THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- VIOLET's Ben Davis
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?
Well, I saw a touring production of CATS in... oh lord... '85-ish??? I didn't see my first Broadway show on Broadway until my Dad and I drove out from Indy back in 1996. We saw STATE FAIR, MISS SAIGON and MOON OVER BUFFALO.
Cool story about that trip: My dad took a picture of me pretending to go into the stage door of the Broadway Theatre where MISS SAIGON was playing. Little did I know I'd actually be opening that door for real about 7 years later for LA BOHEME!
What is your most unique pre-show ritual?
Well, this is unique to VIOLET, and I hope Alex Gemigniani doesn't get upset with me revealing this. Alex is my dressing roommate. At the 15 minute call, we like to look in our mirrors and do self-affirmations. Stuff like, "Wow, Ben. You're in a show with Sutton Foster. How lucky are you?" or "Geez, Ben. You've really made it in this biz. You get to dance with Annie Golden every night". After a couple of those, Alex and I like to give each other affirmations like, "Wow, Alex. Have I ever told you how ruggedly good looking your beard makes you?" or "Shucks, Alex. I thought playing opposite you in Les Miz would be my career highlight, but this really takes the cake". Stuff like that.
Oh, I also HAVE to do calf stretches on the stairs before every show.
What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?
I was touring with Les Miz and was playing Feuilly (one of the students) and understudying Enjolras. One day, before opening night in Cincinnati, I get a call from the stage manager. Our Marius was on vacation, the 1 understudy was out with a knee injury and the remaining cover came down with Impetigo (an infectious skin rash) that day. They asked me if I thought I could do the role that night. So I went in and rehearsed for about 1/2 hour and went on that night!
Funny story: Sutton was our Eponine. During "A Little Fall of Rain" as Sutton is there breathing her last breaths in my arms, I guess I had a vice grip on her boob. I was so freaked out that night, I had NO idea and every time she would try to wrest away from me, I would grab tighter. Sorry, Sutton. There's actually a bootleg of that night floating around somewhere.
What is the one role you want to play before you die?
Hmmm.... Well, I'd love to do Don Quixote someday. But truly, I'd love to see a NEW SHOW written where the main character is a legit baritone. That's the role I wanna play.
Who is your Broadway crush?
I'm too shy to come right out and say but their initials are:
Where can people stalk you online?