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"Call Me Adam" chats with...



Entries in Roundabout Theatre Company (4)


Robert Petkoff

Robert Petkoff as "Lord Evelyn Oakleigh" in "Anything Goes", Photo Credit: Joan MarcusRobert Petkoff is an award winning actor who recently completed the run of "Follies" at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, playing the role of "Buddy." Robert's theatrical credits include Broadway's "Ragtime," "Spamalot," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Epic Proportions." The West End production of "The Royal Family" (with Dame Judi Dench), and Off-Broadway's "Happiness," "More Stately Mansions," and "The Blue Flower." Regionally and on tour, Robert has entertained audiences in "Spamalot," "Tantalus," "Importance of Being Earnest" (with Lynn Redgrave), "Sunday in the Park With George" (After Dark Award), "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet" (Jeff Award Nominee), "Troilus and Cressida," and "Complete Female Stage Beauty" (Robby Award).

Robert has also shined in film and television's "Milk & Money," "Loverboy," "Game Day," "Chappelle's Show," "The Good Wife," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Hack," "Quantum Leap," "Married With Children," "Mona," and "Liberace."

Currently, Robert can be seen delighting audiences in Roundabout Theatre Company's Tony Award Winning revival of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" as "Lord Evelyn Oakleigh" opposite Tony Award Winner Sutton Foster (who departs March 11, but the amazingly talented Stephanie J. Block returns to "Anything Goes" on March 15) at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York City (124 West 43rd Street, between Broadway & 6th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

For more on Robert be sure to visit and be sure to follow him on Twitter!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I initially got interested in acting in High School because a girl I had a crush on was into theatre. I thought if I auditioned I could get closer to her. Young men being harder to come by in High School Theatre, I ended up getting cast in all the shows that year and she got cast in none. Didn't get the girl, but fell in love with telling stories on stage. I also had a teacher, Dan Martinkus, who inspired me to look at theatre as more than just fun and games.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I have to say I have been very fortunate to have worked with a lot of actors I have really admired. I have missed out on a couple of chances to work with some directors who I think are great: Jack O'Brien and Daniel Sullivan are two that come to mind right away. I think it would be exciting to work with them.

3. What attracted you to "Anything Goes"? I think what attracted me to "Anything Goes" is that it is a terrific production of a good old-fashioned, classic Broadway musical. With Cole Porter's phenomenal songs that stay with you when you leave the theater. Not to mention the delightful performances or the eight minute long tap dance finale of the first act. It is impossible not to cheer at the end of the title song.

4. What do you identify most with your character "Lord Evelyn Oakleigh"? What I most identify with in the character of "Lord Evelyn" is that his enthusiasm sometimes comes before his understanding.  In the play it leads to comical confusion.  In my own life it usually leads to embarrassment...

5. What has been the best part about performing with this cast every night? I think the best part of performing with this cast every night it that we are all still having fun doing this show. I am also spoiled getting to play and dance with Sutton every night. She is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in this show and yet she is always alive and playful.

6. What do you like about taking over a role as opposed to originating one? Taking over a role as opposed to originating one is tricky. Especially following someone as superb as Adam Godley was in the role. A lot of the choices have been made regarding what the character wants and how he is going to get it. You have to step in and find a way of discovering how to marry those choices with your own. There is a freedom to make your own choices, but a bit of an obligation not to stray too far from the playground already established.

7. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I think my favorite part of rehearsal is early on when you are just discovering who the character is and you can try so many different ideas out. I love feeling the freedom to make horrible mistakes and terrible choices. My great flaw is trying to be "right" so to let go of that and dare to make a fool of myself can lead to very happy accidents. I'm ridiculously shy about being heard singing so when practicing on my own I lock myself in the bathroom in my apartment and shut the windows. It is the room that is the most soundproof so I am less self-conscious. Self-consciousness is the enemy of creativity.

8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? What I've learned about myself from being a performer is that I need to listen in life as much as I listen on stage.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I've ever received in regards to acting was repeated over and over during Spamalot by Mike Nichols who was quoting Jack O'Brien: "You aren't funny, the material is funny." Just act the scene as honestly as possible without a lot of decoration and the comedy or drama will take care of itself. The best advice I've ever received in life was: "Just kiss her."

