Throughout his career, comedian Stephen Sorrentino has brought audiences to hysterics with his quick-witted humor and spot-on mimicry. Often referred to as a comedic tour-de-force, Stephen is a true showman well known as a comedian, singer, and impressionist, all rolled into one. Hailed by Variety for his "hilarious, show stealing gusto," Stephen has shared the stage with superstars such as Patti LaBelle, Dennis Miller, Dana Carvey and the legendary Debbie Reynolds.
As the son of a professional singer (mother) and band leader/saxophone player (father), this Long Island native always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in music and theatre, learning to play piano, sax, flute and guitar at a young age, and starting to do impressions at the age of 5. By the sixth grade, he was doing mock "Tonight Shows," in which a friend would play Johnny Carson and the young Sorrentino would portray all the guest stars. During high school and college, Stephen was involved in musical theatre and, began musical composition, eventually landing a publishing deal with Paramount, signing recording contracts and subsequent as a pop singer/songwriter. It was at Paramount that he realized that his cousin was "The Boss" himself: Bruce Springsteen. After a subsequent record release, Stephen formed a tribute act, eventually touring 25 countries and 43 states, performing for Disney, Dick Clark and Legends in Concert, and making him the #1 Elton John impersonator in the world.
While performing in Atlantic City, Stephen was cast in his first of thirteen film roles, as a Mafia boss/drag queen in the cult hit comedy, "Homo Heights," which also starred literary and film icon, Quentin Crisp. Following the film, he studied at The Second City, with Martin de Maat, one of the most respected teachers of improvisational theatre. Since then, Stephen has starred in a number of award-winning independent films for Showtime, sitcoms for FOX, and NBC and appearances on "America’s Most Wanted," "7 Days" and "The Jimmy Kimmel Show." After several appearances on "Hollywood Squares," dozens of radio and TV talk shows and more than 50 TV commercials, Stephen decided it was time to create his own show, "Voices in My Head." Voices features 14-cast members and has toured the United States, enjoyed successful runs at the Riviera and Paris hotels in Las Vegas, as well as Atlantic City’s Tropicana, receiving rave reviews in every venue. Stephen has also appeared in the History Channel’s "Only In America," with Larry The Cable Guy, and toured Europe to sold-out houses for 6 straight months.
Stephen has received the distinguished honor of being named "Male Impressionist of the Year" by the International Guild of Celebrity Impersonators and Tribute Acts (IGCITA), for three years in a row and won Best Actor in the 48-hour film competition for "Milos Opus." Most Recently, Stephen wrapped production for his newest film, "Resurrection-Wrath of Seduction," co-starring Holly Madison ("Holly's World," "Girls Next Door"), Frank Vincent ("The Sopranos," "Casino") and Louie Anderson, which is due out in late 2012.
Then after a number of 1 night shows Stephen's show lands at the El Portal Theater in N. Hollywood Click here for tickets!
In addition, Stephen is working on a new TV game show called "Liars Limo" and recently guest starred on Logo's "Eden's World."
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I think that watching entertainers and comedians on TV got me started as a very young boy. The stars from movies or the stage having fun on TV shows such as "Carol Burnett" or even "I love Lucy" looked like such great fun. Hearing audiences laugh seemed almost magical to me. My grandfather, mother and father were all performers (singers/entertainers/ musicians). I remember the feeling that I had when at the age of 5, my grandfather called me up on stage to talk a little and then sing an Irish song. I could not get over the attention that I received and how the people reacted. It seemed similar to the reaction that the movie stars would get on of those TV shows. I remember my mom rehearsing with her band in a bowling alley of all places. I was 6. There was a huge window that looked into a catering room where she was with her band rehearsing new tunes. The people could not stop looking in and watching. People couldn't help but watch......I liked that.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I love working with Debbie Reynolds. Her loyal fans have embraced me over the past few years. More over the stories that she tells at dinner afterward can each be a documentary and look into old Hollywood. "Screw the show, let get to dinner and the stories!!!"
I would love to work with Nathan Lane on stage. I have a great respect for his classic comedic sensibility. Bruce Springsteen is my cousin and I think it would be great to perform or tour with him (both as comedian and singer). That would satisfy my yearning to be a rock star that dimmed as I got to my 30's. A film with Adam Sandler a TV show with Megan Mullally and a 2 man show with Leslie Jordan....yeah....that would make a great year :)
3. You are currently in Atlantic City performing a new version of your hit show "Voices in My Head." How did you initially come up with this show and what does this new version offer that the original does not? I was performing in another show years ago in Atlantic City and really needed a change. I decided that I was going to focus on "the next step." Each day I would walk the entire length of the boardwalk and waited for ideas. I was invited to see a vocal impressionist at another casino. I had not seen one since the old Rich Little days or Frank Gorshin. I went to the show and the performer was truly bad. I decided to focus on a multi-impression romp onstage. Keeping my manic persona and using my musical ability on piano, sax, flute and guitar. I would walk each day and write a bit more...and a bit more. By the end of the year I opened the show at the Taj Mahal and got great reviews. It was truly ME. All those voices in my head such as music, comedy, impressions, improv....all together. It worked.
