Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer

Article Pixel

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer

With the current theatre world on hiatus, I have created a Spotlight Series on Broadway World which features interviews with some of the many talented artists who make our Los Angeles theatre community so exciting and vibrant thanks to their ongoing contribution to keeping the Arts alive in the City of the Angels. And just like all of us, I wondered how they are dealing with the abrupt end of productions in which they were involved.

This Spotlight focuses on Kelly Brighton, an Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer who has appeared in theatrical productions his entire life. As a member of DOMA Theatre, Kelly has received accolades for his roles in several company productions. He is also preparing to take a new musical he has written to the stage, and as a Recording Artist works with some of the finest producers and recording engineers in Hollywood. So what's this always-busy guy up to while quarantined at home?

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and WriterKelly Brighton (Kelly): I started early in Theatre when I did two shows as a kid with Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, sang with L.A. Opera and the UCLA Opera Workshop. Those were really fun, busy times. I'm very grateful to my parents for supporting me to do what I love to do. Thanks to my Mom and Dad, I've been in the Theatre my whole life.

I'm a member of DOMA Theatre and played the conflicted Pontius Pilate in our production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Our superb cast and show were unanimously praised by critics and audiences, so much so that we extended our sold-out run twice at The Met Theatre in Hollywood. I received a Robby Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical as Pilate from L.A. Theatre critic, Rob Stevens.

I had a great time as Lord Henry Wotton in DOMA Theatre's Dorian's Descent, the new musical written by Christopher Raymond and Marco Gomez, BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writerbased on Oscar Wilde's Gothic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. I led Dorian into a life of debauchery in our beautifully produced show.

One of my favorite productions was Octavio Carlin's hilarious farce, Hollywood Party, at the Hudson Theatre. It was mad-cap romp that audiences loved in which I played Rodrigo De Altamirano and spent the entire show looking for Lilyan Tashman. Movie star shenanigans!

I'm a Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer, which keeps me very busy. With my writing partner, Jane Stuart. I've written the music and lyrics, and Jane and I co-wrote the book,BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer for a new musical farce, Kiss Me, Quick! We've had two hilarious table reads with my DOMA friends and we're planning a workshop production, making it a very exciting time for us. DOMA is developing a multi-use Arts Studio with a performance space in the Arts District in DTLA which will allow for immersive experiences as we develop new musicals in association with Behind The Mask, Inc. Stay tuned!

I'm a Recording Artist and work with some of the finest producers and recording engineers in Hollywood. My pop/soul music is available on iTunes, Spotify, and most digital platforms. I invite you to check it out! www.KellyBrighton.com

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and WriterAnd In January I performed at the 2020 L.A. Ovation Awards. It was an honor to perform for our L.A. Theatre colleagues, many of whom are my friends. It's always a grand, black tie event at the beautiful Ace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(Kelly): Mid-March I was involved in three projects:

I was in pre-production to direct/act in Seminar by Theresa Rebeck for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. We did a staged reading at Theatre Palisades in August 2019 which was such a success, we decided to put it up for Fringe.

I was rehearsing new material for Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Feinstein's at Vitello's.

I was in pre-production with my good friend, Jim West (Weird Al), to co-produce a new single I'll be releasing.

(SB) How was the shutdown communicated with the cast and production team?

(Kelly): The quickest way to get the word out; by text. We all knew it was a possibility. Still it was heartbreaking for everyone involved.

(SB): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer(Kelly): The Hollywood Fringe Festival is postponed until October. If all goes well, we'll be Fringing then. Jim and I will pick up producing my single when we can be in the studio together. And Cast Party will return! It's such a great night of Cabaret, we hope you will join us as soon as we can again gather together for live theatre.

(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

(Kelly): Other than our workshop of Kiss Me, Quick! and Seminar for Fringe, I try not to book too far into the future since I'm juggling enough plates in the now! But I see a lot of Theatre, and now all of that is on hold. After years of not seeing The Book of Mormon, I had tickets and it was cancelled. What a disappointment!

(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Kelly): I'm a member of SAG-AFTRA Singers. I'm a studio session Singer and have a home studio, and work is being offered remotely. We download the tracks, record our vocals at home, then send them back. It works very well.

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and WriterI just did a fun, Zoom online "Radio Play" reading with the Quarantine Players! It was a live, Facebook event and we had a blast. More to come!

