PLAYBILL BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Steve Kazee; Broadway's Once "Guy" Talks About Exiting the Hit

By Kenneth Jones
27 Mar 2013

Kazee and Cristin Milioti in the recording studio.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

And in recent weeks did doctors put you on prednisone, for your vocal cord swelling?
SK: No, I've never been on prednisone, [Dr. Gwen Korovin] did not wanna put me on prednisone because of the blood vessel. The blood vessel makes it a little trickier. If it were just swelling of the vocal cord, then we could've probably done prednisone, but it's a common misconception in our business that prednisone is a cure-all . Prednisone doesn't actually treat the issue, prednisone just takes the swelling down. So let's say I take prednisone and I get back into the show and I'm singing the same way, I'm just gonna get back to the place that I was at —

Potentially still damaging your instrument.
SK: Right, exactly.

So, how do you move forward? What's coming up? Are you auditioning?
SK: Yeah, I'm auditioning. Not really for musicals. I'm keeping the singing down to the minimum at the current time. But as far as my vocal cords go at this time, I feel like I'm 80 or 90 percent. It's not a question of whether I was ever going to sing again or whether this was going to be a lasting issue. We always knew, I always knew, the producers always knew that I would get back to a place of being completely fine. The question was always, "Well, once I get back to 100 percent. Do I go back into the show and risk getting back to where I was at?" It was never: "Oh, is he gonna be OK?"

You disappeared from view. No social media.
SK: I think, unfortunately, a lot of people like to speculate on things. I think my absence from social media has only been adding to that speculation. When you're out of the show, that's a very hard thing for an actor. You feel as if you've done a disservice, so I didn't want to be seen as [being] out of the show but yet you're out tweeting, Facebooking, talking about this and talking about that, making it seem like I was just happy as a clam — 'cause I wasn't.

I was very upset with the whole situation and I felt very bad that people were coming to see me and I wasn't there. You feel a lot of pressure in that situation. You feel that being a part of a Tony Award-winning musical: You're there to be there, to perform! I made the decision, along with talking to the producers, talking to my own team of managers and agents, to just be quiet for awhile and to just lay low. I didn't want to be out and about in New York. I have basically been in my apartment for a month and a half.