Stories & Cast Interviews

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Meet Ed Romanoff

Posted by: Pia on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 12:00:00 pm Comments (3)

Ed Romanoff plays the dual role of Lt. Shrank and Mr. Gladhand in our production of West Side Story. Read on to learn more about this terrific character actor!

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I was born and raised in Portland, Maine. Both parents were in Barbershop Quartets. My mom was in the first female quartet in Northern New England called the “Kitchen Kanaries”. I have two older brothers and sisters and my dad taught us all to play the ukulele by the time we were 6 years old. My brothers and I are self-taught on guitar. They’ve been in the folk group “Schooner Fare since the early 70s (outergreenmusic.com).

My folks were supportive throughout our youth. In my ‘tweens and teens, I played with my dad at Lion’s Club and Elk’s Club functions, as well as others back home. I was always a big fan of Jack Lemmon and Danny Kaye.
As for anecdotes, I walked into a television studio as a Cub Scout to be on the local Saturday morning Three Stooges/cartoon cavalcade called “The Captain & The Kids”. I was mesmerized by all of the lights, scenery, and cameras and that was when the bug hit me. At 17, I heard about “community theatre”, and the rest is history.

I remember seeing the movie of West Side Story at the drive-in during the late 60s. I thought it was cool, so to speak. This is my fourth production as Shrank/Gladhand, and I’m the only ‘repeat offender’ from the first WBT/Barry McNabb production here in 1998.

The WBT backstage staff and producers couldn’t be more professional or nicer to work for. I’ve worked all over the country and WBT is in the top 5 for me.

I’m a fan of Stage Musicals being made into films as long as the producers and screenwriters don't try and “change it up” for a broader audience. I could count on one hand the number of Broadway musicals that have successfully transferred to film, in my opinion. Some have improved the story with the expansion of scenic elements. Some, not so much.

Favorite shows? That answer may not coincide. Favorites so far have been Fiddler On The Roof, The Most Happy Fella, Hairspray, Ragtime, The Full Monty, Man of La Mancha, The Producers, all shows I’ve played principal roles on Broadway or in Regional Theatre.

As for my wish list, Sweeney in Sweeney Todd, Fredrik (again) in A Little Night Music, and Henry in The Lion In Winter. Henry is a non-singing role in a non-musical play, but just a wonderful role.

I’ve spent the last 5 years re-launching my wife’s company Just Off Broadway, Inc. in the upper Hudson Valley, as the Production Manager. We produced 30 mainstage musicals, plays, and events in a 99-seat restored train station in Newburgh, NY, which we called the Theatre At West Shore Station. We've just moved our operations to the newly-purchased Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center in Chester, NY, where she is the Associate Producer and Artistic Director of the national award-winning Performing Arts Academy. We also operate the Romanutti Agency, providing casting services for print, television, and film.

On my Ipod? I just downloaded the cast recording of Kinky Boots to learn one of the songs for the National Tour auditions. And I've got a lot of old fogey songs from the 70s. I can't seem to shake the folk era or acts like James Taylor and Jim Croce.