Where are you from? That is a bit complicated as we moved many times during my childhood and not always with our current father in tow. I was born in the Bay Area of Northern California living in many of the towns there. I then spent first and second grade in Delaware. Third and fourth grade were in Bakersfield, California – a town I remember for its tumbleweeds and 110 degree summer days. I spent the rest of my childhood in the beautiful beach town of Ventura, California between Malibu and Santa Barbara.
Broadway credits: She Loves Me, Mary Poppins, the recent revival of The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, and currently You Can’t Take It With You. I also count originating the role of Bob Cratchit in the production of A Christmas Carol that played for 10 holiday seasons at the theater at Madison Square Garden. Officially MSG was not a member of the Broadway League of Producers but if you look at the caliber of the creative team I think it counts.
How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? I’m so old I can’t exactly remember. It was She Loves Me and Ido remember we were at a long callback session near Lincoln Center dancing, singing, and reading. Scott Ellis was directing, Robbie Marshall was choreographing, and David Loud was the musical director. After each section there were cuts. I made it down to the end and they had me read a few things. I can’t remember if they told me I should be expecting an offer or if they simply said we will be contacting your agents soon. But they was not many of us left at the end so I remember it felt possible. I was in my early 30’s having done a great deal of LORT and off-Bway so I remember it was exciting. It was a great first Bway show to do. A wonderful cast and production. I had a small featured role of a detective in addition to other ensemble numbers and understudied as well. It was thrilling.
What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? Gypsy of the Year and Easter Bonnet are very special, and I have some great memories of those over the years. I also love that they started as a grassroots kind of thing and continue to feel like an inside fun thing that also generates an amazing amount of financial support for great causes.
What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? The Talent. Being in a room creating with a group of brilliant artists at the top of their game is exhilarating. It never ceases to inspire. When I look at the list of incredible talent I have had the honor to work with through the years it astounds me. I am very lucky in so many ways.
What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? Traveling. I have been lucky to travel all over with some of my directing work. The history, the people, the art, the landscapes, it fills your mind and soul with possibilities.
If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… Hal Prince. Hal was hugely supportive of my directing work early on and I have not seen him in a long while. I would love to sit with him over coffee to tell him thank-you in person and how much his faith in me meant as a young director. Working with him those months was thrilling.
If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… Salvador Dali — I visited his house in the small fishing village of Portllgat nearCadaques in Spain. It was peaceful, and simple and whimsical. To live how you want and focus on your art while being surrounded by the people who are the joy of your life seemed like a perfect balance. He would spend the day painting in his specially designed studio, and in the evening entertain surrounded by friends. An artists life on his own terms.
To be successful in this business, it takes…tenacity, talent, and often luck
Tell us a secret. I was a fat kid. My brothers got to shop for slim jeans and then we would have to go to the Husky dept. for mine. In Jr. High when we were doing track in gym I was given the honor of running in the “Fat Boy” race. Four of us were chosen to run a lap around the track while the rest of the kids got to jeer/cheer us running alongthe sides . A year later I had a growth spurt and thanks to the gift of height I was never fat again…though in my mind…