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Posts Tagged ‘“Into The Woods”’

I had the privilege of sitting down with Chip Zien on October 16, 2010 after seeing his show “The History of War” in NYMF, which also starred fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Max Von Essen. My first introduction to Chip was watching him on “All My Children” when he played gossip reporter “Donald Steele,” and from that moment on I was hooked. I then got to meet Chip after seeing him in the Broadway production of “The Boys From Syracuse” in 2002. He was so nice and now to have the opportunity to sit down with him personally for an interview with “Adaumbelle’s Quest” is a real honor!

Chip Zien is an award winning actor who has delighted audiences worldwide in theatre, film, and television! Chip created the roles “The Baker” in Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine’s “Into The Woods” as well as the role of “Mendel” in William Finn’s “Falsettos.” His many other Broadway credits include “In Trousers,” “March of the Falsettos,” “Falsettoland,” “The Country Girl,” the revival of “Les Miserables,” “Grand Hotel,” “The Boys From Syracuse,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “All Over Town,” and “The Suicide.” Off-Broadway and regionally, Chip has entertained audiences in “Merrily We Roll Along” (L.A. Drama-Logue Award), “Anonymous,” “An Imaginary Life,” “Isn’t It Romantic” (Drama Desk Nomination), “Split,” “Moonchildren,” “Hot L Baltimore,” “Kaddish,” “A New Brain” (Drama Desk Nomination), “Diamonds,” “Real Life Funnies,” and “Tuscaloosa’s Calling Me.”

Chip has also written several shows for the stage. His one-man show “Death in Ashtabula,” “Travels With My Discontent” (a new musical written with Deborah Abramson, et al), and most recently “The History of War” which was presented at NYMF this past fall.

When not on stage or sometimes at the same time, Chip has been a fixture on television. In addition to being the announcer on “The Caroline Rhea Show,” Chip has appeared in numerous television shows such as “Lipstick Jungle,” “Rescue Me,” “CSI,” “Law and Order,” “Cheers,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Thirty-Something,” “Judging Amy,” “Cosby,” “The Cagney and Lacey Movies,” “Chips”, “Son of the Beach,” “Madigan Men,” “Wings,” “All My Children,” “Almost Perfect,” “Now and Again,” “Deadline,” “Shell Game,” “Love, Sidney,” “Reggie.”

Chip has also lit up the big screen in “The Siege,” “Howard The Duck” (the voice of Howard), “United 93,” “Snake Eyes,” “Breakfast of Champions,” “Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle,” “Grace Quigley,” “So Fine,” “Hello Again,” “House of God,” “and “The Rose.”

Currently, Chip is reworking “The History of War” for future production. Stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” to find out when that will be!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como. I always thought I’d grow up to be like Frank Sinatra, I thought Dean Martin was the greatest actor I’d ever seen, and I wanted to host a variety show like Perry Como. When I first came to NY, it was really my goal to just sing and host a variety show. Danny Kaye was a big influence on me as well…his songs were the first ones I really learned.

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Geoffrey Rush. I would have liked to work with Sinatra. You know early on in my career, I was very friendly with Henry Winkler and I was very jealous of Henry because he got to meet Sinatra and I never did. Of course, I would have also loved to work with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau. I’ve said “Hi” to Angela Lansbury, but never worked with her, though I would love to. I’d like to work with all these wonderful actors in my show (“The History Of War”).

3. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I was motoring down two paths when I graduated college…one was to be a lawyer and one was performing. I grew up in Milwaukee and as much as you could have a stage mother in Milwaukee, mine was one. She would enter me in these tiny tot talent shows and I would always sing in them. I’d sing “Down Yonder Someone Beckons To Me” and be dressed up like a cowboy with six shooters and a cowboy hat and at the end of the song I would pull my guns out and shoot off caps. So, I was always singing and be in shows, but performing seemed like an odd thing to do as a profession. A lot of my family were lawyers, so my real plan was to go to college, be a history major, go to law school and then be a lawyer or work on a political campaign. I actually ran a guy’s campaign my first year out of college and he lost by 1/2 a percentage point and if he had won, I would have gone to Georgetown Law School at night and work on his staff during the day and then my life would have changed. The reason I ended up acting, not only because I had been doing it my whole life through college, but because my step-sister was running a theatre in Chicago and somebody got sick, this was right after that campaign ended and I had to wait until January to start law school, so my sister said why don’t you come down here and you could play “Little Chap” in “Stop The World.” We are doing these three shows in this repertory theater and after a few months there the theatre burned to the ground, so a bunch of us got in a car and drove to New York and I got work right away in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.” The rest as they say is history.