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? If I could dream about anyone while I sleep it would probably be my mom. I lost her a few years ago and it would be nice to talk with her again.


11. Favorite way to spend your day off? I'm an avid photographer so, if I ever get a day off again it would be nice to set up a shoot. I do a lot of voice work and so I rarely get a genuine day off.

12. Boxers or Briefs? Actually, Boxer Briefs.

13. Favorite website? I'm a gadget geek so Engadget or Gizmodo get a lot of visits.

14. Superman or Wonder Woman? Without a doubt, Wonder Woman. Maybe I should go back to that question about dreams again...


Joanna Gleason

I first had the honor of interviewing Tony, Drama Desk, and Theatre World Award Winner Joanna Gleason last year when she starred in Nora & Delia Ephron's Off-Broadway smash hit show "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" (click here for our first interview). I am thrilled to be given this honor once again.

Since our previous interview, Joanna has been working hard on her forthcoming book, "Rancho Mirage," which is slated for release in 2012, and is currently starring in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Stephen Karam "Sons of the Prophet" through January 1, 2012 at the Laura Pels Theatre in NYC (111 West 46th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

1. What attracted you to "Sons of the Prophet" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? The moment I read it, I knew I had never seen characters like this...or played one so rich and layered.

2. What is the best part about performing with this cast? We are tightly knit and adore each other.

3. You have peformed at Manhattan Theatre Club and now Roundabout Theatre Company. What do you like about working with non-profit/institutional theatre companies? Their internal structure, the wonderful people who take expert and personal care of a show and everyone in it.

4. Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I have an office upstairs at our house, and it overlooks the woods...I work there.

5. In addition to performing, you made your theatrical directorial debut in 2002 with "A Letter From Ethel Kennedy" and have directed several television series including "Love and War" and "Oh Baby." Do you feel there is a difference between directing for theatre and directing for TV? The technicalities of cameras are a world of their own, but it is all the same end--tell the story...get the actors on the same page, and tell the story in small and large ways...but the acting is the same.

6. What can you tell us about your forthcoming book, "Rancho Mirage?" What made you want to write a book? Where is your favorite place to write and what was your favorite part of writing a book? I write in that upstairs room, or in my dressing room between shows at the the times when I wasn't working, I felt dammed up, like there were notions and tales in my brain that I wanted to get on paper...just be many dinner parties could we have (many, actually) or how many scarves to knit (also, many) but then, I sat down and it started to reveal itself.

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer, director, and writer? That I was always in search of a mate, children, friends, a home...the rest just got better as I found and was blessed with what grounds you in life.

8. What has kept you grounded in an industry that can lead others down a darker road? See above.

9. Looking back, what was it like/what did it mean to win a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for "Into The Woods" and what did you enjoy most about working with Chip Zien (who I had the pleasure of interviewing last year)? What was the best part about starring on "Bette" and what did you learn from working with Bette Midler? The awards? Extraordinary...very moving to me to have work recognized...Chip has been since that show and remains one of my best friends...we have watched each others' kids grow...grandchildren...he is amazing and such a talent...that of the most beautiful ever...Bette Midler...a force of nature-loved that she was a regular gal and an icon at the same time.

10. You have worked in theatre, film, television, and now publishing. What aspect of entertainment have you not tackled that you would like to? Professional ice skating and tango...I am actually doing one now...the other? Ahhh, that's what watching the olympics is for.


Charles Socarides

Charles Socarides is another actor who's rising up! He's performed in mulitple genres including theatre, film, and television. On stage, Charles has shined in "Trust" (Second Stage), "The Marriage of Bette and Boo" (Roundabout Theatre), "The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall" (Stage 13), "Indian Blood" (Primary Stages), "Awake and Sing!" (Belasco Theatre), "Old Money" (Lincoln Center), "Sons of the Prophet" (Huntington Theatre), and "Lulu" (Yale Rep). Charles' film and television credits include "Breaking Upwards," "The Missing Person," "Virgin," "Jesus Children of America" (directed by Spike Lee), "Law & Order," "Guiding Light," and "Starved."

