Tom Wopat first came to public attention in the late-1970s as the freewheeling "Luke Duke" on the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard." In 1977, he made his Broadway debut in Cy Coleman’s "I Love My Wife." Tom went on to perform in the Tony Award–winning "City of Angels" and "Guys and Dolls." He received a Tony nomination for creating the role of "Frank Butler" in the Broadway revival of "Annie Get Your Gun," opposite Bernadette Peters. In 2008, Tom returned to Broadway as "Tom Hurley" in "A Catered Affair" with Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein. Tom spent much of 2011 on Broadway again starring as "Frank Abagnale Sr." in the new adaptation of "Catch Me If You Can."
Though Tom had never done a sitcom before, he seized the opportunity when Chuck Lorre offered him a leading role in "Cybill." Other credits include a recurring role on "Home Improvement," the critically acclaimed NBC movie "Just My Imagination," HBO's "Taking Chance" alongside Kevin Bacon, and most recently a spot on CBS' "A Gifted Man." 2012 will see Tom starring in ABC's first ever movie musical "Elixir" alongside Jane Seymour, Chelsea Kane, Sara Paxton and more.
In addition to theatre, film, and television, Tom has also become a successful recording artist with many albums to his credit, including "A Little Bit Closer," "Don’t Look Back," "Learning to Love," and "The Still of the Night." In 2005, he released "Dissertation on the State of Bliss"—featuring the music of Harold Arlen—and his most recent offering, "Consider it Swung," features a swingin' set of standards and interesting covers, including Frank Sinatra, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Joni Mitchell.
Currently, Tom is out on the road promoting his new album "Consider It Swung" with a very special New York appearance at Queens Theatre, as part of their Celebrity Concert series, on Saturday, March 24 at 2pm and 8pm, come see Tom sing selections from his new album, Broaway hits, and songs from the 40s and 50s. Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368. Click here for tickets for the 2pm show and click here for tickets for the 8pm show.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I started singing when I was a little kid in Lowdi, Wisconsin. The public school teachers were extremely supportive. Don Roebuck, my high school music teacher, inspired and encouraged me the most.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Adele - shes great.
3. What excites you about your upcoming concert at Queens Theatre? We’re doing two shows, one in the afternoon and one at night. The trio that’s on the most recent record and my A team of performers will be accompanying me: Dave Finck on bass, Tedd Firth on piano and Peter Grant on drums.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the concert? That they enjoy themselves and the music.
5. You just released your new album, "Consider It Swung." What made you want to record an album of swing music? It’s a great deal of fun! The two earlier jazz records were more introspective. I wanted this one to be hotter.
6. What do you get from recording music that you don't get from performing on stage or in film/television? You get a very focused performance. With Jazz every time you play a song its different, so recording it just raises the stakes.
7. What is your favorite part of putting an album together? What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? The recording sessions themselves is my favorite part. Often, we end up doing very few overdubs so you basically end up with a “live” take. Working on new material is my favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period.
8. I grew up watching you on "The Dukes of Hazzard." What initially made you want to audition for the show and what is your most cherished memory of that time in your life? I auditioned for the show because I needed work. I think I would have to say sitting in the car with John, we had a blast.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I’m not shy.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be yourself.
11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Hard question-actually last night I had a dream that involved Michael Jackson and Richard Nixon’s family. I guess dreams aren’t choosey.