4. What’s your most embarrassing on-stage moment? I’ve had a few…but one of the worst was when I was doing “Grand Hotel” and I took over for Michael Jeter, who was fantastic. My wife was a dancer in the NYC Ballet and now she teaches at the School of American Ballet and she said to me, you know when you kick your leg up to do those big fan kicks, you’re leg is just not going anywhere. She said what really makes it terrible is that you keep looking at it. So don’t look at your leg, look up instead. I was determined to be a better dancer, so when I went on stage that night I looked up and fell backwards on my head (like doing a back flip) and everyone on stage just gasped. The first thought I had was I hope that I’m still standing, and that everyone else had fallen and turned upside down, so I was momentarily convinced that I was okay and the rest of the cast had fallen. Eventually the cast was hysterical laughing and dancing around me. Another time in “Into The Woods,” the fog machines wouldn’t turn off. The stage became so filled up that we couldn’t see anything and we all had to grope our ways out of the stage door onto 45th Street. We stood on the street hysterically laughing. The orchestra was stuck in the pit, the actors are out on the street, and the audience was trying to get out. Oh that night was a complete disaster. I’ve had a bunch of them…

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? It was actually from James Lapine who said to me: “Stay focused on what you are doing. Just do your job. Don’t project too far ahead. Try not worry.” It’s the old cliche of “Staying in the moment.” My mom told me years ago when I was at camp, which I think she heard someone had said to James Cagney (I played all the great female roles in summer camp shows, I was “Lola” in “Damn Yankees,” I was “Liza Doolittle” in “My Fair Lady”), “You know you’re wandering all over the place. Stand still until you have a reason to move.” Wynn Handman, a great acting teacher in New York once said to me “Go to LA and make lots of money, then come back here and I’ll fix you.”

6. What’s your proudest moment? The birth of my children is probably the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me. I also have to say driving by the Martin-Beck Theatre (now the Hirschfeld) when the big boot from “Into The Woods” went up on the marquee. I stood on the corner with Joanna Gleason and I never thought this would happen to me. We stood there together and thought “Wow, this was awesome.” It was this realization that something I wanted to do my whole life had happened and it happened at a very high level which I probably would have never imagined. One of the really cool things was when we taped that show for “Great Performances,” I had a moment with Sondheim after it was over, and we had a really great audience that night. It was one of those audiences who knew every line in the show and Sondheim said to me, “This is as good as it can get” and I just started to cry.

7. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Not really, but I think the one thing that is different is that I build my own computers. I’m technically pretty sophisticated. I was president of my high school AV squad and I mean old school when you had to thread the 16mm film. As the years have gone by, I was thinking, the things that interested me when I was 12 are the same things that interest me today. I’m also really good at Photoshop…I think it’s the 8th wonder of the world. It’s amazing what you can do. I’m also an excellent Yo-Yoist. I can do really complicated Yo-Yo tricks and that is because there was a Yo-Yo champion in “Grand Hotel” who used to practice back stage.

8. Favorite play/musical? My favorite musical is “Sweeney Todd.” My favorite play I’m stumped on, but I would have to say “Death of a Salesman.” I would love to do that show. I’m old enough to do it. I know they are doing it again, but it’s not with me. Me: Well that’s a mistake. Chip: I also love “Waiting for Godot.” The army scenes in this show are kind of modeled after “Waiting for Godot” at least in my head.

9. Favorite website? I’m a political junkie. I would say The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and I sneak onto some of the theatrical websites.

10. Mary or Rhoda? Mary.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I used to have a recurring dream where I would drink coffee around a camp fire with John Wayne and he would say “Kid, it’s gonna be okay.” Then that dream mutated to Jack Gilford as I got older. It’s kind of really funny because they are opposite ends of the spectrum. I crossed paths with John Wayne at one moment in my career because at one point we had the same agent, obviously it was late in his career and early in mine, and I was sitting in a lobby across from John Wayne and I thought to myself “Wow, this is really the yin and yang of show business right here.” I said, “Hi” and he said, “Hi, how are you doing kid?”

I would also love to dream about having dinner with Bill and Hillary or President Obama. I liked to dream about being at some of those big meetings they have, like health care. Those dreams can be exciting because you can’t be at them in real life.

