PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: "Degrassi," Spider-Man and Beautiful Star Jake Epstein

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31 Dec 2013

Jake Epstein
Jake Epstein

Stage and screen actor Jake Epstein is currently starring as Gerry Goffin in the new Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. He fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

He has previously appeared onstage in Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), American Idiot (Will), Billy Elliot (Tony), Spring Awakening (Melchior), Dog Sees God (Canadian premiere), Dani Girl (world premiere), Dangerous Liaisons and Oliver!

Epstein is a Gemini Award winner for his performance as Craig in "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Other screen work includes "Charlie Bartlett," "Blood Pressure," "Being Erica" and "My Babysitter’s a Vampire."



Full given name: Jacob Lee Epstein
Where you were born/where you were raised: Toronto
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
What your parents did/do for a living: My mom is an author and my dad is a lawyer.
Siblings: My sis, Gabi, is also an actor and singer.
Current Audition Song: “Something In The Way She Moves” by James Taylor. The last monologue I had prepared was from a Canadian play called Monster by Daniel McIvor.
How did you first get into performing and at what age? When I was 9, I auditioned for an arts school in Toronto with a few of my friends. The sole reason we auditioned was that we found out you got to miss a couple days of school to do the audition. Without actually wanting to go to arts school, I accidentally got in. My parents encouraged me to try it and I ended falling in love with performing.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Big: The Musical. And then I listened to that CASSETTE TAPE until it broke… I probably know the words to every song.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? I would love to see the original Cabaret.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: I love the entire score to Titanic The Musical. I adore Cabaret. And I’m just gonna go ahead and say all the Zulu songs in The Lion King.
Some favorite modern musicals: Spring Awakening, Drowsy Chaperone, In the Heights
Some favorite classic musicals: The Music Man, Oliver, South Pacific
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Marlon Brando, Charles Laughton, Al Jolson
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Hawksley Workman (check him out)
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Seeing Spring Awakening on Broadway. I didn’t know that theatre could be like a rock concert. Years later, when I was cast as Melchior in the touring production, I always remembered the experience of seeing that show on Broadway for the first time.
MAC or PC? MAC.
Most played song on your iPod: I just checked, it’s "Sweet Adeline" by Elliot Smith
Last book you read: "The Body" by Stephen King
Must-see TV show(s): "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men," "Six Feet Under," "Friday Night Lights"
Last good movie you saw: "Captain Phillips"
Some films you consider classics: "The Princess Bride," "Hook," "Big," "Karate Kid," "Aladdin"… pretty much explains my childhood. And what I do when I’m sick.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Norbert Leo Butz
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Entertainment Weekly
Three favorite cities: Montreal, Tel Aviv, New York
Favorite sport/team/player: Soccer/The Toronto Maple Leafs (not soccer, hockey)/ Rafael Nadal (not hockey, tennis)
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Here we go for embarrassing: My first CD was Chumbawumba's "Tubthumper" (you know… "I get knocked down… but I get up again…"). Don’t give me that face!



My first tape was Adam Sandler's "What The Hell Happened To Me?"

First LP was "Sgt. Pepper’s"

First stage kiss: 11th grade, playing Harold Hill in The Music Man in high school
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: When I was 12, I played the Artful Dodger in Cameron McKintosh’s production of Oliver! when it came to Toronto. Just getting the role shocked my whole family, and I don’t think I realized until then just how much I loved getting up in front of people and performing.

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