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

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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'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.
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.


1 | 2 Next