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Stage presence, comedic timing, and a smile to light up the room, Amy Rutberg is a performer to go see! From television to film to theatre, Amy has conquered them all!

She has delighted theatre audiences in New York as well as regionally throughout the US. NY credits include “Perfect Harmony,” “The Jazz Age,” “Our Leading Lady,” “Ostrovsky,” “The Civil War,” “The Night They Raided Minsky’s,” “Bat Boy The Musical,” “The Grave White Way,” and the current Off-Broadway smash hit “The Divine Sister” (click here for my review). Regionally, Amy has lit up the stage in “Dracula,” “Dracula The Musical,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Man of La Mancha,” “My Fair Lady,” “Porkbroker’s Daughter,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “The Pajama Game,” “Into The Woods,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Lysistrata,” “Evita,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Two Gentleman of Verona,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”

In Film and Television, Amy has been seen in HBO’s “Recount,” “Inside Out,” “Camp Summer Stage,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Unusuals,” “As The World Turns,” “Everwood,” “Broken Record,” “Pacific Blue,” “Fourteenth,” and “Emma & Lorraine.”

Amy’s comedic strengths have been showcased in “Gravid Water” with Upright Citizen’s Brigade and “Don’t Quit Your Night Job” at HA! Comedy club and are currently being featured in Charles Busch’s “The Divine Sister” at the SoHo Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street, between Varick Street & 6th Ave), where she is making audiences laugh out loud hysterically 8 times a week!

For much more on Amy, be sure to visit http://www.amyrutberg.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? There was never a moment when I thought “I want to be a performer” I just WAS a performer. I had no fear as a child. If there was anything that resembled a stage in my proximity I was climbing onto it and singing. I would come home from school and tell my mother that I had a class assignment where I was supposed to dress up as a character from a book. She knew this wasn’t true but would indulge in my fantasy. She would help me put together a costume and then I would come to class dressed up as “Romona the Pest” and insist on singing “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles in front of everyone…dressed as Romona the Pest. I think everyone else knew I would be a performer way before I did. I was lucky to have encouraging parents and teachers. Well, maybe not always encouraging but at least tolerant.

2. Who is the one  person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with some more fabulous theatre directors like Jack O’Brien or David Cromer. I love their work.

3. What is your most embarrassing on-stage moment? This is an easy one! I did a play called “Perfect Harmony” Off-Broadway last year and I accidentally called an actress by her real name in a scene. That was humiliating. Not sure anyone noticed but she sure did!

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Running a Hedge Fund.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Better to Loose the battle and win the war” and “Look at your career as a marathon not a race.” They probably came from the same person.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I have a big time sweet tooth and I love coffee, so both make me happy. Not crazy about the donuts at Dunkin. I’m from Southern California. Nothing beats a Winchell’s donut. I like that banana coffee cake thing at Starbucks.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Oy. I like the classes at “Crunch,” it’s motivating. I also like biking. Anything to avoid cutting out sweets.

8. Favorite skin care product? Kihels “Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid.” It’s so refreshing after I take of the lbs of makeup I wear for “Divine Sister.” I have a fab dermatologist Dr. Geyer. He gives me free samples and laughs at my jokes. I love him!!

9. Favorite website? www.travelandleisure.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Charles Busch.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Dr. Geyer- I mean, um.. world peace!

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’m really good at brain teasers and games of skill like card games. Backstage I’m often playing word games with my brother on my iphone between scenes.  Also, I once discovered I have an unusual affinity to Bocce ball. Wonder how that can be monetized? I love to gamble. Acting is really the perfect profession for me.


