PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Newsies' "Crutchie," Andrew Keenan-Bolger

By Matthew Blank
25 Sep 2012

Some films you consider classics: "Annie Hall"
"Singiní in The Rain"
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I get all my pop culture news from Michael Buckley of the "What the Buck" show on YouTube. He is a hysterical guy and one of the first people to support me as a filmmaker. I owe a lot to him!
Favorite cities: Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Celia bought me the Ragtime concept album for Christmas in 1996. It was before I actually owned a CD player.
First stage kiss: I had my first onstage kiss last year with Nikki M. James in a reading of the new musical Rocket Science. Right after that she won a Tony. Coincidence? I think not!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: The last show I ever got to perform onstage with both of my sisters was The Secret Garden. I adore that show and getting to work with my sisters was very memorable.

I got to play Colin, Maggie got to play Mary and Celia got to playÖ Betsy the Scullery Maid (1 line)! Sorry Cels.

How you got your Equity card: I did a tour of Music Man when I was nine. My mind exploded a little bit when our Newsies choreographer Chris Gattelli made the connection that he was Tommy Djilas opposite my Winthrop.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: ĎShroom Burger from Shake Shack. I pretend itís healthy because itís vegetarian but in reality itís two Portobello mushrooms stuffed with cheese and Panko breadcrumb fried. Iíd probably be better off with a burger.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Iím on such a juicing kick, so anything made with my Breville Juicer.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I walk pretty much on the side of my foot as Crutchie. He has a gimp leg and I tried to make it as mangled and realistic as I could. Luckily, we had a physical therapist come in and custom-create a warm up for me so I donít hurt myself during the show. Also my Liz Caplan vocalises.
Most challenging role you have ever played: I played the central character of ďHalĒ in the musical Rocket Science last year. Itís about a boy with a severe stutter trying to be on the debate team. Itís an incredibly powerful show and I had to go through both the script and score and decide on exactly what words he would get caught up on and what it would sound like. Itís still in development and I hope it gets a big production in New York soon!
Worst costume ever: I played Max the Dog in the tour of Grinch. The costume actually looked awesome but weighed about 15 pounds and, after doing 4 shows a day, was soaking wet by the end.
Worst job you ever had: I was a telemarketer for University of Michigan. I would have to call recent graduates and beg them for money. It was very stressful having people yell at me all day. Turns out most folks donít have cash to spare when theyíve paid for four years of college.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Iíd play Medda. She gets to sing a song called ďThatís Rich!Ē which is pretty much my personal anthem.
Favorite Disney songs (not from any of the shows you've done): Any of the Museís songs from "Hercules"
Show you would most love to perform in with your siblings: Iíve always been in love with the idea of doing Andrew Lippaís John & Jen with either one of my sisters. I think we might have something to bring to the table.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Iím not so sure anyoneís ready to accept me as a leading man but two roles Iím dying to play are Toby in Sweeney Todd and Jack in Into the Woods.

Iíve never gotten to be in a Sondheim show and hope to get to play either of those at some point.

Leading lady role you wish you could play: Caroline Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change. Still looking for the right open-minded producer. Tweet me if youíre interested: @KeenanBlogger
Something about you that surprises people: Whatís my secret? Iím afraid of the dark and I sleep with a night-light.
Something you are incredibly proud of: The thing Iím most proud of is my web series, "Submissions Only." When my co-creator, Kate Wetherhead, and I decided to make this web series, we had zero experience in writing or directing a sitcom and have somehow crafted a series that is really resonating with people both within and outside our community.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: Iím a bit of a slob. I still havenít totally outgrown my college dorm room cleaning habits.
Career you would want if not a performer: I would want a job where I got paid to make random YouTube videos with my friends. That exists, right?
Three things you can't live without: Flamin' Hot Cheetos, my camera, my friends
"I'll never understand whyÖ" Ö people donít want gay people to get married.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Have other interests outside of the business. Itís so easy to get wrapped up in the drama and politics involved with auditioning and performing. I find that having other hobbies makes such a huge difference. Not only does it give you an outlet but informs who you are as a person and makes you a more interesting, well-rounded performer.