Stories & Cast Interviews
ERIC is doin' it for SUGAR!
I recently caught up with funnyman, Eric Santagata, who plays Jerry/Daphne in SUGAR ...read on for some sweet tidbits!
I grew up in Branford, CT. the youngest of 3 kids in a small oceanside neighborhood called Stony Creek.
I just always knew the theatre was where I belonged. I was singing and dancing around for as long as I can remember. I think my mentors were all of the 'old school' movie stars... Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, the Rat pack...
Jonathan Stahl's NINE is a Ten!
Director of NINE, Jonathan Stahl
I grew up in south central PA in the valley between the north and south mountains. Newville, PA to be exact. I lived in the country and had a very enjoyable upbringing that did not have a lot of urban culture. I went to public school and did high school theatre productions. I played in the band, sang in the choir... I did not start dancing till much later and eventually went away to college for musical theatre -- somewhat against all odds
I was somewhat influenced by Sunday afternoon movie musicals and movies by Shirley Temple. I had a very supportive teacher in middle school who did one small community review who gave me encouragement. In high school, I was mesmerized by the movie ALL THAT JAZZ. I did not see much live theatre, but did go to local regional theatre when the opportunity arose. My own work has been greatly influenced by working with Richard Stafford as his associate the last few years.
In approaching directing NINE, I obviously did as much research as I could... watching the movie 8 1/2, reading up on Fellini, watching his movies, etc. I saw the original production video at Lincoln Center Library as well as the 2002 revival for research. I also have the life experience of also being a man who has reached 40 and knows the intricacies on moving forward in life that can accompany such a milestone.
I have seen the recent movie of NINE. I think Mr. Marshall took on an interesting challenge. It appears as if he tried to merge the movie "8 1/2" with the musical NINE. They are two very separate mediums that do not lend themselves to being merged. I think the movie is cinematically stunning, and there are a few wonderful performances. I enjoyed the movie, but was mostly disappointed with how the "ensemble" of women that are in the musical were handled amongst the medium. The stage version so beautifully gives the audience the opportunity to see how ALL women, from ALL walks of life had affected Guido. The movie just made it look like super models and the likes were his only muse. I think Guido has many muses. I hope our production represents that.
I am not a big "favorites" person. If I had to name a few favorite shows I guess I'd say RAGTIME, FALLSETTOS, INTO THE WOODS, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. I have always wanted to play Whizzer in Fallsettos, I loved playing Lumiere in Beauty and Beast, and would like to play the lead in KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMEN.
When I'm not working on a show, I like continuing my education…either as a performer (dance classes, acting classes and the like), or as a student of life. I recently got my undergraduate degree after a 25 year hiatus and thoroughly enjoyed the education I received in doing so. I like traveling, going to the gym and museums. Ironically, I have to remind myself I need to go see shows from time to time. I tend to forget to do that. But when I do go, I always love the theatre.
A GLORY To Behold!
Leading Lady, Glory Crampton, starring in NINE, dishes about a few things in her own "unusual way"!
I grew up in long island. NY. My Father was a surgeon from Buenos Aires, Argentina and my mother, a housewife from Pasadena, California. I was into sports. I was a competitive diver until my teens. I started acting in community theater and decided to go to college to study acting. I went to NYU (Tisch) and my involvement in musical theater happened by accident.
I was influenced by great performers, I loved Natalie Wood, Audrey Hepburn, Olivia Hussy from the film, Romeo and Juliet, and all the romantic tragic love stories!!
I played Claudia in the past and never thought I was right for Luisa. so this was a surprise for me when I was cast, and I love playing this role!! It has opened up the possibility of playing more of these types of roles and I'm using a very different part of my voice (a much lower register that I'm really enjoying)
The recent film of NINE was beautiful, had great cinematography and amazing actors, but, some of my favorite songs from the show were cut from the film which altered the storyline for me a bit. I think I prefer the stage version.
I love so many of the musicals and roles I've gotten to play. Phantom, My Fair Lady, Camelot, I've gotten to play so many of my dream roles. At this point, I'd like to create a role. Something no one else has put a stamp on.
I love to travel. I'll be traveling as soon as Nine closes. I think my husband and I will be going to the Virgin Islands. My next big trip will be to Buenos Aires. I also love going to restaurants, a great bottle of wine, experiencing different cultures. So many roles I've played are European, I guess the traveling has helped! M y husband and I are also renovating our kitchen and that is a big project.
My CD is going to be released very soon so that will keep me busy and I am very excited about that!!!
The CD is with the London National Symphony. It was recorded at Abbey Road in England, in the same studio the Beatles did all of their recording (their piano is still there in the corner. I played it in between takes!). It features original orchestrations of “leading lady” songs from Broadway shows. “Unusual Way” from NINE is the title song, “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “All I Ask Of You”, “My Man”, “It's A Grand Night For Singing”, “Pie Jesu”, “If They Could See Me Now”, and many more!! We are taking pre-sales orders in the lobby now. We are also releasing a music video on "you tube" this week of "UNUSUAL WAY"!!
The Boys in NINE!
Several very talented, young, local actors are appearing in NINE! Read on to find out about their experiences in the Acting game!
Serraghina (Cari Chrisostomou) with (Clockwise from left: Zach Rand, Adrian Nobile, Troy Tripicchio, John Carlos Lefkowitz, Ryan Jones, Travis Ramirez) & Robert Cuccioli Perform "Be Italian".
Ryan Jones is 10 years old and is from Darien, CT. He started training at the ACT school on Long Island. He was recognized immediately as a stand out performer. While living abroad in London, one of his teachers announced that Ryan would either be a politician or an actor. Ryan is following the latter. He has been in several student films and has learned a lot about the craft. Live theatre has been a new experience for Ryan and he is loving it! He feels that the cast is "one BIG family" and he can’t wait to do more. Outside of acting, Ryan's undefeated basketball team is the final round of the playoffs. His other interests include competitive sailing, tennis, lacrosse and baseball. He loves school and is looking forward to going to the Middle School next year. Ryan is basically a well rounded, All American boy.