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Kelly Nichols is rising performer who crosses many genres. She’s an actress, singer, and stand-up comedian. Kelly has delighted audiences in “Into The Woods” (The Theatre Company in Hoboken, NJ), “Prince Trevor Amongst the Elephants” (Cross-Eyed Bear Productions/Midtown International Theatre Festival), “keepingabreast” (Ratutu Collaborative), and “The Clearing” (The Phoenix Players). For her role in “Prince Trevor Amongst the Elephants,” Kelly was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play and cast won the Midtown Festival’s award for Outstanding Overall Production of a New Comedy Play. As a member of the Wildlife Theatre based at the Central Park Zoo, Kelly uses her talents as a performer to entertain children all over the tri-state area. Additionally, she is a performing company member with the Attic, Jr. Children’s Theatre Series in collaboration with The Attic Ensemble, created, written, directed, and produced by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Billy Mitchell.  Kelly just finished a successful run in the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival writing and starring in “10 Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You,” which was directed by Billy Mitchell and included songs by fellow participant Bobby Cronin, one of seven contributing composer/lyricists (click here for my review). Kelly’s gearing up for her next move, stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” to find out what it will be!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Hmmm….that’s tough. I can’t say that any person really inspired me. I have ALWAYS been a ham and have loved being the center of attention. I would say if there was a person who’s always been there rooting for me, it would be my sister. She sang with me when we performed ABBA concerts on my parents’ fireplace. She always laughed at my jokes, so I figured I should keep going.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? The highest note I can sing is probably an A or so above middle C. The lowest is probably an F or an E almost 2 octaves below middle C.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There are SO MANY people I would love to perform with, but I would have to say since I saw [title of show] I would love to work with Susan Blackwell. She’s hilarious. Maybe we could play sisters. That would be fun.

4. Do you have any rituals that you have to do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? When I’m in a musical, I steam my throat two times a day for about 20 minutes a session. It just feels good. I drink a lot of warm water and warm up my singing voice and my speaking voice. I also do this weird thing to get into character backstage before the show starts. I would tell you, but then I’d have to kill you…just kidding. The long and short of it is letting go of me and sucking up my character. I decompress by watching just one show on T.V. before I go to bed. If I am lucky and it’s still on my DVR, it’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” It’s ridiculously entertaining to me and helps me to wind down a lot. I also read…This show I’ve been soaking my feet in the bathtub a lot because it’s SO HOT this summer and that helps me cool down before bed.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? If I could dream about anyone while I sleep it would be Eric the Vampire from True Blood. Wait, is my husband going to read this?Then my answer is my husband. Of COURSE I would only want to dream about my husband. Actually, if I could have the whole dream thing happen for me 3 times it would be my husband, Eric the Vampire and my Grandmother, because I’d like to talk with her about why she was the way she was.

6. What’s the best advice someone ever gave you? The best advice someone ever gave me was “Let go.” Simple, effective advice. It’s pretty hard to do for me, but I’ve been working on it for a while. I think I’m getting better. The second was “Grow like a tree,” that was pretty recent, but is surprisingly always applicable for me.

7. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Well, I tend to be pretty vocal about my strange and unusual talents, so many people know what they are, but I would say, what generally slips by people is that I can read upside down. I also have some kind of an inner compass and very very rarely get lost.

8. Books or Magazines? I love books. Not magazines so much. They go by too quickly. My husband loves to tell people about my book buying habits. I generally buy or check out at least 10 books. I can finish reading them in less than a month. I’m a voracious reader. I love so many books that it’s probably easier to tell you some of my favorite authors. I love Alice Hoffman, Charlaine Harris, Jodi Picoult, Carol Goodman…Oh I LOVE BOOKS!!! If I do read a magazine, it’s usually People because I can do the crossword in it in a matter of minutes and it makes me feel super smart.

9. Favorite website? Favorite website at the moment (besides yours??? 😉 ) I love baking websites: thepioneerwoman.com, Bakerella.com, cakewrecks.com. Love love love them!

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. Is there any question? She has a golden lasso. 🙂

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite skin care product? Ocean Salt Exfoliating Scrub. Mmmmm.

12. Favorite store to shop in? LUSH (bath and body products…I could be in that store FOREVER!!!)

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Douglas Sills is a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominee for his performance in Broadway’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” With a stage presence, talent, a big booming voice, and good looks, Douglas Sills is your go to guy! His many other stage credits include the Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Encores! productions of “Music in the Air” and “Carnival,” “On The 20th Century” for the Actors Fund, “Moonlight and Magnolias” at MTC, and BCEFA’s benefit “Broadway Backwards 5.” On the road, Douglas has starred in the National Tours of “The Scarlett Pimpernel” for which he was an Ovation Award winner, “The Secret Garden,” and “Into The Woods.” Regionally, he has been seen in “She Loves Me” (Westport Playhouse), “A Little Night Music” (Kennedy Center), “Much Ado About Nothing” (South Coast Rep), “Mack and Mabel” (Reprise), “Othello,” “Cymbeline,” and “Merry Wives” (Cal Shakes), “The Philadelphia Story,” “Richard II,” “Henry IV”, “Henry V,” and “Mrs. Warren’s Profession.” Television audiences will recognize Douglas from his guest appearances on “CSI,” “The Closer,” “Numb3rs,” and “Will & Grace,” while film goers will remember him from “Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo. Douglas just completed a run as “Captain Hook/Mr. Darling” in Papermill Playhouse’s smash hit production of “Peter Pan” (which co-starred fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Nancy Anderson and Zachary Infante). Douglas is gearing up for his next move, so until it’s announced, be sure to keep up with him on Facebook!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? So many. And I look for fresh inspiration all the time.
An interesting mix Olivier, Gielgud, Richardson, Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole…..and Al Jolson,

