How Theatre People Weathered Hurricane Sandy; Wine! Food! Friends! Kids! Pets!

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30 Oct 2012

Mark Lotito makes pizza for housebound family and friends in Brooklyn.
Mark Lotito makes pizza for housebound family and friends in Brooklyn. reached out to housebound theatre people in New York City and surrounding states to ask what they were doing Oct. 29-30 as Hurricane Sandy lashed the area. Here's what we learned at the time.


Among the 375,000 people ordered out of flood zones near water, where storm surge is expected to be high, are Tony Award-nominated actor Stephen Kunken (Enron), his director wife Jenn Thompson (TACT's Lost in Yonkers, The Eccentricities of a Nightingale) and their daughter Naomi, who live in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They said that they removed all lightweight objects from their patio and placed sandbags around their doors and windows. Their apartment is on the ground floor, within a mile of New York Harbour. The Kunken-Thompson family has retreated with their pets deeper into Brooklyn to stay with actor friends Mark Lotito (Jersey Boys) and Valerie Wright (Elf) and their kids. "The kids are 'picnicking' on the floor," Thompson said. Update: The Kunken-Thompsons learned late Monday that their home's lower level suffered serious flooding.

Librettist and Tony-nominated actor Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, The Hollow) and his actress wife Jennifer Cody "are sitting inside all day, probably watching 'Downton Abbey' — worried that Netflix [streaming] might get overloaded!," Foster said. "She is making soup and dog biscuits, and we have plenty of wine! And I'll maybe work a little on some lines for Inner Voices. If the lights go out, we may work on a little hand-to-hand combat to the death."

Kristin Chenoweth

Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; "GCB"; "Pushing Daisies") confessed, "I live by the water. I just ran out, trying to hurry to get one last thing. I turned the corner and felt lift-off. I decided I didn't want to fly away, so I came back home. I can live without trashbags."

Stafford Arima, director of Off-Broadway Carrie and Altar Boyz, said that rehearsals for his next project, the Off-Broadway rock musical Bare, were canceled Monday. "So I am using this time to catch up on some pre-tech paperwork as we begin technical rehearsals at New World Stages in one week." Of his disaster readiness, he said, "Perhaps I'm in denial, but I only semi-prepped for the worst-case scenario. I do have some canned goods, water and non-perishables, but I didn't go into a frenzy and line-up at a grocery store with a basket filled with Chef Boyardee. If we lose power in the city, I have fully charged my iPod so I can use this time to listen to a couple of new albums, including Streisand's 'Release Me.' So many of my friends and colleagues who live in far-more perilous areas surrounding Manhattan have more to be concerned than I do; my prayers go out to them and to every one who will be up against Mother Nature."


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