THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME's Ben Thompson
Welcome to THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with your favorite Broadway stars. Want to know what hooked them to a career in the theater? Their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Read on!
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
I saw THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on a family trip to NYC when I was 8 years old. I didn't want to go but they told me it had an elephant in it, so I went and loved it.
What is your most unique pre-show ritual?
It changes from show to show. During previews for HOLLER, Saul Williams and I would always meet in his dressing room and listen to the track "Funky" by Ultramagnetic MC's. Now that we are running, I always get down to the deck early and play Griffy's guitar for a little bit and just take in the sounds of our audience.
What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?
There is a lot of them. It's the best part about live theater. One of the most memorable ones didn't happen to me, but I was there for it. I was at City Center seeing the Encores production of FANNY. The first act had just ended and when I turned my phone on, it immediately started buzzing. You see, my wife understudied both roles of Anita and Maria in the latest revival of WEST SIDE STORY. At this point, she had never been on yet for Maria and apparently, in the middle of Act I, the Maria got sick so they pulled Kat off the stage during "America" and threw her into her Maria costume. All of her dressing roommates were texting me like crazy to get there as fast as I could. I sprinted as fast as I could from 55th to 47th and got to the Palace Theatre in time to see her second act. It takes nerves of steel to pull that off like she did....and it was especially amazing to be there and see her achieve a lifelong dream.
What is the one role you want to play before you die?
This question is too hard to answer! I love doing what I do, to narrow it to ONE role before I die is too limiting. Right now I LOVE playing Griffy in HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME over at the Palace. But, just off the top of my head, if I HAD to choose from current or upcoming shows, I'd say Guy in ONCE, Valjean in LES MISERABLES and Chris in MISS SAIGON.
Who is your Broadway crush?
Well, I married her! My gorgeous and HILARIOUS wife Kat!
Where can people stalk you online?