–Hey everybody! Welcome to Broadway.com’s Live at Five. It is Tuesday April 3rd and I as always I’m Ryan Lee Gilbert. –As
always. –As always. And I’m Paul Wontorek
–And we are joined here in the studio by our
wonderful content producer Matt Rodin. –Hi everybody!
— Wait a minute Ryan? Do I
see Mr. Wesley Taylor on the other side of the camera?
Is he our new –You do see Wesley Taylor. Spongebob Squarepants’ Wesley Taylor is joining u –My favorite! In the house. –Very excited but first before we talk to
Wes Matt why don’t you tell us about today’s Top Five?
–Wesley, wes, Wesley –Okay so we found
out today about this From Broadway with Love concert that’s happening for the
Parkland kids. And yeah Paul tell tell us about it, –From Broadway with Love, a
benefit concert for Parkland USA, so this will happen on April 16th in
Sunrise, Florida at the BB&T center at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds raised by the
console donated to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims Fund and Shine MSD to
benefit arts advocacy in the Parkland community.
–That’s super cool. –And a lot of
your favorite people have signed on for this. You ready? I’m just gonna there’s too
many than list, but I’m gonna give you some highlights Matthew Morrison or Matt
Morrison it’s kinda like the Wes Wesley thing Christy Altomare, Telly Leung, Rachel
Bloom, Deborah Cox, Wayne Brady, Noah Galvin, Justin Guarini, Laura Bell Bundy,
–Wow –Yeah so it’s gonna be a really starry
amazing night so April 16th if you’re in Florida
–Sunrise Florida –That’s gonna be the place to be. –Fun Home is going to London! I think it’s fun to say Fun Home like that now cuz it’s London, right? –We’re
giving it a British accent? –Yeah Fun Home! Mate –Yes Fun Home is about to make its
premiere in London –Who’s in it?
— Olivier Award winner and Tony nominee Jenna Russell is playing Helen Bechdel, which is amazing. Her Days and Days…
like I –Days and Days gotta listen
–i’m just going to listen to her Days and Days for Days
I hope they –Don’t you want it with a British accent? Don’t you want it with a British accent?
–She was Tony nominated –She was nominated.
–I saw her in Merrily We Roll Along and she’s an American. –She was nominated for playing Dot yeah Sunday in the Park with George –Yeah
–Um so yes this is happening at the Young Vic of course beginning June 18th and it’s
opening is scheduled for June 27th so this summer.
— Is Sam Gold reprising his –Sam Gold is reprising his directing duties. It’s so interesting that you knew that Paul. Yes,
he absolutely is and we will find out who the other cast members are who will
be filling out all of the other Bechdel family roles very soon.
–So it won’t be in the round? –It won’t be in the round it will be I it’ll be in I think it’ll be in proscenium –Isn’t the Young Vic a
–I don’t don’t quote me actually maybe it’s in the round.
— I mean cuz it’s changed back and forth, remember? Because it was proscenium and in the round . –You can do Fun Home
anywhere there’s a heart –You can it’s adaptable. Anywhere there’s a heart.
Speaking of hearts, Katrina Lenk she booked a TV show, Paul.
–Katrina Lenk she’s like the Broadway’s darling right now. –She’s like it girl.
–She was just here today um she and she’s gonna be on the, what’s it called? The Good
Fight which is –CBS all access
–The Good Fight. So it’s a season two. So you
watch the Good Fight? I don’t okay because you’re anti
streaming? –No, I love streaming
–I’m joking. She’ll have a recurring role. CBS all access,
which doesn’t you know now it’s not that used to be like I used to be like… –That used to be like a
radical thing, but now it’s right. –Thank you thank you for putting is my
mouth. Lenk will play Nafatli Amado, right the fiancee of
Colin Sweeney who Dylan Baker’ character. Of course she’s in The Band’s
Visit. And we love her, a nice TV gig for her.
–So cool –Did you know that she
was on her first TV gig ever she was on Will and Grace?
–I did not know that –Who was she?
–She also pops up in the Marvelous Mrs. Mazel.
–Well that’s that was her last TV credit. –Right
–What? –So we just talked about her first and last but now she has a new one. –Who was she on Will and Grace
–Who was she on Masel? I’m shook by this.
