PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Humor Abuse and Shakespeare in the Park Star Lorenzo Pisoni

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Humor Abuse and Shakespeare in the Park Star Lorenzo Pisoni
Multiple award-winning actor Lorenzo Pisoni, who stars as The Duke in Measure for Measure at Shakespeare in the Park, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Lorenzo Pisoni
Lorenzo Pisoni

Pisoni also plays the role of First Brother Dumaine in All's Well That Ends Well, which runs in repertory as part of the Public Theater's summer Park season.

He began performing in 1978 in his parents' circus, The Pickle Family Circus. During his career as a circus performer he worked in many circuses — including Cirque Du Soleil — as a clown, juggler, aerialist, acrobat and ringmaster.

In 1999, after 20 years as a circus performer, he retired from that profession and moved to New York City to work as an actor. Theatre credits include Gardenia, Romeo and Juliet, The Illusion, The Tempest, The Great Gatsby, Election Day and Much Ado About Nothing. He appeared as Nugget/Horseman in the Broadway revival of Equus.

Pisoni's biographical one-man show Humor Abuse won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel and Obie awards in 2009.

Full given name: Lorenzo John Pisoni. My mother’s family had to get in there somehow.
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in San Francisco. Grew up in a circus.
Zodiac Sign: Libra/Scorpio (on the cusp)
What your parents did/do for a living: Mother ran a circus, now is a sculptor. Father directed a circus, now a clown.
Special skills: Cooking
Something you're REALLY bad at: Math, speling


First Broadway show you ever saw: Bill Irwin’s Largely New York
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Streetcar Named Desire with Brando and Tandy
Current shows you have been recommending to friends: War Horse, How to Succeed and Book Of Mormon.
Some favorite musicals: Cabaret
Passing Strange
[title of show]
Some favorite plays: Three Days of Rain
The Pillowman
The Seafarer
Personal acting idols: Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Howard Morris
Broadway or screen star of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Cary Grant
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Cate Blanchett in Streetcar
MAC or PC? Um... I’m in the arts, don’t I have to be MAC?
Most played song on your iPod: At the moment it's "I Gave You All" by Mumford & Sons.
Last book you read: "This Side of Paradise"
Must-see TV shows: "Mad Men"
"The Killing"
"The Wire"
Last good movie you saw: "Wasteland"
Some films you consider classics: "Steamboat Bill Jr."
"Citizen Cane"
"Singin' in the Rain'
"Godfather I and II"
"The Empire Strikes Back"
"Raiders of the Lost Ark"
"Breakfast Club"
Three favorite cities: New York, Rome, Paris
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: "Synchronicity" by The Police, on cassette for my Walkman!
First stage kiss: High school: The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: After the show, anything at Lupa in the Village.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Glenmorangie whiskey, neat
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Blow up a balloon, let the air out in my face. It’s a long story.
Most challenging onstage role or project you have taken on: The Duke in Measure for Measure!
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:

In Election Day, there was a moment when it looked like my thumb had been chopped off and Adam Green had to throw it out the “front door” of the apartment. So he opens the “front door” to the apartment and throws the fake thumb but the door to the “bathroom” was open so the thumb came flying back on stage through the bathroom!

Worst job you ever had: Delivering groceries by car in Los Angeles
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? What edition?: Ethan John, ex-ballet star and womanizer on "Criminal Intent." Wore lots of pretentious scarves. It was fantastic.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Indiana Jones. Does that count?
Something about you that surprises people: I’m an easy laugh.
Something you're incredibly proud of: To be part of the acting community here in NYC.
Career you would want if not a performer: Architect
Three things you can't live without: My family, my friends, my iPhone
"I'll never understand why..." ... if I have the choice of two subway trains at the same platform, the one I choose is the one that remains in the station while the other goes on its merry way.
Words of wisdom for aspiring performers? If you want to be rich and famous, rob a bank. If you want years of heartache, uncertainty and more fun than you thought you’d ever have, roll the dice and be an actor.
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