Don't Quit Your Night Job: They're Baaack!
Don't Quit Your Night Job, the critically acclaimed comedy variety show featuring a revolving cast of Broadway's brightest performing without a net, welcomes the Fall at their monthly home The Zipper Factory Theater (336 West 37th St, btwn 8th & 9th Ave) on Thursday, October 30 at 11:30PM. Tickets are $20 and proceeds go to benefit Wendy Wasserstein's TDF/Open Doors program.
The late night happening of improv, music, sketches and stories was created by its stars: industry mainstays Steve Rosen (The Farnsworth Invention, Monty Python's Spamalot), David Rossmer (Fiddler on the Roof, Titanic), Sarah Saltzberg (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and music director Dan Lipton (The Coast of Utopia).
Fresh on the heels of Columbus Day... and a breath before Thanksgiving... the stars of Don't Quit Your Night Job return to New York City for another year of mayhem. BroadwayWorld had the entertaining opportunity to chat with the fantastic foursome at The Zipper Factory in anticipation of their 3rd rompous season!
For more information on Don't Quit Your Night Job - including Photos, Videos and Tickets - visit www.DontQuitNYC.com
Eugene Lovendusky: How was your summer?
Sarah Saltzberg: It was a well-deserved and needed break. There’s something neat about Don’t Quit – it’s around when school’s open, then for summer, we play!
Steve Rosen: Everybody took a little time off because we each had something to do. Some work. Some play. Some fun in the sun. David and Dan did a show in Vassar, where I was at New York Stage and Film. Then we went to go see Sarah’s show in Cape Cod…
Sarah: …the show where I got married.
Steve: Wonderful show. Closed after only one night. I would recommend it! The only Jewish wedding I’ve been to that served lobster…
Sarah: …and ribs!
David Rossmer: The yarmulkes were wrapped in bacon. Delicious!
Eugene: And now you’re back! Don't Quit Your Night Job has become "the best-kept not-so-secret secret night-time favorite" among the Broadway community. What is it about this show that makes droves of people schlep to the late-night craziness each month?
Dan Lipton: Part of it is, you get to see stars and Broadway celebrities do things that they wouldn’t do anywhere else. These people feel like they can let their hair down to come play with us. Like when we had George Wendt do the Sunday in the Park with George Wendt sketch. That was a great sketch… and where else would you see that? Also, the variety of each show is different. We have some favorites among our cast, but every single show, there’s at least one actor who has never been there before. Knowing that there’s going to be a lot of surprise and variety keeps people coming.
Steve: A lot of people like going to the theatre because there’s a chance that you could be there the night that something goes really special or something wrong. Our show is sort of both… When things go super-right, you could only get the joke if you were there at that time, I think it’s kind of cool to be “in on that.”
Dan: It’s almost like a service that we fill for the community, now… There aren’t that many people who can get away with making-fun of the industry, like we somehow do. There’s a charm to that that has developed over-time.
David: The theatre community is so varied… there are people who dream of making it big on Broadway, and then there are those who have won major awards. But at Don’t Quit Your Night Job, everyone gets to be on the same playground together.
Steve: It also speaks to the generosity of the theatre community. The audience is donating to the Open Doors Foundation while these stars are willing to donate their time and their talent to our show (and to the possibility that they could look like idiots). That’s the biggest fear. A lot of performers of our show have said they do it because they’re really afraid of it! They were afraid of doing improv. They were afraid of looking stupid. And we go through great lengths to make sure these guys don’t look stupid.
David: That’s something I’m really proud of – that’s the place we have 100% success rate. We make the stage a safe-place so they don’t feel stupid.
Eugene: How did you guys meet?
David: Book club.
Sarah: Gay club.
Dan: David and I grew-up together in New Jersey. We lived in a few blocks away from each other… we went to the same high-school. I went to a theatre summer camp and met Steve when I was about 10. Then David ended-up going to the camp when we were about 15.
Steve: David and I actually met when we were auditioning for the improv troupe at the summer camp. Our subconscious met before we actually shook-hands! Years later, David and I took a class at Upright Citizens Brigade – where we met Sarah!
Sarah: We all did a scene where we were dogs, peeing on a fire-hydrant…
David: …that wasn’t a class!
Sarah: We’d gotten the idea to do a show… and went to Joe’s Pub with an outline of what we were going to do. We’d never really done a pitch before…
Steve: And they said: “Super! Terrific! Your first show is in 3 weeks…” Aah! They booked us for 3 months and we had 3 weeks to do it. We left the meeting and immediately started calling people – and it all came together. By necessity (like most great art).
Dan: We threw a bunch of ideas on the table – we did the first show, and it had a structure to it. Some things stuck, so the month later, we said: “Let’s do that again. How about an anecdote? And special skills?” And before we knew it, there were certain “departments” for each show.
David: A lot of the most-fun games we do in the shows today came because of our need to figure out fast ways to create something interesting. It’s a theatrical “Price is Right” – there’s a structure but the games are always changing.
Eugene: Dan, these are all funny people, but you contribute with your special skill of “improv music.” You slip-in incidental music and sound effects hilariously… Where did it all come from?