PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Gregory Jbara

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Gregory Jbara Gregory Jbara — a 2009 Tony Award nominee for his work in Billy Elliot the Musical — fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.
Gregory Jbara
Gregory Jbara Photo by Bill Kiefer


Full given name: Gregory John Jbara
Hometown: Westland, Michigan
Audition song/monologue: "Love Is Sweeping the Country"
Special skills: "Fire Eating"
How you got the Tony nomination news: I was in the Coffee Shop in Union Square, the place where I actually watched Obama get sworn in. I don't have NY1 on RCN cable in my apartment. My cousin was in town. I met her and her friend, and we went down there and started breakfast at 8 AM. And, we basically took over the place, turned the TVs all up and had the whole place cheering. It was fantastic. It was very spontaneous.
Nominee you're most excited for: David Bologna, "Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical"
Who you are taking Tony night: My wife Julie.
Previous Tony experience: My wife and I attended the Tony Awards the year Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was eligible as I participated in the show's performance of "Great Big Stuff." Was very disappointed to learn there was no alcohol being served in Radio City during the entire broadcast. Made for a very long evening....
First Broadway show ever saw: Dreamgirls at the Imperial Theatre summer of 1982
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Original production of Chicago
Current show you have been recommending to friends: Rock of Ages, Shrek, Mary Stuart
Favorite show tune: "All The Things You Are" from Very Warm for May
Most played song on your iPod: "I Got You Beat" from Shrek (sexiest damn song and performances! Seriously...)
Last book you read: Owner's manual for my TREO 650
Must-see TV show: Anything with Sarah Silverman
Last good movie you saw: "The Reader"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Maynard Ferguson
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I'm an old fart...I haven't a clue what falls within the parameters of current pop culture....
First stage kiss: Dawn Cooper in the Wayne Memorial HS 1979 production of Brigadoon. Dawn was Fiona and I was Tommy Albright.
Favorite pre-show meal: Chicken Caesar salad from Patzeria's on 46th
How you got your Equity card: My NY debut as Frankenstein's Monster in the musical comedy Have I Got a Girl for You! at the Second Ave. Theatre (formerly the Yiddish Arts and now a cinema) at 2nd Ave. and 12th Street
Worst onstage mishap: During the Miami Beach premiere of the 1990 Chess national tour, I played Walter, the American chess second and undercover CIA operative. During previews (as I rode downstage on the Bangkok Hotel room set, talking on the phone with huge 14 foot high Plexiglas window panels to either side of me), an upstage curtain did not clear the top of the glass panels as they continued to move downstage. Once the curtain finally cleared, the panels were pulled so far back that they released and snapped forward and came crashing down on the stage floor on either side of me. After a few moments of silence, the inspiration came to speak into the phone receiver that was already in my hand with something like, "Who knew that Bangkok had such severe earthquakes!"
Worst costume ever: The painful heels I had to wear as Angelique, the pre-operative, transsexual lesbian in the film "Jeffrey."
Worst job you ever had: Being a front waiter at the River Cafe. I was completely out of my league.
TV or commercial gig you most enjoyed: Recurring as Dan O'Keefe on "Grounded for Life" and the web series "The Other Hef" at sharenow.com.
Leading man role you've been dying to play Right now I'm enjoying the role of Dad in Billy Elliot. I have developed an appreciation for originating roles.