Meet Patrick Tombs as Crutchie in Newsies!
I grew up in Binghamton, NY. It’s a small city in the Southern Tier. It’s known for having the most depressing weather ever! It’s gray and raining much of the time. I have four siblings - I’m second to youngest. My parents were always really supportive of us - whether it was sports, music lessons, all that stuff. My parents are still incredibly supportive and I’ll always be grateful for them.
I wanted to be an actor since I was little. My parents gave me and my siblings an immense appreciation for the arts. We had a tradition around Christmas: We would all camp out in the living room and watch 'The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.’ It’s this INCREDIBLE piece of theatre, 8 hours long, directed by Trevor Nunn, performed by Roger Rees and the Royal Shakespeare Company. I know that I’m an actor because of that show.
Another pivotal moment in my life was my first musical, at 15, ’Titanic, the musical.’ There was this wonderful program at Binghamton University called ’The Summer Youth Musical Theater Program,’ and it was kind of the place to be if you were a theater kid. You spent several weeks training and rehearsing a show as if it was professional. The standards were high. The stage director, Jim Lortz, was the first person to teach me anything about acting. He’s one of the most amazing, loving, kind people you will ever meet. He’s become a friend and mentor over the years, and you can see his students all over Broadway and the world.
I’m really lucky to have many people in my life that have been mentors and invested in me artistically, spiritually, emotionally, and even financially. I couldn’t possibly name them all, but I think of my dear friend Judy Berry, who was my voice teacher for years and guided me through several tragedies. More recently, I’m grateful to have my acting coach, Scott Robertson. He’s a real giant of a man, and I feel so free to grow and be weird with him.
I remember hearing about NEWSIES when it was running at Papermill Playhouse. I saw some of the promo videos and was really impressed! I knew I’d play Crutchie someday.
I have done the show once before. Last year I was Crutchie in the production at Axelrod Performing Arts Center on the Jersey Shore. I had such a good time!! The creative team was out of this world, and are some of my favorite people to work with.
I am familiar with the movie. I didn’t grow up watching it like a lot of kids my age, but it was on the radar. I think it’s great to take a film and rework it for the stage! With shows like Once, The Band’s Visit, Newsies, and The Lion King being such hits, how could you not love it?
Les Miz has been my favorite show for as long as I can remember! I’m really bad at picking favorites, so I probably won’t ever feel differently.
I’m so lucky - Crutchie was one of my dream roles, and so was Quasimodo in Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I was able to do both roles last year. Moving forward, I really want to be Marius in Les Miz, Tobias in Sweeney Todd, Boq in Wicked, Evan in Dear Evan Hansen, and Smike in Nicholas Nickleby (if they ever revive it). And those are just for the next decade or so! I have another list of roles I want to play when I’m older. What excites me, even more, is the possibility of creating new roles.
I’m a big old coffee snob, so I’m always hunting for that amazing espresso place. I love to cook when I have time. I also enjoy listening to and playing music - I’ve played the cello since I was 7 years old.
I’m all over the place musically. Right now I’m really into Mumford and Sons - their lyrics rip into my heart. I also love Coldplay, Queen, Bastille, Nothing But Thieves, Sister Hazel, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Ed Sheeran has some great songs too.