Theater People: Anthony Rapp

Patrick brings us another phenomenal episode! This week’s guest is the amazing Anthony Rapp! Aside from being a phenomenally successful Broadway star, Anthony has starred in many well-known movies (Adventures in Babysitting, Dazed and Confused) and had numerous TV spots (Psych the Musical, Law and Order: SVU).  He is also one of a small number of actors who was able to successfully transition from child star to adult.

One of the best things about this interview is the way that it begins.  Patrick’s passion for theatre is apparent in every interview, but the way he tells the story at the beginning of the podcast, a story of the first time he saw Rent on Broadway and what it meant to him, was moving.  It is such an iconic musical and the way he describes every detail of that night, it is simply phenomenal!

Patrick delves right into the interview, asking Anthony about his current starring role as Lucas in the musical If/Then.  He stars alongside his former Rent co-star Idina Menzel in a musical which he says “can be very moving for people, and it’s also very entertaining.  It is unusual in so many ways, and one of the ways in which it is unusual is the way it feels very personal and relevant to people’s real lives that they really live in the real world in ways that you don’t always feel when you go to see a musical theatre piece.”  They also discuss the ambitious nature of the musical as an original piece and the form it takes in terms of jumping between timelines, and the talented and hardworking creative team and crew who have worked to make it a success. And of course there was discussion of the talent and powerhouse that is Idina Menzel.

A great question posed by Patrick was how the New York presented in each show (Rent and If/Then) felt different to Anthony.  He answers by discussing how New York has changed and evolved from the city that took center stage in Rent to the place that is alive today and serves as the setting of If/Then.
Getting back to basics, Patrick and Anthony discuss how a kid from Joliet, IL was able to make his Broadway debut at ten years old.  His work in community theatre eventually led to his Broadway debut in a show that never officially opened, and then a part in the tour of The King and I.  He did eight shows a week as a kid and even became emancipated in high school so that he could continue to work.

Anthony discusses his experience of doing John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation as an eighteen year old.  He goes on to discuss the shows and movies he completed in his career between Six Degrees and Rent which includes many wonderful productions, some with impressively big names attached to them.

Rent was a huge success and changed the lives of all of the cast members.  Its reputation as a phenomenal piece has stood the test of time and continues to resonate with fans.  As such, Anthony has been asked a multitude of questions over the years about his experience in the show, but Patrick asks a new one: where would Mark be now? Anthony says he hopes that Mark’s film would have been good and that he would have continued to make meaningful pieces.  Further discussion about Rent includes: the formation of the show in the workshop and working with Jonathan Larson, his first encounters with some the songs from the show, his process of writing his book Without You

Make the 44 minutes to listen to the podcast; you won’t regret it! It is great and Anthony is a great actor with an amazing career and story!
Go see Anthony (and Idina) in If/Then at the Richard Rogers Theatre!
Follow Anthony on Twitter and Tumblr.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Theater People on iTunes, and check out their Twitter and Facebook!

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