PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Matt Cavenaugh

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Matt Cavenaugh
Broadway favorite Matt Cavenaugh, currently starring in Gigi at Los Angeles' Reprise Theatre Company, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Matt Cavenaugh
Matt Cavenaugh

Cavenaugh's Broadway credits include Bud in Urban Cowboy, Joe Kennedy Jr./Jerry in Grey Gardens, Ralph in A Catered Affair and Tony in the recent revival of West Side Story.

Regionally he has appeared with such companies as the Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, George Street Playhouse, Goodspeed, Pittsburgh CLO and Theatre Under the Stars. He played the title role in the Dallas Theater Center's newly revised version of It's a Bird…It's a Plane...It's Superman this past summer.

Cavenaugh and wife Jenny Powers will release their debut recording, "Gonna Make You Love Me," in March.

Full given name: William Matthew Cavenaugh
Hometown: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Zodiac Sign: Gemini. But, I don't believe in all that hooey... until I need to!
What your parents do for a living:

Well, I guess I should set the record straight. During press junkets for Urban Cowboy I mentioned that my dad used to rodeo when he was younger, which is true. However, he is not a professional bull rider, as was widely reported. My dad owns several car dealerships. My mom works at an auto auction and a home furnishings store.

Current audition song/monologue: Oh jeez. Whatever song they send me to learn. Truthfully, my audition book is pretty bad.
Special skills: Yes!
Skill/talent you wish you had or were better at: Too many to name.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close.


If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Merrily We Roll Along
Current show you have been recommending to friends: I've been in LA since September, so I haven't seen much of the new season. But I did see Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and thought it was hilarious.
Favorite showtune of all time: Impossible to name just one. Ummm... "Maria," "Midnight Radio," the entire bench scene from Carousel, "Sunday," the overture from Merrily We Roll Along, "A Quiet Thing," to name a few.
Three favorite musicals: Again, tough... how 'bout Merrily We Roll Along, Hedwig and Carousel.
Star of the past you would most love to have sung with: Sammy, Deano and Frank!
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: The Mysteries at London's National Theatre and Liza in concert at the Beacon. I know, that's two. But we already established that I'm a Gemini.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Jose Cura singing "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot.
Most-visited website: Playbill, of course!
Last book you read: "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
Last good movie you saw: "The Fighter." I'm way behind on my movies.
Some films you consider classics: "American Beauty"
"It's a Wonderful Life"
"A Few Good Men"
"Duck Soup"
"Citizen Kane"
Must-see TV shows: "Parenthood"
"Pardon the Interruption"
"Law & Order" reruns
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Jenny Powers
Three favorite cities: London, Florence, Monterosso al Mare
Favorite sport/team/player: The Mets!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: As a kid, I remember playing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Hall & Oats' "Maneater."
First stage kiss: Oklahoma! in high school. I was Will Parker. Andrea Brown was Ado Annie. I was a sophomore and she was a senior! Whoo-hoo!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Seeing West Side Story at my local high school.
How you got your Equity card: I played opposite Elizabeth Stanley in Footloose at Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island. She was terrific. I was terrible.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: In midtown, I love Trattoria Trecolori, Bond 45 and Sosa Borella.
Favorite liquid refreshment: A nice single malt or a ginger ale.
Most embarrassing or spectacular flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Getting thrown from the ladder on my first entrance in West Side Story. The fall resulted in bruised ribs, a lasting headache and a few choice words before the sound board operator realized he should turn my mic off.
Most challenging role, vocally, you've played: Tony!
Worst costume ever: A few years after starring in Little Shop in high school, I subsequently played the plant in summer stock. No, I don't mean the voice of the plant. I mean the plant. Inside. Wearing black wool from head to toe in a non-air-conditioned barn in July. That ranks pretty high up there.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: I did Billy in Carousel for a week at CLO. One week of rehearsal. One week of performances. It's like microwave theatre, but somehow it all comes together. I'd like to try that one again with a proper rehearsal process, so I could really sink into the role.
Show you would most like to perform in opposite your wife, Jenny Powers: Whichever one some incredibly talented and successful writer dreams up that buys us that country home... or at least pays the rent for a few months.
Career you would want if not a performer: A backup singer for James Taylor. I know that's still a performer, but I would be in heaven.
Three things you can't live without: This is a family website. I don't know if I can list them...
Words of wisdom for aspiring performers? Dive in. And have fun!
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