Broadway Veteran Michael Cumpsty Performs at Red Bank Theater

Tony Award Nominee and Broadway veteran, Michael Cumpsty, discusses his exciting new show at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey.

12/7/16 #1927






"Welcome to One on One here at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce Michael Cumpsty, who is a Tony Nominated actor, right now he is performing The Lion In Winter at the Two River Theater in beautiful Red Bank, New Jersey, after so many Broadway productions in which you've been a star in, and you're just an icon in the business. I gotta ask you something. Broadway to Red Bank to this particular theater which has got a great reputation. Yeah. What's it like? It's a fantastic theater. I've been fortunate, I've done a lot of Broadway. I've done, like, seventeen Broadway shows. Many of the shows are not as good as what we do at Two River. Absolutely, honestly. How do you explain that? Well, it's... the theater was founded by Rob and Joan Rechnitz who love it, and have put a lot of themselves into it. It's well funded, it's well supported, we get a lot of grants from a lot of different organizations, and it's just... they do really fine work. And they don't have the economic pressure that is on the theaters in New York. You know, they don't have to charge $120, $200 dollars... That's right. ...a ticket. And they've got a diverse audience, and like I was just, the last thing I did there, which is a show that just closed, was an August Wilson play called Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which was right up there in the top three most satisfying experiences I've ever had in the theater. And there's a lot of August Wilson connections? Yeah. Explain that. Well, the guy who runs it, John Dias, has a longstanding collaborative relationship with Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who was one of August Wilson's original, sort of, connection. He was on the show. Ruben, right. Amazing guy. Yes. Writer, actor, director... Talented. Extraordinary guy. So he's been directing... not only him but Branden Dirden who is also on the show. Yeah. He's coming in a little bit later today. Who played... He is? ...Doctor King in All the Way with Bryan Cranston? Yeah, yeah. I'm sorry, I'm just namedropping, I'm sorry. Yeah. Go ahead. I'm sorry. No, absolutely. Well he was in this Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, that I was just telling you about. What talent! It's... astonishing performer, and Ruben directed it. It's, you know, it's absolutely world class. Getting the best? The best. In Jersey? Yeah. Who...? Yeah. How...? And so... so is there a tremendous buzz? Listen, we're not just looking to promote here, we're really not. But is it that there is a great reputation around this theater? The work it does? And that great performers want to be a part of this? Yeah. Absolutely. And not just the performers, you know, with the writer, and the directors, and the designers..."