Stories & Cast Interviews

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kris Kringle Is In The House!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (3)
 Tony Triano as Kris Kringle

Meet Tony Triano who is Kris Kringle in our Production of the beloved classic Holiday Musical!  After playing SCROOGE for many years during the Holidays... He is thrilled to portray an everyday kind of guy who just happens to be SANTA! 

I'm an "army brat".  My dad was a career Army man- my mom a housewife.  I have lived all over- I was born in the Panama Canal Zone. My Dad was a part of the NATO team in the early sixties- we lived in Orleans, France. I went to an International School there. I Learned to speak French. He also did two tours of duty in Vietnam, while my mom, my sister and I stayed NJ. I have a younger sister who is a photographer in the Orlando, FL area. I have two nieces.

I've always felt comfortable "pretending"-
As a kid I would listen to (and sing along with) Mario Lanza albums- especially The Student Prince. Of course, I was too shy to sing in front of anyone. It wasn't until I was in HS that I felt secure enough to get in front of people and perform. I was terrible at sports, so my HS English teacher, Charlotte Spillane, encouraged me to get on stage. I would consider her my mentor.  My first role was Og the leprechaun in Finian's Rainbow. I didn't start performing onstage until I was in High School in NJ- from then on, you couldn't keep me off the stage.I went to Rutgers and Columbia University

I knew that there were a couple of musical versions of Miracle on 34th Street- I've never done any of those versions.
I love the classics- Hello, Dolly!, Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, and yes, The Sound of Music. I would love to play Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof one day.

I am truly boring! Love reading, watching TV, going to the movies and the theatre. As a recent returnee to NYC, I enjoy rediscovering the city.
I have a pretty eclectic collection on my Ipod- from ABBA to Streisand, Donna Summer to Adele.
Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Superb Sarah Rolleston as HODEL.

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Berea, Ohio outside of the Cleveland area. I am Jewish but grew up in a predominantly Christian area, so my Jewish upbringing was particularly important for me and being Jewish was always something that made me different from everyone else I went to school with. From a young age I was constantly explaining why we do the traditions that we do because it was unusual to have someone not of the Christian faith where I grew up. 
 Sarah Rolleston as Hodel

I was influenced to become an actor by my mother. Her father loved to sing and even had a music group called the Four Shades of Blue, but he went into the garment industry after WWII. When my mother was a child, the family used to put on musicals as a performance troupe. They called themselves the "Shalom Naich Family Club" and the "SAGS" (Sherman Acting Guild). So I grew up listening to show tunes that my mom would listen to while she was baking or cooking. She put me in dance class and that was the end of that- I was hooked!

Rehearsing with Joe Longthorne (Perchik)

has long been my favorite musical, and I believe it is the best musical ever written. The book is perfect in my opinion, the music beautiful, and I have a strong emotional tie to it as well since some of my Jewish family background is based in Russia. This is my first time in a professional production of Fiddler, and I couldn't be more proud to be apart of it. This is also my first time working at WBT.
Fiddler is on my list of dream shows, as is the role I am playing (Hodel). Other dream shows include Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast (which I've done), West Side Story, Nine, and more.

When I'm not onstage I'm probably working on my small business. I've recently started a dessert tasting walking food tour company in the city called Sugartooth Tours. Owning a small business is a great deal of work but incredibly rewarding as well. Please feel free to check out our website,, and take a tour if you have a sweet-tooth! When I'm not onstage or eating desserts, then I am probably in a yoga class or dreaming about traveling somewhere exciting. It is a goal of mine to become a certified yoga teacher at some point down the road. Some places on my travel short list include: Greece, France, Spain, Italy, Bali, South Africa, as well as an All-American road trip!

 A few things on my ipod: The Weepies, Jason Mraz, Joshua Radin, Brandi Carlisle, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Eric Hutchinson. I like the indie folk-pop vibe!
Monday, October 15, 2012


Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)

  I grew up in rural Northeastern Ohio. Genoa, OH is a small farm town about 60 miles Southwest of Toledo. My parents owned and ran a SOHIO service station. I have one older brother who is a chemical engineer that lives in my home town with his wife.

I always had a talent for art and discovered in 4th grade that watercolors were my passion. It's really the only medium that inspires me to this day. I was in the band and my band director was a major influence on my early musical talents. No one in my family was artistic. For 7 years, while growing up, I was driven up to the TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART for Saturday morning art lessons. All my friends were sleeping in and having lives but I had to go into the big city to study ART. I loved it! I bowled in high school and got my Varsity letter doing that. Not really into playing sports, but like to watch. Sort of.