–She was a fortune teller –Oh that’s right
–Full drag. It was good.
–David Cook, joining Kinky Boots tonight Ryan.
–Yes, David Cook American Idol winner you know that season I rooted for David Archuleta,
but you know I’m sorry but I’m David Cook has clearly had the more successful and it’s like that’s very problematic to be a David Archuleta fan now.
— I was a big David Cook fan –Most everyone else was and you were all right he won. So way to go but yes now
he is Charlie Price in Kinky Boots starting tonight.
–Can we give a shout-out to Joanna Villani.
— Yes our –Site producer
–Our very own Joanne Villani –Big David Cook fan
–So excited for this . –As am I. –This one likes Archuleta
–Not anymore! — I
still like him ok last but not least Saint Joan is
starting performances tonight, Paul. –The drama is on! Condola Rashaad. Oh wow there’s a lot of notes here about this, actually. Starts at the Samuel J. Friedman theater. Daniel Sullivan is directing,
–He is. MTC all the time. –Condola Rashaad and like every like fun
interesting guy, –OH, OH,
–Except Wesley Taylor –There’s a SMASH
connection here. There’s a SMASH connection here.
— I was trying to give Wesley Taylor a shout out. I’m trying to build people up. He’s coming soon. Don’t
worry he’ll be right here. Yes there is Jack Davenport is in it. I’m sorry
I know whenever anything about SMASH you’re supposed to like highlight, circle anything revolving.– –And Kat McPhee is about to be here on the boards.
–And you know who else was on SMASH?
Wesley Taylor –Walter Bobbie’s in it.
— Walter Bobby –Director of Chicago.
–You should just be a character actor now he’s among the most successful directors
on Broadway. He directed you know he gets a Chicago check every week –Yeah, and Bright Star
—Oh, yeah Bright Star. Daniel Sunyada, Adam Shandler Berrat, Patrick Page, John
Glover anyway it’s gonna be good. It’s about what’s her name Joan of Arc. — Yeah it’s on Broadway starting today.
— Starting tonight and David Cook in
Kinky Boots Well, Paul, thank you so much. –Oh thank you –Thank you so much for doing the news with me Matt, why don’t you tell us about today’s guest? –Okay. here we go Wesley Taylor is eating a
salad and got his BFA the North Carolina School of the Arts before pursuing a
career in acting. I feel like you should just bring the salad on with you. I think that
would be really. I’m kind of into that I idea.
–It’s not a salad! –It’s got a salad. H e’s made appearances on TV in The Good Wife, Looking and that
little show called Smash as well as the interweb series Indoor Boys and It
Could Be Worse. Off-Broadway and regional credits include a Little Miss
Sunshine, Cabaret, An Act of God and Tales of the City. Taylor made his Broadway de
but as Franz in Rock of Ages, going on to play Lucas in The Addams Family and
currently you can catch him in Spongebob Squarepants the musical as
the plotting protozoa Sheldon J Plankton, which is what he’s here to talk about
today. if you questions for Wes, which I know that you do, please leave
them in the comment section below and we’ll get to them we’ll get to as many
as we possibly can. Now here is Ryan, Wes and his not a salad. –Look now everyone is
calling you Wes. See I started something I knew what I was doing
–Wes is for those who are familiar with me So Matt, I would appreciate if you stopped calling me Wes. –And now I I’m a person who has interviewed you one person in this room has now interviewed you. –I find it very interesting that Paul Opted out of interviewing me. This is something that
we’ve actually talked about at length because I find it very remarkable that
Paul seems to only interview Aaron Tveit, Derek Klena, Matt Doyle, like beautiful
leading men –Well
–And Idina Menzel –Hestays away from the character actors, the villains. Do you
guys want to see more of them? Voice it. tell Broadway.com who you want to see.
Well this is the the only time you’ll be here.
–This is it this is a ginger bowl and not a salad.
–This yes so to be fair yes we interrupted
— Oh yeah –We
interrupted your day a little bit. –I’m not letting you talk –No that’s alright no it’s not about me
it’s all about you. –You’re right
–You were you were very busy. You were at the gym.
–45 minutes ago I was at the gym. I got a call I’m really really sorry to
all of Lilli Cooper’s fans. I am so sorry. –She’s not feeling well.
— So sorry –She’s out of the show.
