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Interview: Chis Hoch of Jagged Little Pill at Theatre Under The Stars

Now through September 10th.

By: Aug. 28, 2023
Interview: Chis Hoch of Jagged Little Pill at Theatre Under The Stars  Image
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Interview: Chis Hoch of Jagged Little Pill at Theatre Under The Stars  Image
Company of Jagged Little Pill National Tour
Photo by Ryan Murphy

Chris Hoch, a luminary of the Broadway stage, stands as a captivating embodiment of artistic versatility and unparalleled talent. Whether commanding the stage with commanding charisma or evoking poignant emotions with subtlety, Hoch's contributions to theatre have led to a career spanning both the brightest marquees of New York City and beyond.

BroadwayWorld sat down with Hoch as Jagged Little Pill will make its way in to Space City this week, allowing Houston audiences to explore all the Hoch and magnificence has to offer.


Can you share your journey of becoming a theater actor? What inspired you to pursue a career in the theater?

Like many actors, I had an amazing high school drama teacher named Pat Murphy who opened my eyes to the theatre and all of its possibilities. But to his credit, he always warned me that a life in the theater was a difficult one!

What have been some of your favorite roles or productions that you've been a part of on Broadway?

I’ve had a lot of great roles on Broadway, but my favorite show was the revival of La Cage Aux Folles that I did in 2010 where I actually had a very small role but understudied both of the leads. I have never been in a show that worked so perfectly. The production, directed by the brilliant Terry Johnson and written by Jerry Herman (who was an absolute master) and Harvey Fierstein (who is one of my personal heroes for many reasons), was like a Swiss watch. I think the older and more experienced you get, you realize that it is so rare that a show really “works”, and it is much better to have a small role in a great show than a large one in a show that does not work as well.

Theater performances can be physically and emotionally demanding. How do you maintain your energy and focus during a long run of a show?

Unfortunately, when you are in a long run, you really do have to limit your day’s activity so as to not tire yourself. So I rest a lot. Which in nice as I am both antisocial and lazy.

Interview: Chis Hoch of Jagged Little Pill at Theatre Under The Stars  Image
Jordan Leigh McCaskill, Chris Hoch, and Heidi Blickenstaff in Jagged Little Pill
Photo by Ryan Murphy

Theater audiences can vary widely in their reasons. How do you adapt to different audience vibes?

That is a fascinating thing in Jagged Little Pill - how the audiences vary. I think you have to not mistake a demonstrative audience for an appreciative one. When I was first staring out, an older actor told me “You can’t hear a smile”, and it really is true. Often the quiet audiences are paying attention more.

Theater has a rich history and has evolved over the years. What do you think sets apart the theater experience from other forms of entertainment?

The fact that it’s live. You can’t use AI to replace us. I hope. (If the robots become our overlords, I want to make very clear that I love computers! Give me a nice life in The Matrix!)

What advice would you give to aspiring actors who dream of making it in theater?

I would probably sit them down and tell them to dream of a life in finance and to get involved in their local community theater. This can be a tough business.

Are there any dream roles or types of characters you haven't had the chance to portray yet but would love to in the future?

Much like all baritones, I would love to get a crack at “Sweeney Todd” before I am old enough to play “Judge Turpin.”

The performing arts industry has its highs and lows. How do you stay motivated and resilient, especially during challenging times?

A friend of mine once met Tom Hanks and asked him the same question. And his answer is the best one I have heard: “persevere."

Interview: Chis Hoch of Jagged Little Pill at Theatre Under The Stars  Image
Chris Hoch and Heidi Blickenstaff in Jagged Little Pill
Photo by Ryan Murphy

Jagged Little Pill will be in performance with Theatre under the Stars at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday, August 29 to Sunday, September 10. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday evening performances are at 7:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday matinee performanes at 2:00 pm, with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8:00 pm. Tickets can be boughts https://www.tuts.com/shows/jagged-little-pill or the Hobby Center for Performing Arts Center Box Office at 800 Bagby St.




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