Give Them The Old Razzle Dazzle- An Interview With Brent Barrett

CC: Mr. Barrett, thank you so much for your time. I know that you are very busy in Chicago. Where did you grow up?

BB: I grew up In Quinter, Kansas. It's a very small town - population 950.

CC: Where did you go to college?

BB: I started out at a small college in Kansas and then transferred to Carnegie Mellon.

CC: When did you know that you wanted to become a singer and an actor?

BB: When I was a Junior in High School.

CC: Wow, that early… What was the first musical that you were in?

BB: I was in the chorus in 110 in the Shade. That following year we did Calamity Jane and I played Wild Bill.

CC: You have been in so many productions; Do you have a favorite?

BB: King Arthur is my favorite role which I played at Paper Mill. It is such a rich, meaty role and it's a great journey that the character takes. I love doing Chicago and that is why I have done it as much as I have. I also had a great time doing Kiss Me Kate though which was a real workout.

CC: I saw the taping of it which was wonderful…but would of course rather have seen you live…

BB: For what it was and how they did it, I think that it came out pretty well.

CC: I saw you perform without a mike in "Broadway In 1960" and it was absolutely breathtaking – was that hard?

BB: (laughs) Oh thanks. I hope that it reached the back row.

CC: It reached Kansas! I also saw you in Blast where you sang from Pajama Game. How did you do that? Did they really tape it?

BB: It was recorded so they just played it back. It was a great time and a truly magical evening.

CC: Will you be in Encore's next season?

BB: I don't know. They are still choosing what they are going to do and I am going to give them a couple of suggestions of my own.

CC: How long do you expect to be in Chicago?

BB: Right now I am done September 28th.

CC: What is next on your dance card?

BB: I have some concert work in the Hamptons, the Broadway Tenors in Memphis on November 8th and then a benefit for the Key West Pops November 14th. In December I might be doing a concert with the Key West Pops on the 28th.

CC: How did you come back to Chicago? Did they ask you?

BB: I got a call from the Producers and they asked me if I would consider coming back and playing Billy. I said yes!

CC: Have you ever thought of doing something completely different?

BB: It's a matter of someone saying "do you want to come and do this?" I would love to be the Emcee in Cabaret.

CC: That would be very different! I can't picture you in that…

BB: Yes. It would be fun being the Emcee.

CC: Note to Roundabout - Hire Brent as the Emcee!

BB: Charles Busch needs to write something for me also.

CC: Note to Charles Busch - Write a juicy show for Brent… Are there other shows that you adore, that you have not performed in that you would like to perform in? Carousel perhaps?

BB: Carousel is something I almost did last year. I love the show and I love the score. I would love to do Carousel.

CC: What about the Sound Of Music?

BB: You know, I don't know. I was asked to do the Sound Of Music before and I guess that I should look at the play as opposed to the movie. For some reason the character does not appeal to me… He doesn't seem interesting enough and because of that he doesn't have a whole lot of appeal. It doesn't seem very interesting, but maybe I'm just selling it short.

CC: What other things do you love other then theater?

BB: I have a roof terrace now and I have been doing a lot of planting. I had a large garden when I was growing up and nothing since! I am not actually out there growing tomatoes, but it is fun having a garden. Living in New York, which has been my home for over 20 years, it's such a feeling of accomplishment to have a garden here. I am finding that as I become older, I am becoming more of a gardener and a cook.

CC: Do you love the City?

BB: Yes, I moved back into the city about three years ago from Long Island because I love it and I did not want to commute anymore!

CC: Have you always adored theater?

BB: No actually…Growing up in Kansas I did not know about theater, nor could I do theater. There was no working theater in Kansas other then the Junior or Senior High School play, but I loved movies. My Aunt Alice owned the local movie theater so there were always movies on Fridays and Saturdays.

CC: Do you have a favorite movie? My favorites are Cinema Paradiso and Like Water For Chocolate.

BB: I don't have a favorite movie because there's so many great ones.

CC: Do you enjoy foreign films as well?

Very much so. When I saw Cinema Paradiso it was like me growing up as a little kid at my Aunt's movie theater. Like Water for Chocolate is a beautiful film also.

CC: How about The Sound Of Music?

BB: The Sound of Music was the first movie to make an impact on me. I wanted to be a Van Trapp kid! I also loved Stage Coach which really made an impact on me. It gave me an exhilaration and I don't know why. One movie that really disturbed me was In Cold Blood.

CC: I never saw that film…

BB: Ugh. It was very violent… written by Truman Capote.

CC: What do you want to do next? What's your fantasy part?

BB: My fantasy part or fantasy life? My fantasy life is to do film, television and theater. To do everything and to have a balance.

CC: Do you have any projects now that you are talking about?

BB: No! I have a feeling that I am going to have to spend some time in LA. Ugh.

CC: Movies would be lucky to have you but Broadway needs you...

BB: I want to always keep New York as my home base. I love New York. That is why I have never really gone out and explored that, although the way the business is these days it is important to be out there. You need that exposure.

Thank you Mr. Barrett for your time. Brent will star in Chicago through September 28th. Brent Barrett is a very talented singer, actor and dancer. We can never have enough of him. Hope to see him in Encore's, The Broadway series at Town Hall and in film.


To learn more about Brent Barrett check out his website:

(Photo's courtesy of Chicago Website. Top photo courtesy of / )

Brent Barrett with the " />

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