She’s sick. –For tonight. Don’t make it so dramatic
–She’s not dead, but she’s a little under the weather,
and I’m filling in for Lilli. I’m sorry to all over diehards. I’m sorry
that I’m eating my dinner –Please, you’ve got a life to live. –I got things to do. PT after this.
I gotta go. Absolutely so let’s let’s hurry this .. no Spongebob
Spongebob Squarepants. I’ll keep talking okay I’ll kill some
time here umm I love this show everybody loves to the show, but truly it’s my
pinned tweet how much I love the show at the moment. That’s what I’m doing. I love
this show so much you guys are all incredible. How much fun how are we doing with meat –Just stretch it out a little bit –It looks like you guys are all having a real blast in Bikini Bottom.
You are Plankton you speed rap. You know you do you I mean you do all sorts of
amazing incredible things and choreography choreography and you you
are just you’re absolutely incredible in the show. I want you to know that. But you’re all incredible in the show How much fun is it to be a part of this remarkable musical
–This is the best Live at Five that’s ever happened in the history
of Live at Five. –What was the question?
–I don’t even remember anymore
— We’re having a blast. –Yeah of
course you are, –Yeah it’s just so, prepared for this. We’re having a blast. It’s just like one of
those shows where if I’m having a bad day, I like go to work and the
infectiousness just I mean it radiates. I mean I’ve done several long runs but
this is like the one that I feel like I could probably do forever. I mean I
shouldn’t say that maybe but –Well we’d like you to do it forever. –Well thank you.
–You’re welcome and it’s it’s funny so the Rock of Ages’ yeah is
going out it’s about to embark on a 10th anniversary tour.
–Sure. –So you made your Broadway
debut nine years ago. Have you, right yeah? –Yeah 2018 yeah right around this time. Started March April yeah have you had a chance to reflect on this
journey of yours, any any moments stick out for you? –The Tony Awards was
like a night that I’ll never forget. That was really, you know, I also took
it for granted because I was right out of school. And I hadn’t experienced the
sort of you know I got it you know I was I’m probably six months out of school, so
I had no concept of like hand-to-mouth living paycheck to paycheck or that kind
of thing. And you really like appreciate what it means to be on Broadway when
you’re not for a while So I think I probably took it for
granted, but it was the stupidest Broadway debut I could have had. I had an eleven-o’clock number but yeah
–The show itself –Oh, yeah, the show itself was I just spit all over you.
–That finicky piece of steak –You’re welcome.
–It’s the show that kept giving, like we
we you know I have to say, I was a bit of a snob because I had graduated from Drama school. I just done Henry IV. I thought I was like Daniel Day Lewis. So I graduate from school and you
know I get cast in this 80s rock jukebox bubble gum, you know
musical. And I’m embarrassed to like invite my faculty to come see it because
I think that it’s gonna be less than, and they’re not gonna appreciate, you know
right the artistry. And in fact like a lot of my teachers came and they’re like
what are you talking about? This is the training, this is comedy technique. This
is everything and when you realize that there’s room for the the work in
everything . And I I find it interesting that I also keep getting
cast in like the people show, like never like The Band’s Visit. I’m always
like Rock of Ages, Addams Family Spongebob you know like the people show.
And like the corporate commercial franchise. The show that theater people want to
hate always –And then they go and see it I mean I realize how effing incredible it is –Maybe not Addams Family but Rock of Ages and Spongebob they go an see it and they are, it exceeds
their expectation. — Well and that’s one of the things that struck me like watching
because I was a fan of Spongebob Squarepants the cartoon and I was really
excited about this, but you know I didn’t know. You never know with a property like
this because it you could be like an Addams Family situation or you know but
it ended up being it’s incredible. It’s so relevant.
It’s so timely did you was there was there that hesitation for you again this
time. Were you a little bit nervous to join something that came with such you
know, that so many people already loved it so much and it was already a property. –There’s a lot of pressure yeah sure I just want everyone to know that I just
finished eating that piece of steak. –That was a
–A full five minutes a live at five minute chew
–You get what you pay for yeah that’s quality.
–This is so rude of me. Do you want any? –No thank you.
–Matt, Paul? umm Wait what? –I just –Oh Trump’s America. Look I was
living in LA. I like started to really feel like an Angeleno you know I
just got in a car. I just gotten this other job that I was really excited to
do, and I was I was really feeling it out there.