I'm using this time at home to compose and arrange, which is my full-time job at the moment. I'm thankful to be focused on the positive and in the zone of creativity. I recommend it! And I love vocal coaching and am considering using Zoom to coach online. It's an amazing media tool which many of us are discovering for the first time.

(SB): That's very true. I am on the Board of Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse and we held our April Board meeting on Zoom, which was a really fun way to get together without having to drive to a meeting. I'd love to keep doing it that way even when the quarantine is over.

What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kelly Brighton: An Actor, Singer, Composer/Lyricist, Producer/Arranger and Writer(Kelly): I ask everyone to remember it's temporary. Focus on what you can do at home. Engage your creativity. Read those scripts you've been meaning to get to. Learn that monologue you've had on your desk for months. Bump up your self-tape submission game. Work on your website. Go through your archival photos and update your news page. Encourage your friends to do the same. Lift each other up. And if you're hurting, reach out. It beats being pre-occupied with worry.

There is nothing like the magic of live Theatre. It transports us, teaches us, moves us, riles us. That's what keeps us in love with it. I know what it takes to put up a show and sustain a run, and when I'm an audience member, I'm pulling for everyone on stage to knock it out of the park! Break a leg, Kids!

So much of what we do as Actors happens backstage. I like that graphic that shows top 10% of an iceberg - what the audience sees - and the 90% below water is what we do in rehearsal. Truth!

(SB) That's for sure! It's the reason I appear in a play or musical every five years or so, just so that I remember all the work that goes into bringing a production to the stage when I am in the audience reviewing a show.

(Kelly): I love our community and it means a great deal to me. Some of my dearest friends are those I've done shows with here. You're in the pressure cooker of production, and you bond quickly because you count on each to bring it every rehearsal and performance. The shows go up with a BANG, you have your run, and inevitably you say good-bye to your cast mates and production crew. Post-show blues are a real thing. Right?!

And so we take our friendships with us and support each other. Texts, phone calls, and lunches. None of us are doing this alone since the very nature of Theatre is collaboration. How nice we can continue to help each other along the way.

When we're up and running, please go see a show! Continue to support your fellow actors and theatre companies. Get back out there and audition. We can do this!

Kelly can be contacted through his website: www.KellyBrighton.com

Kelly is repped by The Movement Talent Agency: https://www.movement-agency.com/

Testimonials: https://www.kellybrighton.com/testimonials

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT05jSkIUSwBTwlvYrqQdDw

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/kelly-brighton/382676530

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/512sWHBkUNHTHmiD79S4um?si=SYrMvhGVToGNPMOhzA9irg

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KellyBrightonMusic/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kellybrightonmusic/

Something Wrong: As Roger Chillingworth in Christopher Raymond's "Scarlet Letter: The Musical." A staged reading at Sacred Fools Theater in Hollywood. https://youtu.be/tlWzQCrBXSE

Photo credits from top:

1, Headshot by Kevin McIntyre

2, Kelly Brighton and Nate Parker in Jesus Christ Superstar (Photo by Michael Lamont)

3. Kelly Brighton and Michael D'Elia in Dorian's Descent (Photo by Sylvia Spross)

4.Kiss Me, Quick! Table Read 2
(R to L: Toni Smith, Marco Gomez, Chris Raymond, Jane Stuart, Venny Carranza, Elvira Barjau, Kristin Towers-Rowles, Kelly Brighton

5. 2020 Ovation Awards - Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging (R to L: Allison Jakubowski, Augusto Guardado, Anthony D. Willis, Janelle Portman, Michelle Holmes, Kelly Brighton.) (Music Direction: Dolf Ramos. Choreography: Angela Todaro,)

6. (R to L: Artist/Producer Stephan Oberhoff, Cast Party host, Jim Caurso, and Kelly Brighton

7. Quarantine Radio Players - (L to Right: Suzanne Slade, Jeff La Greca, Tony Wolf, Rene Ruiz, Frank Romero, Kelly Brighton, Casey Jones, Amanda Conlon, Brian McMullan, Judy Porter-Bosco)

8. Hollywood Party photo by Ricardo MH
(L to R Front Row: Nino Alicea. Max Hambleton. Calli Ryals, Kat Brower, Danny Menendez, Kelly Brighton.)
(L to R Back Row: Les Williams, Terrence Taylor, Thomas Christensen, Christoper Adams-Cohen, Matthew Saylor, Christina Lemon.)


Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories   Shows

From This Author Shari Barrett