PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Magic/Bird's "Magic Johnson," Kevin Daniels

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Magic/Bird's "Magic Johnson," Kevin Daniels
Kevin Daniels, starring as NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson in Magic/Bird, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Kevin Daniels
Kevin Daniels

Daniels made his Broadway debut in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Twelfth Night.

Other theatre work includes Up Against the Wind, RFK: The Journey to Justice, Much Ado About Nothing, Tape, Sus, Compromise and Calligraphy.

He has appeared on screen in "Page 36," "And Then Came Love," "The Island," "Kate & Leopold," "Modern Family," "Franklin & Bash," "House," "Chuck," "Their Eyes Were Watching God," "Brothers & Sisters," "Frasier" and "Law & Order."

Learn more about Magic/Bird at the Playbill Vault.

Full given name: Kevin Dwight Daniels Jr.
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in San Diego, raised in Texas, grew up in New York.
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
What your parents did/do for a living: My mother works for a hair care company called Dr. Miracles. My father works in an industrial printing shop.
Siblings: An older sister who lives in Texas.
Current audition song/monologue: "Look Ma, I Made It" from Nunsense 2
Special skills: Making up song lyrics to fit my mood.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Singing. I mean, I'm okay. I just have a problem with pitch, tune, melody and lyrics.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Miss Saigon
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?

The current Death of a Salesman with Philip Seymour Hoffman. I missed a chance to see it when we were in rehearsals. and now we're on the same schedule. I regret that daily. I'd also like to see the original Streetcar.

Current shows you have been recommending to friends: Peter and the Starcatcher and Clybourne Park
Favorite showtunes of all time: "Lily's Eyes" from The Secret Garden
"Your Daddy's Son" from Ragtime
"Move On" from Sunday in the Park With George (really any song from that show)
All-time favorite modern musicals: In the Heights
Avenue Q
Caroline, or Change
All-time favorite plays: Boesman and Lena
Angels in America
Native Speech
Some favorite modern playwrights: Bill Cain, Katori Hall, Neil LaBute, Eric Overmyer
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Ossie Davis
Your personal acting idols: Hamish Linklater
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Watching Janet McTeer in A Doll's House
Music that makes you cry, any genre: "Were you There?" by Mahalia Jackson
Most played song on your iPod: "Getting Grown" by Cee Lo Green
Most-visited websites:
Favorite Tweeters: @dannyzucker
Last book you read: "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Must-see TV show(s): "The Good Wife"
"Game of Thrones"
"Modern Family"
Last good movie you saw: "Warrior"
Some films you consider classics: "The Color Purple"
"Back to the Future
"The Last Dragon"
Performers you would drop everything to go see: Denis O'Hare
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Reading all the "Twilight" books, reading all of the "Hunger Games" books and watching "The Vampire Diaries."
Favorite cities: NYC, Los Angeles, Rome
Name your all-time NBA starting five: Magic, Bird, Jordan, Kobe, LeBron
Current NBA player you would most like to see them write a musical about: Jeremy Lin
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Garth Brooks' "Roping the Wind" on cassette tape
First stage kiss King Lear at the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Mr. Barnaby in Babes in Toyland
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I got to play John the Baptist in a church play when I was 7. I never looked back.
How you got your Equity card: I got my Equity card at the time my AFTRA card and my SAG card because I worked on Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center, in the ensemble. Helen Hunt put the cast of the play on "Mad About You."
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Chicken sandwich at Carve
Favorite liquid refreshment: Jameson
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I like to sing in the shower right before half hour as a part of my warm up. I don't sing well so I do it mostly to bug Tug Coker, whose dressing room is next door.
Most challenging role you have ever played: I think we have a winner here.
Single toughest course you took at Juilliard: Liz Smith's poetry class
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

I once threw up, in a top hat, in front of a cast of terrified children. I was doing community theatre in Texas. I was about 14. I was playing Mr. Barnaby in Babes in Toyland. I was standing downstage center with all of the children of the play surrounding me.

Worst costume ever: Again back to Irving Community Theatre. I was playing a space alien covered in gold and purple glitter and what I believe was once a hefty trash bag.
Worst job you ever had: I worked in an ad agency once. I heard people say someone was "too jungle" for an ad campaign. Quit shortly afterwards.
Favorite screen or commercial gigs: Longinus on "Modern Family" has been pretty fun. Also loved working with Timothy Dalton on "Chuck."
Who have you played on "Law & Order?" What editions? I was on the original show twice: once as a reporter with two lines, and later as a basketball player who was accused of killing his girlfriend to avoid paying child support. Based on Rae Carruth. I still get stopped on the street for that one.
Any particular idols/celebs you've had a chance to meet doing this show: Peter Scolari and Didi O'Connell master class every night.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: What you got?
Something about you that surprises people: I kinda always wanted to be a country western superstar.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Knowing not to answer that question. That and my good cheekbones.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: Deep down, I just wanna be loved.
Career you would want if not a performer: Something that studied the human condition. Maybe a therapist?
Three things you can't live without: God, Family, Music
"I'll never understand why…" ... we allowed for people to charge over $500 for a single ticket to a Broadway show.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Live your life to the fullest so you'll have something to express when given the chance. And there is no spoon.
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