February 15, 2015
For Episode 28, we’re turning our podcast into a TODDcast! Meet our wonderfully funny friend Todd Buonopane, star of stage and screen. (Check out some of his memorable scenes on his YouTube reel here.) You might recognize him from his role as Jeffrey Weinerslav, the transgender human resources person on “30 Rock” or as Jean-Michel in the Broadway cast of "Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella", or as Amos Hart in the recent national tour of “Chicago." (Broadway fans will especially love Todd dishing on all the celebrity stepmothers he worked with in “Cinderella" — from Fran Drescher to Sherri Shepherd to NeNe Leakes!)
You’ll hear about how Todd got interested in theatre as a child and how he parlayed that to earn a spot in the prestigious University of Michigan Musical Theatre program. He talks all about working in summerstock “barn” theatres, his many survival jobs in New York City, and how he and best-friend Celia Keenan-Bolger have always looked out for each other.
Todd shares fun stories from the Great White Way, having appeared in the Broadway casts of shows like “Grease” and the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. He also tells us how he kills time when his character isn’t on stage (Candy Crush Soda Saga, anyone?), and talks about why union membership is so vital for working actors on the stage and screen.
No stranger to TV commercials, Todd regales us with hilarious tales from the audition room — including a particularly amusing audition involving a Speedo and the New England Patriots. He also tells us what it was like to work on “30 Rock”, including Tina Fey’s take on Weinerslav’s anatomy.
Sit back and enjoy our TODDcast and then be sure to follow Todd on Twitter: @toddbuonopane. We promise. It's totally worth it. And if you’re in Virginia this month, be sure to check out Todd’s show “Lying in the Driveway & Other Stories” at Randolph College on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. For information visit www.randolphcollege.edu/calendar.
Screenshots from our Skype interview with Todd.
Brian, Danielle and Todd after one of his performances of "Sleepless in Seattle" at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2013.