PREPARE YE for Gilbert D. Sanchez!

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Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

 Gilbert D.Sanchez Plays Jesus in our production of GODSPELL.  Read on for some insight into this versatile actor!

 was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I lived until 2 1/2 years ago. My childhood was full of reading and singing which gave me a wild imagination. I went to Catholic School for 13 years, so Jesus and I go way back.  

As a child, I loved singing. My parents would sit me by the choir at Church so that I could belt my little curly head off. People would often tell my parents that they would purposefully sit by us to hear me sing at church. That was my first audience; I’m sure I loved it. When I was a  little older, the movie Selena came out and changed my life. I would often perform Selena karaoke at parties. From there, I starred in middle school musicals and that’s when I caught the bug.

I have two great mentors from high school and college; Esperanza Plath (high school drama teacher) and Kathleen Clawson (college voice teacher). These women were my other mothers who not only taught me the ins-and-outs of performing and singing, but also so much about who I was as a person.   Also, my amazing college professor/mentor/friend Dr. Brian Herrera, who always has the most enlightening advice on the theatre and has guided me in my time here in New York.

Nana Visitor (Broadway’s Chicago and the Star Trek; Deep Space Nine) spoke at my school, and she gave advice that I live by. She said, “There are times in your life where you will hit a huge brick wall that blocks your path. At that moment, you have to ask yourself how bad do you want to climb over that wall and keep going?” 

 Also, Judy Garland said: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of somebody else.”  

When I was in 8th Grade, the high school I was going to go to was doing a production of Godspell and had extended after a sold out weekend. It was getting a lot of buzz in the middle school circuit, and so I wanted to go see it. My dad drove me to the theatre to watch it, and I remember the lobby was really busy and I got nervous being in this high school theatre by myself so I left and didn’t get to see the production. After that, I was always so intrigued by the show.  I finally got to do the show in 2010 playing Jesus and fell in love with the eclectic and ensemble feel of the show. Also, the music is so good.  

I saw the movie Godspell once. I remember thinking it was really weird. The scene that stands out is Jesus singing “All for the Best” while reclining on a lounge chair on top of a building…hmm.  I have mixed feelings about movie musicals. I think that some movie musicals can be done really well when they are reimagined for the film; i.e. Chicago. But some musicals, like Rent (no offense) is such a beautiful show on stage, but didn’t translate as well to film. I did love Into the Woods however. As Modern Family says, “Meryl could play Batman.”

I think the best musical ever made is West Side Story. Great story, amazing story-telling dance, and classic musical theatre. Other favorites: Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, A New Brain, …Spelling Bee, and Lippa’s Wild Party. 

 Dream Roles; Burrs in Wild Party, Any role in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Audra McDonald’s son in any musical she touches. 

When not on stage, my day job is at this amazing restaurant called Barbuto, in the West Village, where I love working. I work with my greatest friends, sell amazing food I care about and work for the best people. It’s a gem.  Besides that, I see tons of shows on and off Broadway. I enjoy beach and park days. And of course, enjoy a good Netflix binge watch.  I listen to Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home, Bridges of Madison County and Ed Sheeran.  

Comments

Congrats, sweetie! I'm sure you will be brilliant!
Posted by: TJ on June 25, 2015 at 6:58:58 pm

Your amazing Gilbert and I am so proud of the person you have grown to be. Your beauty is not only outside but internally. You are so kind and talented, and I can't wait to see what the world of Broadway will do when they see all that you possess inside! Break a leg my little Fluffy!
Posted by: Rosa on June 25, 2015 at 1:40:48 pm

Albuquerque brings back wonderful memories of my Grandmother. When she was 4, she moved from Iowa to Albuquerque before the turn of the century (1900 that is)-- She actually played with the Indians, and had a lot of their beliefs. She used to ride bicycles (no coaster brakes in those days) down the mountains with them dodging rocks as they went! Around 1960, I was on my way to El Paso, with a stopover in Albuquerque. I had the nicest cabbie give me a tour of the city. We stopped at the church my Grandmother was married in, but unfortunately, it was closed. I sent a note to the Pastor, and low and behold he sent the nicest letter complete with photos, etc. to my Grandmother. Can't tell you how happy that made her. She was pushing 90 at the time.

As long as you are quoting people, you might want to add what Ethel Merman use to say, "If you have a good beginning and a good ending, people will forget what is in the middle!"

I know what you mean about Musicals being made into movies. A hundred years ago -- Maybe not quite that long ago - I ushered at the Schubert Theatre in Chicago. We not only got to see some wonderful shows, but we also got to see all of the other stage shows at other theatres for free too. Hey, as a kid, free is good. Actually, works for an old lady too!!!! Anyway, know what you mean about a Musical being ruined when turned into a movie. Many times switching the lead for a more popular person, isn't always the best idea! Gypsy is a perfect example. There was only one Ethel Merman! And in the case of Flower Drum Song, Jack Soo was hilarious, but you can't tell him when to be fun. He is a natural, and it just happens, but in the movie, that is exactly what they tried to do. It stunk!

I agree with you about West Side Story, but for individual talent, I have to put Gwen Verdon in Sweet Charity up at the top -- Another flop (in my eyes) when they made the movie.

Believe it or not, I have never seen God Spell, but am very excited about seeing it at the WBT. We have tickets for the opening matinee. We haven't missed any of their main shows in probably 15 or 20 years. Great productions and super talent.

Look forward to seeing you on the 9th. Have a problem with saying "Break a Leg" as Jesse Pearson did in Bye Bye Birdie. While in town playing Birdie on stage, he did break his leg, and they had to put a zipper up the side of his pant leg, for the cast! As a Sweet Adeline, we say, "Split a Lip!"

Have a blast, and best wishes for a fabulous future.
Posted by: Annette Smith on June 23, 2015 at 8:51:15 pm

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