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!
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.
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.
The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I don’t think of myself as fancy, going to places to get that “cool” cocktail at that “cool” place post-show, although I’m trying to get more fancy as I get older and I don’t think it’s working. I probably would just head over to Flaming Saddles bar because the energy there is always so bright and free-spirited. Plus the country music puts me in a feisty mood. If not there, then any karaoke bar will do. I’m one of those I’m afraid.
After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Ok so this may be a weird answer to this question but I’m going to say the first thing that came to mind: Resorts World Casino in Queens. Did you know that there’s a huge casino that’s only a 30-minute subway ride from Manhattan? I’m not encouraging gambling, but I do like a good slot machine from time to time. Plus, they have amazing cover bands and concerts there, and who knows maybe you’ll win. I have!
If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
California. Every time I go there I am in awe of the beauty. The sun, ocean, and landscape make my heart smile and it just makes sense.
My workout “secret” is:
My workout “secret” is I really don’t have one. Eat your green veggies daily for sure! I try to go to the gym when I can and eat healthy as much as I can but I just don’t think about it. I wonder what I would look like if I actually thought about it and started the protein shakes, supplements, personal trainer and all that. Hell, I don’t think that’s happening… I barely have the discipline to wash my face.
When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Someone who is funny, exciting and a little crazy—but the good kind of crazy. I’m drawn to free spirits, but also grounded with morals, kindness and loyalty. I love to laugh, so if you make me laugh it’s a major plus.
People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
When I was a little boy around four years old or so, I stuck a peanut up my nose. Being just a kid I completely forgot it was there for days! Then one day I felt pressure up in my nose and decided to snort as hard as I could… out came the peanut.
When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Mikhail Baryshnikov. When I was a young ballet dancer he was my idol. He was not only a dancer, but he was also an actor. I would watch his films over and over and dream of being someone like him.
Beyond Paris, one of the most romantic places in the world is…
The Greek islands. Imagine just having cocktails on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches with music and delicious food? Maybe even hopping on the back of a motorcycle to take a ride around the island at sunset with a beautiful Greek man. Sound good to you?
Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Lord knows where I will be. But if I dreamed it then I would be married to the love of my life, a kid or two on the way. Definitely have a house somewhere in the country, but with an apartment in New York City. And of course I’d have a sitcom and a few blockbuster movies out that I wrote and starred in under my belt. We can dream big. We should always dream big. Anything is possible.
An American in Paris is currently playing at the Palace Theatre.