Call Redialed: Andrew Keenan-Bolger: "Kris Kringle The Musical" at Town Hall NYC
Andrew Keenan-BolgerIt has been five years since I last interviewed Andrew Keenan-Bolger and let me say, a lot has changed for both of us. I changed my interview style asking more insightful, but still fun questions and Andrew has starred in several Broadway shows, made a handful of films, wrote a book, and got engaged. I am beyond excited to get to do this new interview with Andrew as he readies to originate the role of "Kris Kringle" in the one night only event Kris KringleThe Musical!
Kris Kringle The Musical, narrated by Cathy Rigby, weaves a new and entirely original tale that will delight audiences of all ages. Based on one of the most familiar names of holiday folklore, this is the tale of a young, starry-eyed toymaker, "Kris Kringle," who crosses paths with an evil New York City toy company CEO and finds himself wrapped up in a magical curse with the power to destroy Christmas. From the top of the world in the North Pole, "Kris Kringle" teams up with "Santa and Mrs. Claus," the beautiful "Evelyn Noel," a band of hilarious "Apprentices" and "Elves," and magical "Toys" to remind us what Christmas is really about.
Kris Kringle The Musical will play Town Hall in NYC (123 West 43rd Street, between Broadway & 6th Avenue) on Friday, November 24 at 3pm and 8pm. Click here for tickets!
1. On November 24, you will be starring in the one night only performance of a new musical, Kris Kringle The Musical. What made you want to be part of this show? I really loving getting to do theatre for young audiences. I remember being a kid and seeing local productions that completely changed my life. I often think back to how powerful it was to be exposed to the performing arts at a young age and I try as much as possible to find excuses to perform in theatre that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Kris Kringle is something you can bring the whole family to and I was excited about getting to be a part of that this holiday season.
2. In this show you play "Kris Kringle." What do you relate to most about him? What is one characteristic of his you are glad you yourself don't possess? At his root, "Kris Kringle" is in search of a community and a family. When I moved to New York, I wanted desperately to feel like I was a part of something. The theatre community ended up becoming my chosen family and the safe space I’d been searching for.
As for characteristics I’m glad I don’t possess, I feel like I’m slightly less of a hot mess when it comes to holding onto employment.
Andrew Keenan Bolger in "Newsies"3. "Kris Kringle" is a young, starry-eyed toymaker. What were you most excited about when you were a starry-eyed actor just starting out? Do you still get that same starry-eyed today with each new project? I was a total MTN (Musical Theater Nerd) growing up. I had a massive binder of cast albums and prided myself in knowing all of the actors who sang on them. It was hard to stay cool when I grew up and started working alongside some of these voices from my childhood. Even today I totally nerd out about performing alongside certain actors. One of the things I’m most excited about is getting to share a stage with "Peter Pan," "Cinderella" and "Marta" from COMPANY.
4. Your character, "Kris Kringle" also crosses paths with an evil NYC toy company CEO who through a magical curse threatens to destroy Christmas. What has been the most evil thing you've had to encounter so far in your life? My fiancé is a political journalist. I feel like I’ve seen some of the most unimaginable evil close up in the past few years.
5. Then "Kris Kringle" teams up with "Santa and Mrs. Claus," "Evelyn Noel," "Apprentices," "Elves," and "Toys" to remind us what Christmas is really about. Who or what has been your favorite collaborative team thus far? When I was a kid I got to be a part of the musical Ragtime. The combination of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty along with the direction of Frank Galati and Graciella Danielle was a collaboration I’ll never forget.
Andrew Keenan-Bolger and his fiancé Scott Bixby6. What do you believe Christmas is really about? I think any excuse to sit down and spend some quality time with your family is a holiday worth celebrating.
7. What's your Christmas wish this year? I’m recently engaged and I’m so excited to be spending Christmas for the first time with my fiancé’s family.
8. What was your favorite Christmas gift to receive as a child and what is your favorite adult gift to get? I remember getting a microscope when I was a kid. I was always a curious child and I would find all kinds of things from my house and backyard to look at on a microscopic level. As an adult, my sister Maggie is super crafty and creative and always makes us gifts that would make Etsy cry they are so cool.
9. Congratulations on your recent engagement. That is so exciting! What is one Christmas tradition from childhood you hope to continue with Scott and what is one tradition you would like to make up with himself? I have already subjected him to the Keenan-Bolger tradition of watching White Christmas every Christmas Eve. We mostly fast-forward through the book scenes, but I can’t imagine he’s going to get off the hook with that tradition any time soon.
In terms of the Bixbys, Scott’s mom is an amazing cook. I’m hoping I can finally get in on some of her secret holiday recipes.
Andrew Keenan-BolgerMore on Andrew:
Andrew Keenan-Bolger is an actor, director, author and filmmaker. He's been working in the entertainment industry since the age of 10 when he made his Broadway debut as "Chip" in Beauty and the Beast. Recently, he starred as "Jesse Tuck" in Tuck Everlasting on Broadway (Drama League Award nominee). He created the role of "Crutchie" in Newsies on Broadway (Outer Critics Circle nominee) as well as the record-breaking film version which premiered in 2017. Other Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, Seussical, A Christmas Carol. 1st Nat'l Tours: Spelling Bee, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Mary Poppins, Ragtime. On film he's portrayed "Billy Frazier" in The Rewrite starring Hugh Grant, Marci X, You Must Be Joking and the upcoming To Dust starring Matthew Broderick. TV credits include Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Looking (HBO), Naked Brothers Band (Nickelodeon), One Life to Live.
He has a B.F.A. from the University of Michigan. His work as a filmmaker has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, The Associated Press and New York Magazine. He is the director of the award-winning short films Sign and The Ceiling Fan. Along with collaborator, Kate Wetherhead, he is the co-creator of the critically acclaimed webseries, Submissions Only (www.submissionsonly.com) and co-author of the best-selling children's book series Jack & Louisa. (Penguin Random House).