Currently, Charles can be seen reprising his role in "Sons of the Prophet" at Roundabout Theatre's Laura Pels Theatre in NYC (111 West 46th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenue) through the new extended date of January 1, 2012! Click here for tickets! If you have not seen this show, it's one I would highly recommend! (click here for my review)

For more on Charles be sure to follow him on "Facebook!"

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My mother. Growing up I would perform for her. She never got tired of listening to me.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? The one? God, there are so many. Big Leonardo DiCaprio fan.

3. What attracted you to "Sons of the Prophet" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Stephen's writing is so fun! His characters are always multi-dimensional so there's always something to play. Even just reading Sons, I could feel all the characters thinking. It's so seamless, you never feel, "Oh, this guy is just here to serve a purpose." And I hope audiences feel that way too, that they understand each character even if they don't particularly like them.

4. What has been the best part about working with this cast and performing with Roundabout Theatre? The best part is that they are all actually lovely people. They say "If you can't find the asshole in the cast, then it's you." I guess it's me! The best thing about Roundabout is how they can be hands-off and supportive at the same time. It's a great place to work.

5. What attracted you to the role of "Timothy" and what do you identify most with him? I like how ambitious he is. He has no problem with feeling like he deserves something and not resting until he gets it. He's also interesting to me because all of his drive is just so he can get away from himself. I have been guilty of that in my life. Who hasn't, right? Right??

6. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I like when you have that first great show and everybody feels connected to each other. Actors and audience as well. But the feeling among actors is really special. And brief too, because the next day you'll probably have a terrible show. I guess my apartment is my favorite place to work on a role. But I could do it anywhere where I can be alone and it's quiet.

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Being a performer keeps me in touch with how sensitive I am. If I did something else, I think I would run from my feelings a lot more than I already do.

8. If you couldn't be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I don't know. My dad was a shrink so maybe that. But there would have to be an exhibitionistic element to it. Therapist-performance artist?

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "When people tell you who they are, listen." --Joanna Gleason  Good advice. Tough to follow.

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I like dreams that make me feel like I'm working something out and I'm in touch with my unconscious. Subjects usually include: my father, ex-girlfriends, childhood.


11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to stay in shape? Super low-key. See a friend, see a movie, relax. I like to go to the gym. Really into pull ups right now even though I can't do that many.

12. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers/boxer-briefs.

13. Favorite website? Ugh, Facebook.

14. Superman or Wonder Woman? Christopher Reeve's Superman.


Matt Doyle

Matt Doyle is another one of our next generation performers who rising fast! He made his Broadway debut at age 19 in the Tony Award Winning show "Spring Awakening" as "Hanschen" and has gone on to star in Roundabout Theatre Company's "Bye Bye Biridie" as "Hugo Peabody," and now he's currently starring in Lincoln Center's Tony Award Winning "War Horse." His film and television credits include "Private Romeo," "Once More With Feeling," and a recurring role on the CW's "Gossip Girl."

Matt just released his debut EP "Daylight," co-written with composer/musical director Will Van Dyke, which he will be celebrating with a concert on Monday, August 15 at 10:30pm at NYC famed Le Poisson Rouge! On the day of its release, "Daylight" broke the Top 40 of the iTunes pop album charts. Come hear Matt perform songs off of "Daylight," debut new songs, and cover other soul and pop hits. Special guests will include "War Horse’s" Katy Pfaffl and "Spring Awakening’s" Blake Daniel and Anna Ty Bergman. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 155 Bleecker Street in NYC. Click here for tickets!

For much more on Matt be sure to visit, Facebook, or follow him on Twitter (@mattfdoyle)!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was always interested in theater when I was a kid. It wasn't until I was struggling with bullying in middle school that I discovered my love for performance. I was seeking a community where I'd fit in and find new friends. I started performing in community theater. I fell in love instantly. It inspired me to work hard and believe that I had something to offer. I knew I had discovered my passion and that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I never questioned it from that moment on.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? There are so many! If I had to pick just one I'd say my best friend from growing up, Beth Behrs. We were attached at the hip in high school and both dreamed about "making it." She lives in LA now and is one of the leads on the new CBS show, "Two Broke Girls." I've never been so proud of anyone. The girl has worked her ass off and is so talented. We've never gotten to do anything together, professionally. It would be amazing.