The new show offers new prop comedy bits, tributes to old Hollywood, Atlantic City and its hay day, a salute to Vaudeville and a live radio, audience participation bit that is always a scream!! The entire "vision" is polished. The routines that have become expected by fans have been reconditioned but not lost. The show has a "big Vegas show" feel now and people can't even see Vegas shows in Vegas these days!!!
4. What do you enjoy about performing in Atlantic City? Why did you choose to return to the Tropicana? The Tropicana has a great 2000 seat showroom. The New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania audiences are tough.....Between the huge stage and tough audiences it gets you ready for ANYTHING that comes along in the future. Boot Camp!!
5. You were named the "Male Impressionist of the Year" by the International Guild of Celebrity Impersonators and Tribute Acts (IGCITA). What didi this honor mean to you? Because I was largely known as an Elton John Impersonator and wanted to expand my horizons, it meant that I was no longer seen as an impersonator but an impressionist which made me feel like I had arrived at the turning point and was ready to move forward in my comedy, impressions and singing career.
6. How did you decide which celebrities you wanted to impersonate? Have you met any of the celebrities you've impersonated? If so, what has it been like to meet them? I am not good with doing things that I don't enjoy. I have always excelled at the things that resonated with me. Impressions and comedy run the same way. I can't do a voice of someone that I do not find interesting. I do Jose Feliciano and Jim Morrison on "Light my Fire." I always love those two contrasting voices and find in interesting and a challenge to perform.
Joan Rivers, Harvey Fierstein, Jay Leno, Richard Simmons, Frankie Valli, Jerry Lewis, Luciano Pavarotti, Sonny AND Cher and even Lady GaGa are interesting to me and I include an impression or comedy "hit" on each. The material for the show picks itself such as the Mowton medley that we do. I just got hooked on listening to the Tops and Temps last fall. By the time I knew it, we were arranging choreography for the 8 dancers, charts for the band, and a killer medley of 8 great hits. Audiences love it!
As for the celebrities that I have met that are covered with and impression, tribute or joke, they are Jerry Lewis, Dana Carvey, Elton John, Debbie Reynolds, Ozzy Osbourne, Richard Simmons, Harvey Fierstein, Wayne Newton, Red Skelton, Marty Allen, Larry King, Robin Leach, Larry (The Cable Guy), George Carlin and Dennis Miller. I do a Jay Leno impression and would love to be on his show...hint..hint...
7. You recently guest starred on Logo TV's "Eden's World." What made you want to be on this show? What did you enjoy most about it? I wanted to do Eden's World because it seems like there are so many people on reality shows that seem...unreal. What they asked me to do was to be myself, help focus Eden on her goal and then cut through the crap and really help her. The cameras in the room were an afterthought for me. She truly has ability and star quality but it must be focused and she needs training and discipline.
I think that she needs to see what really goes into putting a show together and working with other performers in an ensemble situation. She has learned none of this in the pageant world. If she REALLY wants to learn the craft of singing, Acting and comedy, I am here to help. If they just want a flash in the pan and a quick rating for a reality show, I am not interested in moving forward with her. I have studied classical voice, opera, musical composition, acting for stage and camera, improv etc.
As we see on TV anyone can be a star. It takes talent and hard work to be an artist. (It's worth it)
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? The incredible sensitively and vulnerability that it takes to get on stage and open your heart. It is not a safe place to be in when you are onstage saying to an audience, in essence, "Hi, I am a 7 year old, wanna play with me?" People say that I should have thicker skin and not be as vulnerable to the audience and fans. I don't think that you can be sensitive enough, open enough, or effective as a performer if you are guarded. Yes, you run the risk of people mistreating that 7 year old. If you do not expose your soul and show your heart, how can you win the hearts of your audience?
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Have fun. Remember to enjoy the ride, not just to be looking toward arriving at the destination." - Robert Falk (my Opera Teacher)
"Don't be to hard on yourself and remember that everything will be as you need it to be if you stay with it and be positive." -Martin De Matt - (my Second City trainer)
"What other people think of me is none of my business." - Leslie Jordan (actor-friend)
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I don't think that it would be a sexy dream. I think it would be a dream of my own past. It would be 4th of July when I was 5 or 6 and was at a picnic with my grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, mom and dad. Most are gone now. I would dream of being there, smelling the Long Island flowers in the air, bbq, the great south bay, and being surrounded with all the wonderful people of my childhood, including my mom. Yes, that would be a great place to visit in my dream. I might want to sleep in the day of that dream and stay as long as I could.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? At our beach house at Fire Island doing NOTHING. Maybe playing with my 3 wonderful Bichon Frises, taking a long walk on the beach with my partner and maybe toasting 1 marshmallow at dusk!!
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? 1 marshmallow, steady work nightly, biking, and a run once in a while.
13. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs baby!!!
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would have the power to reveal peoples truth. The "truth ray" would peal off everyones b*** sh** shell, get to the truth and melt away all arrogance and mean spirited and unkind behavior.