And so when I got the call, it it really and it wasn’t the call like you got the
part I had to go to New York and do a three-day workshop that was basically my
audition. But with the entire cast who had already gotten –In Chicago, right.
— Yeah it was like an audition in front of the entire company. No presh. And but I was I was conflicted for sure
because I like came back to New York, and the trains were down, and it was raining,
and like all of the things that make the –The dream
— Yeah just I know I don’t want to move back here. I really started loving it out there, but then during the
workshop when we were working on the show, I was just like damn it’s good.
–It is –It’s
like it’s really good and it’s Tina Landau. You know and like these
opportunities don’t come all the time and so I had to move back. And I
had to do it. And I’m so proud of it. In fact, the the message and the relevancy
of it what you’re talking about, is one of the reasons I’m most proud of it.
–Yeah absolutely and I think that’s what because you know people ask you know be
me all the time like oh we’re coming to New York what will show what should we
see. And I recommend Sponge Bob Squarepants all the time and you kind of
get that look of like really? Like it’s like no you were
–People always are like really? –Like you get that really? And it’s like it’s going to reward you in ways you
don’t even anticipate yet. And it’s so smart and the music’s incredible. I would
love an original Broadway cast album because if I don’t get you and Jai’Len
committed to something permanently –I should stop being so passive aggressive about the album because I’ve started getting in trouble for it –I’ll be the one
–I’ll be like heavily pushing it on Twitter There’s just so many like online
petitions already from the fans and stuff, and like they it there is like a
very real demand for an original Broadway cast recording.
I’m sorry Melissa. She’s our PR girl and she’s looking at me over there with a
red face. And I know our producers are like white knuckling their table as they
watch this. I’m sorry, but –It would be… I’ll pay for it! –They want a recording
— I won’t pay for Spotify but I’ll pay for this. I’ll do whatever I need to
do. Um you guys had so much fun at Miscast. You, Ethan, and Gavin.
— Yeah –Oh you did a number from Company. That must have been such a blast.
–So funny. Drive a Person Crazy — Yes. And I almost fell for your April
Fool’s joke recently about you and Gavin switching roles because I hate April
Fool’s Day and it’s just very triggering –You always get tricked. –I always do! I mean I shouldn’t
trust anything that happens on the internet any time, but for that one day it’s
like I’m suspicious. –Also like people I think we’re a little more gullible
because they forgot because it was Easter too, so they were thinking about
bunnies and eggs and chocolate and Jesus –And Jesus.
— And then all of a sudden like people are playing these like major casting jokes and it’s yeah you know. But the the Gavin thing like I tweeted it like right like early in the morning and I
didn’t even tell Gavin or anyone. I was just like we’re switching parts! Thank you
so much producers and Tina for letting this happen. And people, I mean a lot of like you know
a lot of people believed it but most people were like come on April Fool’s
whatever. But then I screenshot it and sent it to Gavin, and
he was like oh we have to. We have to commit. –I think it’s a great idea,
–And they wouldn’t let us put each other’s wigs on, which was like bleh, boring! But we put each other’s we got to the theater early
and put each other’s costumes on and like did some makeup, and then
there’s like cropped off like the part where the way would be,
and we posted that and then people were like wait, I thought this was a joke, but now I’m confused. –That’s how I kept like further in. I was like is this really happening?
How can I make sure I see this? Um but I’m sure I’m sure lots of you have
lots of fans and the show has lots of fans. I’m sure they want to know things.
–Oh they have so many questions –Matt what would they like to know? Good luck.
–We’ll start here. –I thought I wouldn’t get any because it’s Lilli Cooper’s day. –They’re all like
we hate Wes. No um okay, John wants to know John. He said what was your first
Broadway show? –Rock of Ages.
–No first Broadway show that you ever saw. [giggling] –Although if he was asking that would be
really funny, too –I was like pay attention. My first Broadway show was actually this is special it was
in the Palace Theatre, which is now where I’m working. And it was Beauty and the Beast. –Oh my god! That was my first Broadway show, too That’s so cool. –Olivia wants to know,
Olivia what is your dream role? Do you have any dream roles?
— I do. I say this in every, I need some more dream roles because I only have.
