CUE & A: Rock of Ages Star Frankie J. Grande on His Greatest Inspirations, Phantom and Bea Arthur

News   CUE & A: Rock of Ages Star Frankie J. Grande on His Greatest Inspirations, Phantom and Bea Arthur
Frankie J. Grande, who plays Franz in the final Broadway company of Rock of Ages, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Frankie J. Grande
Frankie J. Grande

Grande previously appeared in Mamma Mia! and produced recent Broadway productions of Hamlet and Born Yesterday.

He was seen on the the hit CBS reality series "Big Brother."

Full given name: Frank James Grande-Machione
Where you were born/where you were raised: I was born in New York, NY, and raised between NYC, Englewood, NJ, and Boca Raton, FL.
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
What your parents did/do for a living: My father is a Pulmonologist Lung Doctor and my mother is a CEO.
Siblings: Ariana and James
Who were you major mentors/inspirations when first starting out? Madonna, Celine Dion, Ryan Seacrest, Andy Cohen and Jimmy Fallon inspire me.
Current audition song/monologue: I usually sing a song or perform a monologue from the show I am going for.
Special skills: Impersonations, gymnastics, French, accents
First Broadway show you ever saw: Little Shop of Horrors
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Original cast of Phantom of the Opera, which I saw 11 times as a kid.
Current or recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Mamma Mia! is one of my favorite shows and I always recommend it to friends.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "Defying Gravity"
Some favorite modern musicals: Wicked
Some favorite classic musicals: Hello, Dolly!
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would have most loved to perform with: The talented Bea Arthur
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Celine Dion, Constantine Maroulis, and my sister Ariana Grande
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: De la Guarda, Off-Broadway
Music that makes you cry, any genre: The "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack gets me every time
Most played song on your iPod: “Love Me Harder” by Ariana Grande
Most-visited websites: Twitter and Instagram
Last book you read: "The Maze Runner"
Must-see TV show(s): I am currently watching “The Good Wife,” "Downton Abbey,” “Scorpion” and “How to Get Away with Murder”
Last good movie you saw: "The Hobbit"
Some films you consider classics: "Mommy Dearest," "To Be or Not to Be," "Spaceballs" and "Gone with the Wind"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Imogen Heap
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Justin Beiber
Three favorite cities: Paris, London, NY
Favorite sport/team/player: Volleyball
First stage kiss: Lynne Abeles, currently in Phantom, when I was a sophomore in high school
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Conrad Birdie, 5th grade, gold lamé suit.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Anything of the specials from La Masseria
Favorite liquid refreshment: Grande iced soy latte
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Chatting with my co-stars
Biggest challenge about this current project: Performing during these freezing cold times is a challenge for all of our bodies and voices but must be overcome.
Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project: Being able to perform for so many enthusiastic wonderful fans
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: I was 5 seconds late for an entrance and there was dead silence on stage, I was mortified and it never happened again.
Worst costume ever: The fat suit I wore as Boots the Monkey in Dora The Explorer
Worst job you ever had: Summer camp counselor for the older kids
Craziest audition story: In my final callback for Rock of Ages they ran out of time and I didn't get to sing, so my audition was just my reacting to my father’s solo.
What have you missed most about performing on Broadway since your Mamma Mia! days? The crowds, the audience, the applause, the community – it is what I live for in the theatre.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys
Something about you that surprises people: I triple-majored in college in biology, theatre and dance.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Winning the Global Impact Award for my charity work in Africa with BuildOn
Career you would want if not a performer: Marine biologist
Three things you can't live without: Music, water, people
"I'll never understand why…" … people love to hate.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Never give up; never say never; amidst the seas of "no," one day there will be a "yes."
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