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Don’t know. Try not to take notice of absolutes like that. It seems only to enforce limits rather than encourage the spirit of an idea.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Cherry Jones

4. Do you have any rituals that have to do before each performance? How do you decompress after a show? Rituals change according to the demands of the piece.  Sometimes I jog to the theater, or do a recorded warm-up geared to the piece, read historically-related fiction about the period….but whatever it is, it’s generally solitary activity. Decompression also varies depending on the situation….ie: comedy or tragedy, musical or play, near home or long travel afterward,  friends in the show or not. Nothing too routine for decompression. Usually have to get back to let the dog out . She’s been my decompression more than anything….Care of something outside myself. I like to get home and bring something to my partner.

5. What’s your proudest moment? Having my folks attend the Tony Awards at which I was nominated and performed.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can dismember a body in 32 minutes.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? My favorite way would be to eat whatever I like…but that doesn’t work. Ummm working is my favorite way to stay in shape generally. But I like to push myself to try new things….ie: did Bikram for a while. Tried a vegan regimen for a while. I get the feeling yoga is likely the best approach for me.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers around the house. Briefs otherwise.

9. Favorite website? Dailycoyote.net

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Neither. Spongebob, Peter Griffin or Larry David.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite quote? “Astound yourself with your personal courage everyday”  -Olivier

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Strolling a shaded beach with my dog and my partner, looking for sea life in the shallows.

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Multi-award winning actress Joanna Gleason is known in every medium of entertainment: theatre, television, film, and literature. She won a Tony Award (for the original Broadway production of “Into The Woods”), three Drama Desk Awards (one for “Into The Woods” as well as the Broadway production of “Social Security” & Off-Broadway’s “It’s Only A Play” at MTC), and a Theatre World Award (for Broadway’s “I Love My Wife”). Her other Broadway credits include “Nick and Nora,” “The Real Thing,” and Tony nominated performances in “Joe Egg” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Off-Broadway, Joanna has delighted audiences in “Happiness” (Lincoln Center), “Something You Did” (Primary Stages), “Eleemosynary” (MTC), “The Normal Heart” (The Public Theater), and with her New York theatre directorial debut in MCC’s 2002 production of “A Letter From Ethel Kennedy” (which I was fortunate enough to see). On television she has shined in such shows as “Hello, Larry,” “Love & War,” “Oh Baby,” and my personal favorite “Bette” starring Bette Midler. Joanna has lit up the screen in such films as “Boogie Nights,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” She is the author of “Lourdes on Five Dollars a Day” and “Make Me One With Everything.” Joanna can currently be seen in Nora & Delia Ephron’s smash hit Off-Broadway show “Love, Loss, and What I Wore.” Joanna will be with the current cast (which includes Carol Kane, Janeane Garofalo, Caroline Rhea, and June Diane Raphael) until February 28 (a new cast comes in March 3), so hurry on down to the Westside Theatre in NYC (407 West 43rd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) to see this humorous, touching, and identifiable show.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? You are too young to know about Ernie Kovacs…but he was wild. Also, Bette Davis.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I would like to work with Nathan Lane.

3. What is the best advice a teacher ever gave you? “Get a real life, too” was the best advice.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I would dream of all my departed friends.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks decaf latte and an egg salad sandwich.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Do 8 shows a week. You are either in shape or dead from it.

7. Favorite skin care product? Skin care? just turn me loose in Sephora!!!

8. Favorite play/musical? Can’t pick one. But I love me dem Sondheim musicals, and “Light in the Piazza.”

9. Favorite website? EBAY!!!!! Lookie, here’s comes the UPS guy again!!!!

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Rhoda. No, Mary. Wait, Rhoda…Phyllis?

