Featured Performer of the Week: Stephen R. Buntrock

By: Apr. 24, 2013

BroadwayWorld is thrilled to present its latest feature series: The Performer of the Week! Get to know these amazing talents as they share a bit about themselves, their work and life!

This week, we're thrilled to feature Broadway vet Stephen R. Buntrock who is currently playing the role of 'Emile De Becque' in SOUTH PACIFIC at The Marriott Theatre in Chicago.

About Stephen

Stephen made his professional debut at the Marriot Theatre in Chicago performing the role of Lt. Cable in South Pacific. Other appearances at the Marriot include the role of 'Chris' in Miss Saigon.

Broadway credits include starring opposite Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch as Fredrik Egerman in Trevor Nunn's A Little Night Music. Earlier in the run he was honored to play the role opposite the show's original leading ladies Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury.

Other staring Broadway credits include Curly in Oklahoma!, Gaston in Beauty And The Beast , St. John in the original cast of Jane Eyre, Barrett in Titanic, Enjolras in the Tenth Anniversary Cast of Les Miserable, performing the role of the Phantom in The Phantom Of The Opera, and creating Teen Angel for the latest revival of Grease!

Stephen has toured across the country as Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) in Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Rueben in Joseph... Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, originating the role of Arnaud du Thil in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Martin Guerre, and The Phantom Of The Opera.

Stephen has enjoyed many concert appearances as well, recently performing alongside Dame Julie Andrews in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

We've Got Questions!

1) What are you working on right now?

I am currently in South Pacific performing the role of Emile De Becque at the wonderful Marriott Lincolnshire Theater in the Chicagoland area.

2) What has been your professional biggest accomplishment so far?

Well, I would say that my biggest professional accomplishment is that of playing opposite Bernadette Peters in A Little Night Music. Just being a part of that amazing show was a blessing but moving into the role of Fredrick was something beyond my comprehension. It took a while for it to really sink in. Bernadette was incredibly gracious with her encouragement and breathtaking talent. I shall forever be thankful to her and to the ALNM company that became almost like family.

That said... I have to share that being a part of South Pacific has to be one the most amazing journeys I have ever navigated. You see the night before Hurricane Sandy hit I was preparing my home for the storm. My ladder slipped and I fell two stories shattering my femur. Above and beyond learning to walk again if you were to tell me that I would be back onstage performing within 5 months I would have called you crazy. I am in debt to so many people that have helped me find the courage to get back into the game. My Doctors, my daughters, my family, my agents, my friends and colleagues, my PT therapists, Terry James, David Bell and the rest of M.L Theater Staff... The list goes on and on. But I will never be able to repay, though I will try for the rest of my life, the love and care that was given to me by my wife. There are no words to express the strength and care she gave to me. Period!

3) Share your funniest or worst audition moment

One audition comes to mind. It was way back in the late 90s. I had a scheduled appointment to audition for a concert performance of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. At the last minute my babysitter canceled and I had to bring my then 4 year old Haley Paige with me to Chelsea Studios where the audition was taking place. It was the first time that I had to do this. I was so worried about sitting her down in the hallway and telling her "you stay right here and Daddy will be back in a second." Well, the wife of the composer heard me saying this to her and offered to have Haley come into the room and sit on her lap during my audition. That's exactly what happened and I immediately found myself auditioning for the artistic staff and my smiling 4 year old daughter. She was an angel and clapped when I finished singing. The staff loved her and I think it was her beyond anything I did in the room that in the end got me the job.

4) What's your dream role?

Playing The Phantom of the Opera. Nothing compares to that role in my book.

5) If you weren't a performer, what would you be?

A tour guide at Gettysburg Battlefield. That's what I dream of doing in twenty years.

But actually in the coming fall I will be stepping away from performing to teach 2nd through 4th grade drama at Northstar Academy in Newark New Jersey. An amazing school doing amazing work. My life in the last few years has really been leaning towards teaching rather than performing. I feel very blessed to see where this new chapter may lead me.

6) Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?

Happy in life.

Continuing to be a proud Papa to my girls Haley Paige, Anna Louise and Catherine Caroline.

Being the best husband to my best friend.

Reaching out more to the wonderful friends I have come to know.

Continuing to follow the path that my Guardian Angels show to me. Call me silly but I truly believe that.

7) Where can people find you online?

I'm not really big into the 'present yourself' on the Internet but a wonderful person named Faith Burwasser created a webpage a few years ago. She's very talented at what she does. The link for the website is www.theatrefest.com/StephenBuntrock/. And of course who isn't on Facebook.

Thanks, Stephen!

BWW wants to feature YOU! Interested? Contact romi@broadwayworld.com and we'll get you set up!