3. How did you come up with the title and concept for "Daylight" and how did you decide/come to work with Will Van Dyke? What has been the best part about your collaboration with him? First, let me say that Will Van Dyke is a genius. 'Daylight' simply could not have happened without him. I am the luckiest guy in the world to call him my friend and writing partner. I originally wanted to put together a small demo of some sort that I would also be able to sell on iTunes. Will and I had written a song together for my Feinstein's show, so I asked him if he would be involved. When I realized how well we worked together, I figured we should actually explore writing more music. My biggest influences are in soul music, so I wanted to create a soul/pop EP. I grew up addicted to soul legends like Sam Cooke and Ottis Redding. Will completely understood what I wanted. When we raised the amount of money that we did on ($21,000) we then had the funds to create something much more legitimate. Most people don't realize that just one day of mixing in the studio can cost several thousand dollars. The generosity from fans allowed us to work with really incredible musicians and engineers. Will had just finished producing his own album, so he was a huge help in guiding me through such an insane process.

4. What excites you most about releasing your EP and performing at Le Poisson Rouge? It's so exciting to create something from the ground up! I look at Daylight now and think, 'That was just an idea last year, and here it is.' I'm really proud of what we've created. We worked extremely hard and I feel that it shows. There was such an incredible amount of support from fans to create this EP. It's wonderful to be able to share something that I believe in so strongly with them. Le Poisson Rouge will mark the first time I perform all of the material live. I cannot wait.

5. What have you learned about yourself from making "Daylight" and from being a performer? What do you get from performing your own music that you don't get from performing in a theatrical show/television program? My songs are extremely personal. Working on my own material has been rather therapeutic. It's amazing how much clarity you can gain on certain issues when you have to articulate them in a song. In the past, my concerts have been made up entirely of covers. This time I will be telling my own stories instead of someone else's. I have a deep relationship with these songs. I think it's an different way of opening up to an audience. When I sing these songs, I'm not playing a part. It's just me.

6. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting an album together? I love being in the studio. I love the camaraderie with the engineers and musicians as we throw it all together during the day. The time flies while I'm in there. Twelve hours will go by and I'll feel like I just got there. It's so exciting for me. If I could do it all day, every day, I would.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I head to the gym 5 times a week...and then I do "War Horse."

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs or Briefs.

9. Favorite website? I'm a big YouTube fan. It can consume my life for hours.

10. "Glinda" or "Elphaba"? Elphaba. All the way.


11. What's the best advice you've ever received? My parents have always told me to go with my gut and trust my instincts. It has lead me in all the right directions so far. 

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Hahah. Great question! I'm sure every one would get a kick out of who inspired my song, "If Morning Can't Wait." I'll never tell! Instead, I'll go the non-romantic route and say my friend Marc who I met at school in London. He lives in Paris and I haven't seen him since. He was a really good buddy of mine. I have recurring dreams about hanging out with him all the time!

13. What attracted you to "War Horse" and what is your favorite part of the show? Looking back, what did you enjoy most about being part of "Spring Awakening"? Everything attracted me to "War Horse." I was so taken by it. The story is simple, beautiful, and accessible. It captivates 8 year olds and 80 year olds. The puppetry is absolutely breathtaking and provides for truly magical story telling. Most importantly though, I wanted to be apart of a true ensemble piece. The horses are the stars. We are all there to support them. We must all be completely connected with one another to tell the story. It's a show that depends on every single company member to come to life. That's theater magic to me. This company is my family and has thoroughly changed me. They challenge and inspire me. It has been the most rewarding journey of my life.

"Spring Awakening" was a fantastic phenomenon that I am honored to have been a part of. Musicals that are groundbreaking and fresh are a rarity. I'd say the best part about it was that I got just about every Broadway experience imaginable out of that show. I am so grateful for my two year run with it. I was so young (19) when I started with it and I learned novels. Oh...and "Bitch of Living" will forever be the coolest thing I've ever done on stage.

14. What's the best part about appearing on "Gossip Girl"? I played a gay character on one of the most popular and talked about teen-dramas ever. If it helped make just one person feel more comfortable with who they are, then I couldn't possibly wish for more.