PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Tony Award Nominee Desmond Richardson of After Midnight | Playbill

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Cue and A PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Tony Award Nominee Desmond Richardson of After Midnight Tony-nominated dancer Desmond Richardson is back on Broadway in the Jazz-Age musical After Midnight at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. He fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Desmond Richardson Photo by Thomas Evans

Richardson has previously appeared on Broadway in Fosse (Tony nomination), Twyla Tharp's Movin’ Out and The Look of Love.

He is co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Full given name:
Desmond Richardson

Where you were born/where you were raised:
I was born in Sumter, SC, and I was raised in Laurelton, Queens, NY.

Zodiac Sign:

What your parents did/do for a living:
My father was a singer and trash collector and is now deceased. My mother was a course developer at AT&T and is one of my biggest supporters.

I have three brothers and one sister.

Special skills:
Languages, piano, painting, interior design and textiles

Something you're REALLY bad at:
Calling folks back!! My bad

Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out? Rudolf Nureyev

First Broadway show you ever saw:
The Little Prince

If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be?
Bob Fosse's Dancin'

Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Motown, Once, Kinky Boots, Newsies, Romeo & Juliet, Wicked and The Lion King

Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Some favorite modern musicals:
Hairspray, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Spring Awakening, Book of Mormon

Some favorite classic musicals:
West Side Story, Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Kiss Me Kate

Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Danny Kaye

Your personal dance/choreography idols, living or dead:
Alvin Ailey, Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Mel Tomlinson, Keith McDaniel, Gary Deloatch

The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
The Little Prince, Bob Fosse dancing "Snake in the Tree"

Music that makes you cry, any genre:
The music that makes me cry is "Seasons of Love" from Rent

MAC or PC?

Most played song on your iPod:
Daryl Coley's "Like Him"

Most-visited websites:

Favorite Tweeters:
PiNK, Sanaa Lathan, Anderson Cooper

Last book you read:
Ayn Rand's “Anthem”

Must-see TV show(s):
"Scandal," "Betrayal," "Revenge," "Black-List," "Homeland," "Empire Boardwalk," "The Originals"

Last good movie you saw:
“12 Years A Slave” - a must see!

Some films you consider classics:
"Cleopatra," "Ben-Hur," "Giant," "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Nancy Wilson

Pop culture guilty pleasure:
Real Housewives of any city!

Three favorite cities:
New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles

Favorite sport/team/player:
Baseball/Yankees/Derek Jeter

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
"Funkadelic" by George Clinton

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:
Being cast in the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
Seeing Nureyev on PBS with Margot Fonteyn

How you got your Equity card:
Being part the original Broadway cast of Fosse

Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
A slice of Ray's Pizza

Favorite liquid refreshment:
Apple Juice

Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:
I am definitely someone who needs to take a second by myself and stretch and breathe before a show.

Most challenging role you have ever played:
Title role of Othello at the Metropolitan Opera House choreographed by Lar Lubovitch with American Ballet Theater.

Biggest challenge about this current project:
The biggest challenge about this current project is hoping the audience will enjoy every moment!

Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project:
The most fulfilling aspect is watching the young people who wait at the stage door and are elated and inspired to pursue their aspiration to one day be on the same stage.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
Having a hole in the seat of my pants on opening night and having to continue with no exit. Fun times for sure! Not...

Worst costume ever:
I plead the 5th.

Worst job you ever had:
Every job, good or indifferent, you make the best out of. That’s my motto.

Craziest audition story:
For the high school of the performing arts, showing up to the dance call in a 3-piece suit and the faculty assuming I was a hoofer and, umm, far from it.

If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be?
Everyone! I love everyone's role, from the songs to dancing!

Something about you that surprises people:
That I sing well!

Something you are incredibly proud of:
I'm incredibly proud of my current cast members in After Midnight. Nightly they give their heart and soul at such a high level, it fuels my creativity vastly.

Something you're embarrassed to admit:
I do talk while texting!

Career you would want if not a performer:
Interior Designer

Three things you can't live without:
My iPhone, Oral B electric toothbrush and an elegant pair of shoes, preferably Donald J. Pliner.

"I'll never understand why…"
… folks talk out loud on the cell phone in public.

Words of advice for aspiring performers:
Investigate, research and hone your craft so that you are able to shine your unique natural light for all the world to behold.

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