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BWW Profile: Two-Time Tony-Award Winner, Emmy Nominee Joe Mantello

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BWW Profile: Two-Time Tony-Award Winner, Emmy Nominee Joe Mantello

In anticipation of the live 66th Annual Emmy Award broadcast on NBC on Monday, August 25th, BWW will be spotlighting the Emmy nominated TV performances of some of Broadway's biggest stars. If you want to follow along and interact with all of BroadwayWorld's Emmy coverage, check out #BWWEmmys on Twitter.

Today we are looking at the storied career of Joe Mantello from stage to screen. Known in the theater world for his exceptional directing career, this year he is nominated for his first Emmy Award for his chilling performance as Mickey Marcus in HBO's THE NORMAL HEART.

Mantello was born in Rockford, IL in 1962. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts before moving to New York in 1984. He first appeared on stage in Tony Kushner's award winning ANGELS IN AMERICA: THE MILLENIUM APPROACHES for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He reprised his role in ANGELS IN AMERICA: PERESTROIKA. In switching over to directing, Mantello, has received both a Drama Desk and a Tony nomination for LOVE, VALOUR, COMPASSION. He went on to direct such other hits as the 2005 revivals of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS and THE ODD COUPLE and last year's CASA VALENTINA by Harvey Fierstein. He also took on major musicals such as the 2008 revival of PAL JOEY, 9 TO 5 and a tiny production you may have heard of called WICKED. Most recently he directed last year's Tony Nominated CASA VALENTINA and up next, he will be at the helm of the new musical, THE LAST SHIP by John Logan, Brian Yorkey and Sting. He was awarded the Tony Award for directing TAKE ME OUT in 2003 and the revival of ASSASSINS in 2004.

Having always had a special place in his heart for Larry Kramer's THE NORMAL HEART, Joe returned to the stage in 2011 to play Ned Weeks in the revival directed by Joel Grey. However, he has not spent a lot of time on the screen. With the exception of the required NY actor appearance on "Law & Order" and other various small roles, the film adaptation of THE NORMAL HEART is his biggest appearance to date.

For the film adaptation, Mantello switched to playing Mickey Marcus. His monologue at the end of the film, with his exploding frustrations over all the media's focus on everything but the AIDS crisis, is one of the great moments on TV this past year. It is one of the best written monologues in contemporary American theatre that can completely encapsulate the mood of a specific period in time and Mantello delivers it in the film adaptation heartbreakingly flawlessly.

His theatrical directing career isn't slowing down, but I, for one, hope that he steps out from behind the footlights and the camera more often. He is truly remarkable.

BWW Profile: Two-Time Tony-Award Winner, Emmy Nominee Joe Mantello
Playwright Larry Kramer and Joe Mantello

Here are five video examples of Mantello's work. The first three are examples of his directing from the film LOVE, VALOUR, COMPASSION to the Tony Winning 2004 revival of ASSASSINS to the legendary WICKED. The final two are of THE NORMAL HEART. The first, the 2011 Broadway Revival, with Mantello playing Ned Weeks, and the second, a quick interview with Mantello regarding his role in the film version.


The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards telecast will air live coast-to-coast on Monday, August 25th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT) on NBC from the NOKIA Theater L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. And be sure to visit BWW TV for live coverage of the 2014 Primetime EMMY AWARDS.

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Jennifer McHugh New TV recapper, Jennifer, received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Kutztown State University in Pennsylvania. She recently returned from 2 years with the US Peace Corps in Moldova and currently resides in Los Angeles. Jennifer works for a cosmetics company in Brentwood and is one of the stage managers at the Rogue Machine Theatre. You can connect with Jennifer through Twitter: @eponineq.


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