PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Magic/Bird's "Larry Bird," Tug Coker

Cue and A   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Magic/Bird's "Larry Bird," Tug Coker
Tug Coker, making his Broadway debut as Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Tug Coker
Tug Coker

Coker's previous stage credits include The Cataract (Women's Project), A Midsummer Night's Dream (American Repertory Theater), Snow in June (American Repertory Theater), Take Me Out (Studio Theatre), The Second Tosca (45th Street Theatre), Dear Vienna (Vital Theatre Company) and You Can't Take It With You (Capital Repertory Theatre).

He has appeared on screen in "The Office," "How I Met Your Mother," "Law & Order: SVU," "CSI," "CSI: Miami," "Numb3rs," "Hot in Cleveland," "Torchwood"” "Raising Hope," "Friends With Benefits" and "Chuck."

Full given name:

John Herbert Coker My parents nicknamed me Tug before I was born after watching Tug McGraw play for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Dayton, OH. Raised in Fredericksburg, VA.
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
What your parents did/do for a living: Dad: Orthodontist
Mom: Executive Assistant
Siblings: Two younger sisters, Lindsay and Lorie.
Special skills: Procrastination
Something you're REALLY bad at: Organizing
First Broadway show you ever saw: Saw a lot of touring shows come through Washington D.C. but my first show on Broadway was The Caretaker with Patrick Stewart.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Joan Allen and John Malkovich in Burn This
Current shows you have been recommending to friends: Once
Favorite showtune of all time: "Johanna" from Sweeney Todd
"Move On" from Sunday in the Park with George
"One" from A Chorus Line
All-time favorite modern musicals: In the Heights, Passing Strange, Sweeney Todd
All-time favorite plays: Angels in America, The Pillowman, A Lie of the Mind, August: Osage County
Some favorite modern playwrights: Lisa D'Amour, Eric Simonson, Adam Rapp, Charles L. Mee
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: George Grizzard, Jimmy Stewart, Paul Newman, Lucille Ball, Marlon Brando
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Alfred Molina in Red
Most played song on your iPod: "Concrete Sky" by Beth Orton
Most-visited websites: ESPN
Favorite Tweeters: @KevinDDaniels
Last book you read: "When the Game Was Ours" by Jackie MacMullan
Must-see TV show(s): "Parks & Recreation"
"Pardon the Interruption"
Last good movie you saw: "My Week With Marilyn"
Some films you consider classics: "The Wizard of Oz"
"Godfather I & II"
"It Happened One Night"
"Forrest Gump"
"The Insider"
Performers you would drop everything to go see: Fleet Foxes
Paul Sparks
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Top Chef"
Favorite cities: New York, Fredericksburg, Miami, Oklahoma
Favorite sport/team/player: Boston Celtics (from Dad), Dallas Cowboys (from Mom)
Five favorite Celtics of all time: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Danny Ainge
Name your all-time NBA starting five:

Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaq I want my team to be fun.

Kobe or Lebron? Kobe. Not a Lakers fan, but I respect Kobe's clutch gene. And I like that he doesn't care what people think.
Who do you see in this season's Finals? Who will win?

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers. For old time's sake. Gotta roll with the Celtics to win it all as this version of the Celtics rides off into the sunset.

Current NBA player you would most like to see them write a musical about: Jeremy Lin
Most memorable on-court experience:

Team: going to the AAU National Championships as a high-school junior. Personal: Scoring 27 points against the defending state champs (we still lost).

Some favorite non-basketball athletes: Roger Federer, R.A. Dickey, Aaron Rodgers is a Golden God
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Michael Jackson's "Thriller" LP. Still have it.
First stage kiss Jen McDearman. The Lizzie to my Danny in Baby at Studio A.C.T. in San Francisco.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Choreographed/performed a lip-synched dance to "My Girl" by The Temptations in 3rd grade
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Playing Slim in Sam Shepard's Back Bog Beast Bait at the A.R.T. Institute
How you got your Equity card: Understudying at the American Repertory Theater
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Pre: soup/salad at Hurley's
Post: Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria
Favorite liquid refreshment: Water
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Shoot a few baskets in the Longacre Theatre
Most challenging role you have ever played: Larry Bird. It's been a wonderful, scary, exhilarating challenge.


Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

Playing Kippy in Take Me Out in D.C. I went up on my lines and "improvised" by cussing out Shane Mungitt. Smooth.

Worst costume ever: My birthday suit in Take Me Out
Favorite screen or commercial gigs: Working on "The Office" was a thrill. And shot Chevy Chase on "Chuck." Good week of work.
Who have you played on "Law & Order?" What editions? "SVU." I played an accused rapist who was later found innocent. My character said, "I didn't rape anyone... I don't need to." Such a jerk.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Indiana Jones
Leading lady role you wish you could play: Hedda Gabler
Something about you that surprises people: I'm a huge fan of musicals.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Seeing my sister become such a wonderful mom
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I can't drive a stick shift. Both my sisters can. #humbled
Career you would want if not a performer: Record Producer
Three things you can't live without: Peanut butter, chapstick, Kathryn
"I'll never understand why…" ... people rush into an elevator thinking no one is ever coming out of it. Just wait a second.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Don't attach happiness to your level of success in this business. Find happiness in your life first, and hopefully career success will follow.
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