PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Scottsboro Boys Tony Nominee Forrest McClendon

Cue and A   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Scottsboro Boys Tony Nominee Forrest McClendon
Forrest McClendon, a 2011 Tony nominee for his breakout performance as Mr. Tambo in The Scottsboro Boys, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Forrest McClendon
Forrest McClendon

The show, which received 12 Tony nominations in total, marked McClendon's Broadway debut.

Other theatre credits include The America Play, Avenue X, Julius Caesar, The Threepenny Opera, The Lost Boys of Sudan, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire.

Full given name: Forrest McClendon
Hometown: Norwalk, Connecticut
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Special skills: Dialect
Something you're REALLY bad at: Whistling!
First Broadway show you ever saw: The Wiz with Stephanie Mills


If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday, Loretta Devine and Sheryl Lee Ralph
Current or recent show you have been recommending to friends: White Noise
Favorite showtune of all time: "Free At Last" from Big River
Some favorite musicals: Passing Strange
St. Louis Woman
Floyd Collins
Your personal vocal idols: Patti LaBelle and Leontyne Price
Your personal acting idols: Olivia De Havilland and Don Cheadle
Any particular mentors or teachers to whom you owe your success: My mom, who taught me to learn everything I can about the things that are important to me
The one performance — attended — that you will never forget: Six Degrees of Separation at Lincoln Center
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Gospel... or really ANYTHING inspirational
Most played song on your MP3 player: "I Trust You" by James Fortune and FIYA
Last book you read: "The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida
Must-see TV shows: "Clean House"... but NOT without Niecy Nash!
Last good movie you saw: "Precious"
Some films you consider classics: "All About Eve"
"Imitation of Life"
"A Raisin in the Sun"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Patti LaBelle
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "The Real Housewives of Atlanta, New York and New Jersey"!
Three favorite cities: London, Amsterdam, Philadelphia
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: "Rapture" by Anita Baker
Favorite non-theatre musician or group: Tuck and Patti
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Playing Colonel Fairfax in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Yeomen of the Guard... while I was working as an engineer for United Technologies.
How you got your Equity card: I played Jesse Owens in a musical called Olympic Spirit.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Lasagna from Daniela’s on 8th Ave at 46th Street
Favorite liquid refreshment: Gatorade
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I vocalize and then drink some ginger tea with apple cider vinegar.
Most challenging role you have ever played: Styles/Buntu in Sizwe Banzi Is Dead
Worst costume ever: A tap dancing reindeer
Worst job you ever had: Making sandwiches at Subway
Favorite regional credits: The America Play (Zach Scott Theatre)
Avenue X (11th Hour Theatre Company)
Julius Caesar (People’s Light and Theatre Company)
Any research or other material that helped inspire your performance as Mr. Tambo in Scottsboro Boys: I read "Stepin Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry" by Mel Watkins.
Any current or upcoming projects for your fans to keep an eye on: "The Electric Baby" at the PlayPenn Conference 2011 in Philadelphia this July.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Christian in Ruined
Leading lady role you wish you could play: Portia in The Merchant of Venice
Something about you that surprises people: I was an Electrical Engineering/Computer Science major before I became a Music major.
Career you would want if not a performer: Stock broker
Three things you can't live without: Coffee, chicken, mac & cheese
Something you are most proud of: I’ve read all of Shakespeare’s plays!
Where were you when you heard about your Tony nomination? Driving to rehearsal for Jacques Brel... at Two River Theatre Company in Red Bank, New Jersey.
First person you called after learning you were a Tony nominee: I called [fellow Scottsboro Boys nominee] Colman Domingo back, and then I called my dear friend M’Balia Singley.
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