Stark (photo: Lelund Thompson via The Broadway Blog.)

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Aladdin!

One of Gigi’s hit songs is “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.” What do you thank heaven for?
For the wonderful team of artists on and off the stage with whom I am about to embark on this Broadway journey! 

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Much more established in my craft. I’d love to be satisfied and happy with how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown.

Manny Stark appears in Gigi, opening at the Neil Simon Theatre on April 8.

Categories: The Buzz, Theater Buff Tags: ,

Theater Buff: Andrew Chappelle of “Hamilton”

February 18th, 2015 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the 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 political with Andrew Chappelle, who appears in the new musical Hamilton (by In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda), a rousing take on one of our founding fathers.

Andrew Chappelle (photo: Evan Sherman via The Broadway Blog.)

Andrew Chappelle (photo: Evan Sherman via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Andrew Chappelle

Hometown:
Los Angeles, CA

Besides Hamilton’s, what is your favorite political sex scandal?
I suppose the Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky fiasco. The Anthony Weiner mess was also funny given his name.

Andrew Chappelle (center) and the cast of "Mama Mia!" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Andrew Chappelle (center) and the cast of “Mama Mia!” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

If I weren’t a performer, I would be:
Somewhere driving people in an office crazy.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call:
Places! There is always excitement in the air before our show begins. The audience doesn’t know what’s they are about to see. The cast comes together and has a moment to focus and then its showtime!

The best post show cocktail in New York City is at:
The Library at The Public Theater, of course! I love a dirty martini.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Blind Barber in the Lower East Side or you could go see an improv show at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Chelsea.

Take the jump for more with Andrew, including a sneak peek at his sketch comedy show, Sketch Betch.

Read more…

Theater Buff: Albert Guerzon of “Honeymoon in Vegas”

January 21st, 2015 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the 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 kicked off the New Year with a gamble and it paid off. Albert Guerzon from Honeymoon in Vegas dishes about how to stay in shape and where to binge on “wangs” and ribs.

Albert Guerzon (Photo provided by Brilliant Talent Management.)

Albert Guerzon (Photo provided by Brilliant Talent Management.)

Name:
Albert Guerzon

Show:
Honeymoon in Vegas
Nederlander Theatre
208 West 41st Street

Hometown:
Nyack, NY

Your ultimate honeymoon destination:
Boracay, Philippines. It’s not as crowded and less expensive than Hawaii.

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!

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
A teacher. I think if I went the normal college route I probably would’ve studied early music education.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?
I love the curtain call! There’s something really special about seeing a crowd stand up and feeling like you’ve done your job as an individual and as a company. There’s a huge sense of teamwork and gratification that comes from hearing screams and seeing people on their feet. I don’t know what they’re going through but for those two-and-a-half hours we’ve been able to help them escape, laugh and be inspired.

Albert Guerzon (Photo provided by Brilliant Talent Management.)

Albert Guerzon (Photo provided by Brilliant Talent Management.)

There’s more! Take the leap…

Read more…

THEATER BUFF: Charlie Williams of “Peter Pan Live” & More!

December 17th, 2014 Comments off

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. Extra special thanks must go to Andrew Glaszek, who is not only a former buff himself, but the man who helps find our talented men each month. For December, we’ve got an extra-talented, extra-handsome, extra-special package to put under your Christmas tree…

Charlie Williams. Photo by Daniel Robinson.

Charlie Williams. Photo by Daniel Robinson.

Name: Charlie Williams

Hometown: Cary, North Carolina

The best & worst parts of doing Peter Pan Live on television were: The worst part was the commute. We filmed in a sound stage out in Bethpage, Long Island. It’s a little over an hour commute each way on the Long Island Railroad. That means a lot of early mornings in Penn Station and a lot of late nights on the train. I live in Hell’s Kitchen so I’m not used to such a long commute! The best part was definitely the people. We had such a special cast and I really feel like we all became true friends through the entire process. I miss them all!

When I was a performer at the Kennedy Center Honors (airing Tuesday, December 30th on CBS), I was most starstruck meeting: Pentatonix. I’m a huge Pentatonix fan and we were dancing backup for them on the honors this year! It was great meeting them and finding out that they’re just as cool and down to earth as they seem to be.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be: I would love to own my own design firm and help facilitate the design and completion of artistic spaces. Or a fire fighter. Read more…

THEATER BUFF: Evan Siegel of “Cabaret”

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

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 November, we are especially thankful for this handsome, talented and verbally dexterous man of the month…

Evan Siegel. Photo by Mark Jenkins.

Evan Siegel. Photo by Mark Jenkins.

Name: Evan Siegel

Hometown: Delmar, NY

Current Show/Role: Cabaret; Han/Rudy

The best part of the show I’m working on now is: The incredible cast and crew. I am beyond fortunate to work with such a warm, close-knit, and caring group of people. It is truly a joy to go to work every day, and to tell a timely and poignant story alongside people for whom I have boundless admiration, respect, and love.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: A few years ago, I was in Miami rehearsing for a cruise ship contract. I was required to learn mountains of material, including solos in Italian, Spanish, German, and Swahili. To complicate matters, I also had to miss 10 days of rehearsal to sing a series of benefit concerts in Zimbabwe with Teatro, an international platinum-selling vocal quartet. So one morning, I desperately rehearsed my daunting multi-lingual ship repertoire for a few hours, and then began a 50-hour voyage from Miami to New York to London to Johannesburg to Zimbabwe. This was my first time performing with Teatro, so I learned the entire 90-minute set in the airspace between North America, Europe, and Africa.  Zimbabwe was mind-blowing, and we raised $50,000 for a child cancer relief organization called Kidzcan. Then I flew from Zimbabwe to Johannesburg to Cairo to New York to Miami, slept for a few hours, was back at rehearsal by 8 a.m., and a few days later flew to Italy for six months through the Mediterranean, Arabia, India, and Africa. I think I’m still recovering! Read more…

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THEATER BUFF: Bobby Pestka of “Aladdin”

October 15th, 2014 Comments off

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 October, we’re using up one of our three wishes to meet…

Bobby Pestka.

Bobby Pestka. Image via Bobby Pestka.

Name: Bobby Pestka

Hometown: Born in the Philippines and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona

Current show/role: Aladdin / Ensemble

The best part of the show I’m working on now is: Being a working actor. Having a set schedule and going to work every day to a great group of people and doing what I love most. To catch a dream and live it.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: During my senior year in high school, I landed my first professional job as a “swing” in Legends In Concert, a Las Vegas show based in Waikiki, Hawaii. I was going to school half day and performing two shows each night. I remember squeezing in homework whenever I could… on the bus, between shows and even backstage at times. I couldn’t wait for Graduation Day to arrive, so then I could just focus on dancing.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be: Renting kayaks to tourists or running my own beach bar on some beautiful island.

If I could be any Disney character for a day (other than Aladdin), I would want to be: Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Oh, to be a part of that (underwater) world! lol Yes, definitely, Ariel! Read more…