PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Scandalous' Andrew Samonsky
By Matthew Blank
October 23, 2012
Andrew Samonsky, who doubles in the roles of Harold McPherson and Kenneth Ormiston in Broadway's Scandalous, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Samonsky played Joseph Cable in Lincoln Center's South Pacific, which was filmed for a "Live From Lincoln Center" PBS broadcast.
Other theatre work includes Michael John LaChiusa's Queen of the Mist at Transport Group (Frank Russell, Drama Desk nomination), Merrily We Roll Along (Tyler) at City Center, Tales of the City at A.C.T. and Little Miss Sunshine at La Jolla Playhouse.
I must have been destined to be in South Pacific because I was born on a U.S. Navy Seabee base in Port Hueneme, CA. Raised in Ventura, CA.
What your parents did/do for a living:
Mom was a special education teacher (retired). Dad is an attorney (trying to get him to retire).
Current audition song/monologue:
For my Scandalous audition I sang "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel. I later realized it was not very appropriate for the show, but I guess it didn't lose me the job!
Picking bad audition songs
Something you're REALLY bad at:
See special skills
First Broadway show you ever saw:
Rent. It was the first time I saw an audience treat the cast like rock stars, as well they should have. Amazing.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out?
There is nothing more valuable in this world than a great teacher and I have been lucky enough to have some of the best.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be?
I would have loved to see our legend George Hearn in my favorite musical Sweeney Todd. Shivers just thinking about it.
Current or recent show you recommended to friends:
Peter and the Starcatcher. Pure theatre magic.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
"Pretty Women" and "The Nearness of You"
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead:
Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billy Joel, Rufus Wainwright and Brian d'Arcy James
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
Recently, One Man, Two Guvnors. I was EXHAUSTED from laughing after the first act alone. And then came act two! Abdominals and cheeks have still not recovered.
MAC or PC?
MAC all the way
Most played song on your iPod:
Probably "Don't Come Easy" by Patty Griffin.
slate.com, espn.com and sporcle.com (a website full of nerdy quizzes!)
Last book you read:
"Cutting For Stone" by Abraham Verghese. One of the best books I've ever read.
Must-see TV show(s):
And as soon as it's on Netflix, "Homeland"
Last good movie you saw:
Some films you consider classics:
"Gone With The Wind" and "Fight Club"
Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Carolee Carmello. It's easy to worship this woman. Come see for yourself!
Pop culture guilty pleasure:
PSY's Gangnam Style! I can't stop watching that man dance!!!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
CD... When I was 10 I got "Cocktail" movie soundtrack. I didn't see the movie (rated R) but the album had "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:
In fifth grade I played George Washington in our school production of George Washington and had to walk around the stage holding Martha Washington's hand. I got teased mercilessly. Who teases George Washington? Treason!
How you got your Equity card:
Like 90% of us, I did a Theatereworks USA tour, driving ourselves around the country in two vans performing for children at 8 AM every morning. Some of my favorite memories, truly.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
Cereal. Any kind, any time, anywhere... 2% milk, please.
Favorite liquid refreshment:
Currently addicted to Peanut Butter Splits at Juice Generation.
Did any particular research or preparation go into this current project?
I watched a lot of Kathie Lee and Hoda on the "Today Show." ;)
Most challenging role you have ever played:
Jon in tick tick... BOOM! So exhausting, but soooo worth it.
Worst job you ever had:
I am the worst server on the planet, and therefore have the utmost respect for them.
Leading man role you've been dying to play:
Sweeney Todd if George Hearn will coach me
Leading lady role you wish you could play:
Maria in Sound of Music. I think I'd look great in a nun's habit. Or Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd opposite George Hearn.
Something about you that surprises people:
I used to have long hair and follow the Grateful Dead. Not my best look.
Something you are incredibly proud of:
That I didn't stick with the Grateful Dead look.
Something you're embarrassed to admit:
See "Something about you that surprises people"
Career you would want if not a performer:
I still have childhood dreams of being a firefighter. Living heroes.
Words of advice for aspiring performers:
Never stop being a student. Do it for the joy of the work. And always, always be yourself. You are enough.