I never really sang until I went to college. I started at Bowling Green State University in ART then transferred to The Cincinnati College Consevatory of Music with a Major in VOCAL PERFORMANCE and a Minor in MUSICAL THEATRE. I was able to both during my time there and did not decide to only pursue Musical theatre until I came to NYC in 1976 and found out that I was getting nowhere fast trying to pursue both. In college I did non-Equity summer stock at the WAGONWHEEL PLAYHOUSE in Warsaw, Indiana, which is where I met my Golde, Emily Zacharias 39 years ago. We have remained close friends since then and even belonged to a cooking club called the NEW YORK GOURMETS during the 70's and 80's.

I got my Equity card the summer I graduated from CCM doing SHOWBOAT with Shirley Jones and Gayle Gordon at Indianapolis' STARLIGHT THEATRE which is where I first met Michael Bottari and Ronald Case, our costume designers. We also worked together on ROAD TO QATAR at the Lyric Stage in Dallas and at the YORK.

I made my Broadway debut in CATS in 1985 which is where I met our director, RICHARD STAFFORD who was the dance supervisor for the production. We also worked together on JOSEPH..DREAMCOAT and he cast me as Juan Peron in his production of EVITA at CENTRE STAGE in State College,PA in 1994. I still remember watching the O.J. chase on TV that summer. 

I have always been a watercolorist. I left show business in 1979 thru 1981, because I felt I needed to learn how to sing and act. I was able to use my artistic talents to land a job as a Textile Designer for Concord Fabrics. I won a TOMMIE AWARD in 1981 for a floral I did for them. I've had solo shows in Pittsburgh, PA at the Watercolor Gallery, which is no longer there while I was doing THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE for the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. I am currently re-designing my website and will feature a link to my paintings on that site, which should be up and running during the run of FIDDLER.

For those 3 years that I got out of SHOWBIZ, I did keep my dream of being an actor on Broadway alive by studying acting every week with Stephen Strimpell at HB STUDIOS in Greenwich Village and voice with Gene Bullard. One year, I studied every weekday morning from 9-9:30 so that I could get to my design job by 10 am. I consider this period my GRADUATE STUDIES. I never gave up the dream. I also was a professional makeup designer during those 3 years off! I did makeup for Juilliard, Atlanta Opera, Lake George Opera, Canadian Opera, Philadelphia Opera to name a few.

My mentors have been Italo Tajo from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Maurice Levine from the 92nd St. Y's Lyrics and Lyricists series. I was directed by Italo at CCM. He was a famous Italian Opera Star and really gave me my technique for character work and passion for the theatre. He continued to do comprimario roles at the MET well into his 80s. We did Albert Herring together; He cast me my first year at CCM as Albert. It was my first leading role and the first time someone trusted me to take on that responsibility. It was a major turning point for me. We also did MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (with Kathleen Battle as Susannah) I was Don Basilio, THE CONSUL, I was the Magician and in THE POOR SAILOR, I played the Sailor.  At that time, I also did Musical theatre at the conservatory with Worth Gardner, another director and influence at CCM. I did WONDERFUL TOWN, WIZARD OF OZ (theLION), 1776 (Ben Franklin) and THREEPENNY OPERA (Peachum) for him.  Maurice Levine was a lovely, passionate man/musician who was responsible for creating the 92nd St. Y's LYRICS and LYRICISTS series. In 1990 he was looking for someone to sing TONY in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA in his FRANK LOESSER evening. He cast me and continued to cast me each year at the Y in this series. I got to salute COLE PORTER, HAROLD ARLEN, STEPHEN SONDHEIM (on his 60th Birthday), and many others. His belief in me was intrumental in my being able to hang in there in this odd business. I just had a major triumph as TONY in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA at the LYRIC STAGE inIrving,TX last month. That role that has always been a dream of mine.

I first heard of FIDDLER when, in Toledo, Ohio, there was a community theatre called the TOLEDO REP. They did TEYVYE AND HIS DAUGHTERS in 1965. It was the first show I saw.  I also saw Leonard Nimoy as Tevye in 1972 in Toledo, Ohio. OY ... I briefly did a National Tour of the show about 4 years ago that I'd like to forget. The tour was a Farewell Tour for an iconic TEVYE who will remain namelss. My favorite memory of him is when I asked him for insight into the Sabbath Prayer/Act ONE. His response, and I quote "GO WATCH THE MOVIE."  I played LAZAR WOLF and covered TEVYE for about 3 months and was fired. A lovely company of actors but management left a lot to be desired!

When I'm not on stage I enjoy Watercolor painting, traveling, gardening, and teaching!  I teach voice. I did not know I could teach until I joined the First National Tour of CATS. The actress playing Silibub was having problems with the song, MEMORY and they were threatening to fire her. She asked me to help and with a week of working together, she had figured out how to breathe and use her instrument the way it was meant to be used. The cast heard the difference in that week and my teaching career began. I immediately had 15 students. I teach on and off now. It is a lengthy process and anyone that wants to learn how to sing by the weekend, should save their money. PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF.


Thursday, October 11, 2012


Posted by: wbtpress on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 2:58:20 pm Comments (0)