PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Chip Zien

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Chip Zien
 
Chip Zien — currently starring in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables — fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.

Chip Zien joins the cast of Les Mis
Chip Zien joins the cast of Les Mis


If you could star in any movie musical, which would it be?: Oliver!, and I'd be young again and play the Artful Dodger…
Full given name: Jerome Herbert Zien – but called "Chip" for my whole life. Told my agent years ago I was going to change my stage name back to Jerome because I thought Chip made me sound like I was on the "Waltons"... He said, "Keep 'Chip,' it's the 'Zien' that's killing you."
Hometown: Milwaukee
Audition song: Years ago always sang "Somebody Loves Me" as a ballad. If they asked for an up-tempo, I sang it again faster.
Special skills: 2 handicap golfer, off-track motorcycle racing, hypochondria
First Broadway show(s) ever saw: The originals - The Sound of Music, Gypsy, Miracle Worker on three consecutive nights…
Favorite show tune: Only one? No, no, no: all of Sweeney Todd and also, of course, "No More" and William Finn's "Unlikely Lovers" (always, I felt, the wrong four people), "They All Fall Down," or "What Would I Do"  - none of which did he ever let me sing...
MAC or PC? PC (actually built mine) — but, of course, I'm the only PC person I know...
Most played song on your iPod: Depends on my mood; I listen to stuff like Jane Monheit, Jimmy Durante, Madeleine Peyroux, Bobby Darin, Johnny Hartman, Chick Corea, Grieg — very eclectic.
Must-see TV show: "The Office" — Steve Carell is the funniest man alive
Last good movie you saw: rented "Little Children" — best movie of the year!
Favorite board/card game: A card game I play with my folks and never win called: "Phase 10." My father (91 years old) has always been a fantastic card player.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Dean Martin — wish he'd come back.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I really like "Heroes" and I spend a horrible amount of time reading political blogs... and if you're anywhere near Minnesota, vote for Al Franken.
First stage kiss: Reed Birney (Reed – I miss you...)
Favorite post-show meal: The steak salad thing over at Angus.
How you got your Equity card: Lied my way into an Equity open call for ...Charlie Brown – got the job – and got my card.
Worst flubbed line: In Into The Woods there was a pretty often quoted line: "The Path is Straight..." I couldn't remember the word "path" (?!)  Came out with "thing," then "the straight thing is straight," finally "this road like thing..." Joanna Gleason (who could obviously have helped but just stood there) was thrilled by the whole "thing" and just let me fry... we still laugh about it.
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition? I've been Attorney Cromwell several times on the mother ship.
Worst costume ever: Well — at least the hottest: About a hundred layers of wool in a wonderfully designed (and I think acted) The Suicide on Broadway... (but dismissed by Frank Rich who called us "the dregs of Actors Equity")... I'm okay. I'm over it.
Cats or dogs? We have two cats (Shosh and Trudie) and one dog (Pip).
Favorite cereal: Grape Nuts — some are born grape and others have grape nuts thrust upon them.
Who would play you in the movie? Tough one. Probably someone who was upset about not having a better film career.
Worst job you ever had: Smile Smile Smile. NY Times review one sentence long: "I didn't, I didn't, I didn't." Producer met us the next night and told us the reviews didn't matter... we would run forever. We closed the next day.
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