STAGE VIEWS: The Last Smoker in America Star John Bolton

Special Features   STAGE VIEWS: The Last Smoker in America Star John Bolton's series features brief chats with actors commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they are looking forward to and more. Here, via email, we hear from singing actor John Bolton, who will be seen in the new musical comedy The Last Smoker in America, which begins performances July 11 upstairs at the Westside Theatre; visit

John Bolton
John Bolton

What show recently impressed you?
I thought Hand to God at Ensemble Studio Theatre was out-of-its-mind brilliant and hilarious and performed expertly by a superb cast of stars-that-aren't-stars yet. I also loved every second of One Man, Two Guvnors and hope I get a chance to do something as balls-to-the-wall as that someday. And, I loved Once. Twice.

What production are you most excited to see?
Dogfight at Second Stage. If Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score is even half as terrific as their score for A Christmas Story: The Musical, it'll be fantastic. I am really excited to see The Heiress. I had never heard of Jessica Chastain a year ago, and all of a sudden she was everywhere and wonderful. Also, Annie was the first Broadway show I ever saw, and I have always admired it. People forget the book is incredibly strong. I am excited about the casting of the upcoming revival and look forward very much to seeing it "for the first time" again. I also hope to make it up to Goodspeed this fall to catch Something's Afoot, a fun show with a delightful score that isn't done much and should fit really well on stage there. And when is someone going to write a musical of The Princess Bride?

What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
Well, I'm always up for any role in a good revival of 1776 or ... Forum or Guys and Dolls or The Music Man. Well, maybe not any role in Music Man. I look good in red. I'm surprised Of Thee I Sing isn't revived more — the Gershwin score is sublime and the book by Kaufman and Ryskind could have been written yesterday with how it still applies to all things political in America. And, who wouldn't want to play the President? A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine is a good one due for revival — heck, I'd even play the maid — and I suppose it's only a matter of time before we see revivals of Grand Hotel and Titanic. There's also a show that Frank Loesser wrote called Senor Discretion that I did at Arena Stage several years ago, and the score is just one great song after another. I'd love to get to do it on Broadway.

What are your current/upcoming projects?
Well, I hope the pretty people of "Gossip Girl" continue to get into all kinds of legal trouble and require the assistance of their mild-mannered but occasionally sassy lawyer. And, I am involved with several new shows in various stages of development that continue to move forward in exciting ways. Oh, yes — and there's this thing I'm doing Off-Broadway called The Last Smoker in America. And God said: Let There Be Belting....

*** John Bolton has been seen on Broadway in Damn Yankees, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Titanic, Contact, Spamalot and Curtains. Read more about him in the Playbill Vault.

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