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Monday
Dec032012

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! Cast Interview

Gabrielle Mirabella (Annabelle) is a Florida native with a degree from the Manhattan School of Music. After studying in NYC, for both theatre and opera, Mirabella is busy cramming as many new and wonderful opportunities into her career as possible. Favorite regional theatre credits include "Velma" in Hairspray and "Laura" in Swing!

Jonathan Van Dyke (Jeff) recently appeared in Boeing Boeing, Holiday Inc, and I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change. National tour credits include Bye Bye Birdie and, with Gennifer Flowers, Oh Calcutta. A member of the Dramatist Guild, he is the writer of the award-winnign Spring at the Willowbrook Inn.

Now Jonathan and Gabrielle are starring together in the 2nd National Tour of Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn's hilarious comedy You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! kicking off at Queens Theatre from November 30-December 9. Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Click here for tickets!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer?

Jonathan: My parents parked me down to watch West Side Story on TV when I was about 8 years old and after that I was hooked.

Gabrielle: Not being very good at math or sports in school. I've been on stage since I was a little one and never left. I have a million female comedy icons, and after working on this show I have added Annabelle Gurwitch to that list!

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to?

Jonathan: Gosh so many! I always had a thing for Lynda Carter. Not sure what we would work on, but perhaps there is a project in our future.

Gabrielle: The entire cast of Parks and Recreation.

3. What attracted you to "I Say Tomato, You Say Shut Up!"?

Jonathan: I thought the script was great fun, while remaining realistic. If you can laugh at the up's and down's of love -- and know that everyone goes through it, I think it is comfort. A two person show can be a challenge and it was one I wanted to try.

Gabrielle: I love sarcasm and humor and this play has both to the extreme.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show?

Jonathan: Definitely hope there are some laughs! I hope they look at their spouse or partner and with some understanding and know t isn't ever going to be perfect but that is OK. You are there for one another.

Gabrielle: Hopefully not a headache from hearing our voices for 70 minutes. I love seeing couples laughing and poking each other in the ribs as they leave the theater.

5. What do you identify most with about your characters?

Jonathan: I think I am pretty easy going and a bit romantic like "Jeff" but I am also down to business like "Annabelle." I can understand qualities in both.

Gabrielle: Always being right and being highly allergic to "romantic love." Get me a box of cupcakes from "Magnolia" and a 30 Rock marathon and I'm yours!

6. What excites you about performing at Queens Theatre and starring on the 2nd National Tour of the show? 

Jonathan: The theatre is amazing. My first time here and I did not realize what an auspicious history it has. Having done the show in Tampa and then coming to the Queens Theatre for our first stop on tour is beyond exciting for Gabby and I. Everyone at the theatre has been so friendly and working with Darren Katz as our director has been a highlight.

Gabrielle: Queens is the land of my people, at least my Father and a few cousins. I am excited for the tour mainly as an excuse to hang out with my cute costar for a few months without him being able to run away.

7. What have you enjoyed about working with each other so far?

Jonathan: Gabby and I have a ball. We met working on this and have since become good friends. Looking forward to her being my "wife" in the upcoming months.

Gabrielle: He's really handsome and knows how to handle an audience like only a great actor can. Did I mention he is really good looking?

8. What have you learned about yourself from being performers?

Jonathan: hmmmm..I think I am really fond of these intimate shows where you can connect with audience. They are a big part of our show. We talk to them and they definitely talk back. The audience is like our 3rd performer. So I have learned that this type of material really resonates with me. I hope to do more shows like Tomato.

Gabrielle: After attempting to be a ballerina, tap dancer, serious actor, comic actor, musical theater actor and the all too crippling opera singer, I've realized I just need a lot of attention.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received?

Jonathan: Don't be too serious...Life is full of curve balls. Roll with the punches. Keep on keepin on and good things happen.

Gabrielle: "If you're gonna reach for a star, reach for the lowest one you can."- Strangers with Candy

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? 

Jonathan: ummm...I'm not sure the correct way to answer this...What kind of dream are we talking about? Is my mother going to read this?

Gabrielle: Jon Hamm or Jonathan Van Dyke. But it's usually Jon Hamm.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? 

Jonathan: Being from FL, I really like the beach.

Gabrielle: In the kitchen baking every recipe I can get my hands on.

12. Favorite way to stay in shape?

Jonathan: I am on an ALL carbohydrate diet...I have not lost a single pound but I am going to stick with it. I do like to run.

Gabrielle: Running in my weird glove shoes.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

Jonathan: FLYING!

Gabrielle: Being able to taste the food on the Food Network through the TV screen.

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