John Carlos Lefkowitz is the youngest of 7 siblings, so he's had an audience all his life. When he was 4 he sat backstage while his mom was working on the crew for the Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble’s (RYDE) Nutcracker. John Carlos watched the Mouse King from the wings and asked, "What do I have to do to be the Mouse King?" His Mom told him he had to study ballet and get much bigger. He started ballet lessons at Coupe Theater Studio in Nanuet immediately, and has added jazz and tap classes as well. He has been Fritz in RYDE's production of the Nutcracker for the past three years, and is very much looking forward to dancing in the Spring Demo this June. He is still waiting to get big. In addition to dance, John Carlos studies piano at Rockland Conservatory and also takes Aikido lessons. He enjoys reading, drawing, skiing, and math. He's not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but he thinks he's narrowed it down to artist, dancer, or scientist. John Carlos is loving his time with the cast of Nine. He loves the music, being on stage, and the people he's met. He said, "I've made so many new friends! "He is a third grade student at the Blue Rock School in West Nyack.
Adrian Nobile has a hard act to follow considering he has 18 year old TRIPLET brothers! But, Adrian never lacked for personality and has carved out a niche for himself. At 10 years old, having never stepped foot on a stage before, he decided to join a summer theater program. He landed the lead in "Pippin". He commanded the stage with an ease and comfort that actually startled his parents! He was genuinely having a ball! He finds all facets of putting on a show intriguing and is soaking in this experience at WBT. Being in Nine has been a blast for Adrian and he has made some great new friends. He's very much a people person and enjoys learning and being around all ages. He has learned a great deal by watching Robert (Cuccioli) practice and admires his professionalism, skill and character. In fact, all the actors in Nine have inspired Adrian too reach higher and make it his own. He is appreciative that Jonathan (Stahl) gave him a chance to do so. Adrian has been on the honor roll at Highland's Middle School, in White Plains, every semester. He has participated in his school plays and Honor Choir, plays the piano and drums. Adrian loves to snowboard and water ski, shares a love of cars and riding in his Dad's '71 Camaro muscle car. He is very family oriented and loves spending time with his grandparents, just playing cards and talking. His love of music is eclectic to say the least, with Led Zeppelin being his favorite band along with The Beatles and Michael Jackson. His love of musicals was inspired by Mom who would move the furniture and blast the music so he could dance and sing with her; seeing Chicago, West Side Story, and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, sealed the deal.
Travis Ramirez (Young Guido) is 11 years old and is from Croton On Hudson. Though he had no "professional" training, he auditioned for the part of Young Guido in Nine at the suggestion of his middle school music teacher. He is having the time of his life in the show and if you asked him about the experience he would simply say he's "enjoying the experience, happy to be in the company of such talented people and overall, just having fun." It's all new to him. He loves the cast & crew and credits them in helping him feel comfortable and confident in his role, from the very first day of rehearsals. When not at the theater or in school, Travis enjoys playing video games, watching baseball, football, and movies, and basically just hanging out with his family and friends. He has been taking piano lessons for a couple of years and his favorite subject in school is English. He loves to go on family vacations, particularly cities rich in American history. During such a trip to our nation's capitol, which included a tour of the White House when he was 5 years old, Travis decided he would like to be President someday.
Zach Rand (Young Guido) got his start in theatre when his big sister Olivia first started performing at Yorktown Stage. It was there that Zach learned about the loving family of the theatre. An avid "watcher" it was two years before he asked to give the stage a try. He began as a lollipop kid in The Wizard of Oz and never turned back. After performing locally in many shows, he landed the role of Gavroche in the revival of Les Miserables on Broadway where life changed forever. Just 9 months before, Zach's oldest sister, Chloe, died and at a time when the family was in deep mourning, Zach's entrance on Broadway brought new life to the entire family. Just weeks after being the last Gavroche to ever perform on a Broadway stage, Zach was cast in Mary Poppins on Broadway where he spent 14 months performing as Michael Banks. He went on to the National Tour of Mary Poppins which was his first experience with seeing and living in other parts of the country. He lived in Kansas City for two months where he originated his role in A Chirstmas Story, The Musical, which is headed to Seattle for the Christmas season this year.Zach has carried the spirit and love of his sister Chloe with him. He often "feels" her with him when he is auditioning and when he is performing. He believes that it is her spirit that carries him through. Zach started Mildred E Strang Middle School in January after being on the road. He absolutely loves being a "normal" student and is thrilled that his tutor on the road accelerated him in math. Now instead of it being his worst it is his best subject! Performing in Nine at WBT affords Zach the opportunity to share the stage with many wonderful and talented actors, remain close to home so he can spend much needed time with his brother and sisters, and he gets to perform a role which is both pivotal to the piece and spectacular for a young boy. How lucky is he?
Troy Tripicchio is a 13 year old 7th grader currently attending LMK Middle School in Harrison. He loves being on stage, whether it be acting, singing or dancing. He also loves to read, write and hang out with his friends. He fell in love with theatre at the young age of 3. Troy has done several wonderful plays including High School Musical as Troy, Singin' in the Rain as Young Cosmo at Archbishop Stepinac High School, which earned him a Helen Hayes nomination for best child actor in a High School play, and WBT's A Christmas Carol as Tiny Tim. Troy is having a great time doing Nine with his wonderful cast and crew at WBT. He says, "Each performance may technically be the same show, but they are all different and fun experiences." He really gets alot out of working with such talented adults, as they teach him so much.