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Zak was born in New York and has desperately been trying to get back ever since. Raised in Richmond, Virginia, his parents enrolled him in the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC) at the young age of 5 because a friend said, “he doesn’t sing like the other kids.”  Zak stayed with SPARC until he was 16, when he attended Ann Reinking & Debra McWater’s Broadway Theatre Project (BTP) in Tampa, FL. He spent the next 3 summers there learning from the best of the best. After high school, Zak moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious School of Drama — where he double majored in Musical Theatre and Acting. In his senior year at CMU, Zak spent a semester studying abroad at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia, where he worked with the most wonderful, talented group of people and learned so much about life, art, beauty…and of course theatre. While he was in Sydney, he also started writing his debut album. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for that!  For the past year, Zak has had the pleasure of singing with the vocal group The Broadway Boys, performing all over New York City and on the ROSIE Cruise (if you don’t know the group, you’re missing out!). Singing Broadway standards and holiday classics in a new age way — with hot arrangements, heavy beats, and…a bit of riffing.  Zak’s favorite roles include: LAST FIVE YEARS (Jamie), DON CARLOS (Lerma), ROCKY HORROR SHOW, LIVE! (Brad), INTO THE WOODS (Rapunzel’s Prince), 110º IN THE SHADE (File), BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL (Rick & Lorraine), and GODSPELL (Jesus).

Now Zak is living in New York City, where he has so long waited to return. Life is good.  Please check out & subscribe to Zak’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/zakresnick.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Well my parents put me in acting school when I was 5 when a friend advised them to…so I’d have to say Raffi was my greatest influence at the time.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Oh lord, who knows…and to be honest I wouldn’t be able to tell you (technically speaking). Not crazy high or crazy low.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m not sure if it’s a “talent” but I’m pretty into interior design and personal shopping.

4. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? The best experience you can have is when everybody clicks — cast, creative, management, etc. The worst is having no professionalism between one of those two parts…but probably foremost between director and actor. To (artistically speaking) lose respect for someone is one thing, but to show the lack of respect in the room is horrible.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Treadmill, Lifting, & Bikram.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-briefs! Need that support!

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Totally Starbucks. I always order a grande white chocolate mocha. In the summer time I just make it iced.

8. Favorite talk show host? Hmmm…I watch Leno the most, I only find Ellen truly funny, I think Letterman is pretty witty, and for the most part I don’t enjoy Conan.

9. Favorite website? YouTube? Is that lame? probably IMDB actually.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Batman!

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Chad KimballActor, singer, and entrepreneur, Chad Kimball stretches across many avenues. On Broadway, Chad has starred in Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine’s “Into The Woods” as “Milky White, the Cow,” garnering a spot on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment.” Other Broadway credits include “Lennon,” “The Civil War,” and “Good Vibrations.” Off-Broadway Chad has been seen in “Godspell,” “My Life with Albertine,” “Batboy,” and “Finian’s Rainbow.” Regionally, Chad has performed in Signature Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd” in Arlington, VA, Papermill Playhouse’s “Baby” in Millburn, NJ, and the Blank Theatre’s “Little Fish” in Los Angles, CA.  While in CA, Chad and his brother Todd founded “Obvious Clothing,” (a line I personally am a proud wearer of) an “elegantly edgy”, high end graphic t-shirt line. Their shirts can be found at department stores and boutiques across the country including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Von Maur, Fred Segal Melrose, Barney’s Japan, and M. Frederic. In addition to the many cast albums Chad has lent his vocals to, he is in the midst of recording his debut solo album due out in February 2010, but before that, you can hear him sing his heart out in the new Broadway show “Memphis” which opens tomorrow, Monday, October 19 at the Shubert Theatre on 44th Street in NYC (click here for my fantastical review). For more on Chad, visit http://www.chadkimball.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My cousin Marty lived in NYC and was a triple threat. I was enamored by his talents.

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a performer? When I played Joe Crowell in “Our Town.”

3. What is your most embarrassing audition? For “Producers”. Fell flat and wasn’t funny…in front of Mel Brooks!

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can roll my belly like a wave.

5. Favorite way to say in shape? Playing Huey Calhoun in “Memphis.”

6. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs. Hanes.

7. Favorite musician/performer? Peter O’Toole.

8. Favorite TV Show? The Cosby Show.

9. Favorite kind of shoes? Flip Flops.

10. “Gobots” or “Transformers”? Transformers.

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