–We’re manifesting it let’s just like…
–Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. It’s a part I was
born to play –A villain.
–Yeah yeah I do gravitate towards the darkness –Yeah, it’s a great role though. –A quick one Haley what’s your
favorite Smackary’s cookie? –Oh, I don’t frequent Smackarys as much as I should.
–This is already taking longer than it should have.
–Ahh! Give me some options. I like peanut butter stuff, so
–There’s a peanut butter one. — David he said I loved you in Smash do you remember that show? –Do you have
–Is this David Cook? –No, do you have a favorite memory from that show? –Uh yeah favorite memory from Smash would have to be first season when Bernadette Peters
comes to the rehearsal of the workshop of Bombshell, and my character is
obsessed, naturally. And he’s sort of like queening out over her. And he screams at
her to sing something, and she sings Rose’s Turn for us in
the rehearsal studio. And you know when we were shooting it that day, I got to
watch Bernadette Peters like three feet away from me sing Rose’s Turn like 15
times. So that was probably like –That’s up there?
— That’s up there. Yeah and she
insisted that she do it live to a track a few of the times for a few of the
takes, which was so badass. And she’s just you know, she was like the first person
of the theater I think I really idolized and and I I had a stage door picture
with her after Gypsy when I was 16 years old, and I’m like blissed-out.
And you know and I showed her that picture on set and she’s like well we
have to recreate it. And so we like shot up back-to-back pictures of me like
kissing her or her kissing my cheek. And –Have you have you seen her Dolly? –I have.
–Oh my god. –For Valentine’s Day. I took the boy and we were in the second row center.
That was the next question that was –Looking up into her nostrils. –Ephram! David wants to know what’s the last thing you said I texted to your
sweetie, Isaac Powell? –Wow. –I think you were there for it? –I was there for it.
–We were just Marco Polo-ing outside of this studio. I can’t
remember what I said. –You said leave me alone I need
–I said leave me alone. I said leave me
— Very lovely Broadway super power couple, there you
guys are like three blocks from each other. That’s lovely.
— It is really lovely. –Do you got you do you have lunch
together every day and stuff? –All the time not not every day. You need some me time.
He’s actually he’s taken a few personal days to go back home to North Carolina,
and so I have the place to myself for this week. And it’s it’s kind of nice.
–Mm-hmm I’m sure. –I’m gonna get we’re gonna get a fight because of this interview. Thanks guys! –Hayley: What’s your favorite show this season that isn’t SpongeBob. Do you
have a show this season that isn’t? –Can I say Once on this Island? –Yeah I’ll take it.
Great. Fatima says hi Wes I’m a junior and thinking about college and your alma
mater is pretty high my list. Can you talk a little bit about your experience
there? –Truly it was like the best four years of my life. I know that’s kind of a
cliche thing to say but I mean it. And Isaac is now also Isaac went to
School of the Arts as well and he’s also going through this sort of withdrawal. It’s
very very challenging but if you really really thrive on hard work and stress,
it’s it’s great place to be. –Art, every day. You just get to immerse youself
–But some people are overwhelmed by that. Some people are like this feels like boot
camp. I need to live like and not everyone is designed for conservatory.
You know a lot of people need to go to that University education, and a lot
of people don’t need education, they need to travel the world. And but for me
personally I know I needed further education. I knew I didn’t want to be in
like New York or Chicago or a busy city that would distract me because I know me
and I know that I would just start auditioning and and I wanted to get my
BFA. And and yeah, there was something really beautiful about being
in the middle of nowhere in the woods, and that kind of, I mean it’s it’s a
great school. It’s a really good school. –Alexa: Are there aspects of Plankton’s
personality that you see reflected in your own personality. –Well I can answer this.
–What do you mean by that? Yeah there is something inherently sinister about
me. That’s actually been said to me. And at one point it really was hurtful. It
was right after I graduated college and I couldn’t get seen for this one show
that everyone in Rock of Ages were getting appointments for, and it
was –Name it.
–I can’t I can’t even give a clues because you’re gonna know who I’m
talking about, this director because he’s very famous.
But I said isn’t like a few interviews so far like it’s just obviously just really –It’s embedded. It’s a
thorn. –But do you he just said like you know, he didn’t you know he didn’t want
to see me for the show. And my my agents you know press back why? And he said
there is something innately untrustworthy about Wesley when he walks into a room. And I took that really personally obviously, but then I think
through time I’ve sort of like embraced it.
–You took it and made it fashion. –Look, these are the better part anyway. They’re the more complex, sort of
fun roles, for me, to play. And so I’m happy I’m finally
playing a delicious villain. He’s so fun yeah.
— Um Shamika: How comfortable were you with rapping?
— I didn’t have like any experience for happening rap rappening. That’s how good I am. I’m so good at rappening. No, I mean, other than
like jamming out to Big Willie style when I was kid. You know hte hard ones, the hard gangsters No, I don’t. I don’t, I didn’t. And then I was told not only I would be like
hip-hopping and rappin’, but they were working on a speed rap for me that was
brand-new for Broadway. And I I didn’t get it until like a week before Tech, so
I was stressing. And I also didn’t learn the dance break till a week before Tech.
Things were happening so last-minute because they were changing they were
expanding the role and the song and all of that . Which felt awesome and felt I
felt very special, but it was it was scary.
— Did you just like practice it constantly. –Yes, yes I the speed rap is something that I drilled like morning noon and night for
days and days and days. For like a solid week of things
–Days and Days — –For a
solid week. It’s it’s all I, that’s all I did. So now I don’t even think about it, now it just comes out.
— Rolls off the tongue. –One last question, from Ali. Hi Ali! How did you come up, how did you and Alex Weiss come up with the
idea for Indoor Boys and is there a release date for season two?
–There isn’t a release date yet, but we go into production in ten days. I will say
that. We finished writing it about a month ago, or three weeks ago, and we’ve
been just planning like crazy for the last few weeks. And Alex flies it in a
week and we’re very excited to start shooting. Casting is complete.
I can’t wait to reveal the cast. –So exciting
–This name like really really raised the clout on the cast. And
it’s gonna be really really dope. But what was the question?
–How did you come up with the idea? –How did we come up with the idea? Well, Alex is someone you
know he’s from the theater, but he moved to LA and I was sort of connecting with
my New York my East Coast family out on the west coast. And Alex is someone that
I just have so much respect for. I think is the
funniest person in the world. So I wanted to do something with him. I wanted to
collaborate, but we didn’t know what, and I had written a short 10-minute play
that was that the Actors Fund did a reading of, along with these other
ten-minute plays. And this one play was about these two millennial monsters,
these two boys who were gay and living together, and just sort of played with
each other. And there was a lot of things reminiscent of Alex and I’s friendship
and how we joke with each other and it’s like the exaggerated, embellished
versions of those alter egos, come to life. We also thought it was really funny
to tell a story about two gay guys who just like don’t want to ever leave the
apartment, and don’t have anything to do, but their tablets and each other.
— It’s great. It’s fantastic. Can’t wait. Well make sure you go see Wesley Taylor, or Wes if
your friends, –No, but I’m gonna stress that the Wesley, if you choose to go with
the Wesley, there’s no Z in my name –Wesley.
–It’s not Wez? –Not Wezley. –It’s Wesley Taylor.
–We’re gonna get that right. We’re gonna get that right on
the record. –Right here.
— And there’s never a T in my name either,
Starbucks! Ever! How many West-leys do you know guys? How many west
–They write West? –Kanye,
–Go see Wesley Taylor as Sheldon Plankton in Sponge Bob Squarepants at the Palace
Theatre here on Broadway. Follow him on Instagram Twitter it’s very rewarding.
Check out Indoor Boys on Vimeo. All of that good stuff. Wesley Taylor, thank you
so much. –This was really fun.
–This was great I’m glad you had a good time.
— Lilli, stand back –And, come back watch us tomorrow. Matt I’m sorry this is your part of the thing,
take us out! –You guys know the deal. We do this live every single weekday at 5 p.m. here on Broadway.com’s Facebook page. We also put it on YouTube,
on our website all that stuff. We also release this as a podcast this will be
an interesting one to listen to. You can hear Wesley chew, right intimately in your
ear. We release it right after we we do this, so go listen to that go subscribe
to the Live at 5 podcast wherever you get your podcast. Join us tomorrow
John Riddle, chiseled chin John Riddle from frozen will be here.
We’ll see you guys then! Happy Tuesday everybody! Bye!