November, 2014 – Becky Gulsvig
Becky made her Broadway debut in Hairspray as LuAnn and then took over the role of Amber Von Tussle. Following Hairspray, she was in the original cast of Legally Blonde: The Musical (Leilani and understudy to Elle/Serena/Margot). Becky went on to star in the first national tour of Legally Blonde for two years as Elle Woods, for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Becky’s regional work includes How to Succeed… at the Walnut Street Theatre (Rosemary), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Les Miserables (Eponine), 9 to 5 (Doralee), A Funny Thing Happened… (Philia), and Grease! at Paper Mill Playhouse (Patty Simcox). She has appeared in a handful of commercials and voice overs and also played Jeannie Campion (small role but had a character name so looks important!) on “All My Children.”
Becky met her husband, Tyler, while cruising the world as a singer for Royal Caribbean. They live in Maplewood with their 3 ½ year old daughter, Hazel, and their golden retriever, Gretta.
Becky loves to cook, camp, read, watch movies, and travel. She is particularly thrilled with the magic of the Maplewood/South Orange community. Becky teaches at Acting with Emily and Music Together, and also directs local elementary musicals.
For more on Becky Gulsvig, visit her web site.
September, 2014 – Elizabeth Ward Land
Elizabeth Ward Land will be playing “Mrs. Catlett” in the Chicago tryout of the Broadway-bound musical, Amazing Grace.
Elizabeth has appeared on Broadway in Scandalous, Memphis, Passion, City Of Angels, and all three versions of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Her film and TV credits include: Young Adult, “The Black List,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and many others. She was recently recognized for her 25 years of service on Broadway as a 2014 inductee of Broadway Salutes. Elizabeth has also starred at most of the nation’s finest regional theaters. Her acclaimed debut CD, First Harvest, is available on LML Music and on iTunes.
In 2004, Elizabeth starred as the Evil Queen in Snow White: An Enchanting Musical, which was commissioned for Disneyland. A life-sized photo of her hangs in the Disney history museum.
Some fun facts, in Elizabeth’s words:
“I am married to actor Ken Land (since 1998), and we moved to Maplewood in 2010 to be near our many friends who had settled here. Until a foot injury sidelined my running career, I would run most mornings on the area streets. Now, I just walk, but I love exploring this beautiful community! I am an avid knitter, and animal enthusiast. Determined to help the Maplewood/South Orange area tackle the feral cat problem – Ken and I have already TNR-ed (Trap-Neuter-Return) 6 local cats!”
For more on Elizabeth Ward Land, visit her web site.
June, 2014 – Charlie Pollock
Charlie Pollock can currently be seen on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of Violet. After participating in a production of Violet at Casa Mañana Theatre in Fort Worth in 1999, Charlie says, “I fell in love with the show and swore to myself if it was ever done in NYC again, I would be a part of it.”
Charlie, who was in the original company of Tick, Tick…Boom!, made his Broadway debut playing “Bobby Strong” in Urinetown. Then, he originated the role of “Bobby” on the first national tour. Charlie remembers, “While on that tour, my son, Hudson, was born. He joined the Urinetown tour when he was four weeks old and spent the first six months of his life sleeping in drawers and bathtubs.”
Later, Charlie would originate the role of “Dwayne Rhodes” in 9 to 5 (the musical) on Broadway, as well as taking a turn as “Costard” in last year”s Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare in the Park.
Some other fun facts, according to Charlie:
“I have the distinction of being the cast member with the *shortest* tenure of the entire NYC run of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. I have been paid to be nude in The Full Monty, a play called The Cock And Bull Story, and on TV’s ‘The Good Wife’.”
When it comes to MDR, Charlie tells us, “I participated in the first ever reading of what would become Rated P before there was even any music! I’m pretty sure I came up with the idea for MDR and said to Sandy and Jeremy, ‘This is a great idea – you guys should do it!!’”
As an actor who has played both “Jesus” and “Judas” in Jesus Christ Superstar, it’s only fitting that, as Charlie says, “I took three years off from show business and was the Creative Pastor for a church in Summit, NJ and, amazingly, show business has sweetly welcomed me back with no hard feelings!”
In addition to Broadway’s Violet, Charlie can also currently be seen on TV as Detective Gifford in CBS’s “The Good Wife.”
April, 2014 – Joel de la Fuente
Joel de la Fuente can currently be seen on television as Dr. Johann Pryce in the Netflix Original Series, Hemlock Grove. Based on the original novel by Brian McGreevy, Hemlock Grove takes place in a fictional old steel town in Pennsylvania where local murders make everyone confront the darkness inside themselves. Pryce is the resident mad scientist, whose secret experiments could change the world forever.
Onstage, Joel is currently performing the one-person play, Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata. After the show’s New York premiere last year, Joel was nominated for a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Solo Performance. Hold These Truths has played to sold out audiences from Honolulu, Hawaii to Salem, Oregon and will be making its way to North Carolina this month. Joel says of Hold These Truths, “I couldn’t be more honored to be portraying a real-life hero, Gordon Hirabayashi, in Hold These Truths. Gordon was one of three people who refused the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, arguing against the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066. I had the opportunity to perform in front of his sister and many former Japanese American internees and it was humbling to have their support. It feels great to work on something that moves people while also telling them a story that is important to know.”
One of Joel’s favorite on-camera experiences was working on the Rebecca Miller film, Personal Velocity. He says, “The character I play has a complex, diverse background, and Rebecca and I agreed that he needed a unique, specific sound – a dialect that would be a unique hodgepodge of various influences. To help in this process, Rebecca enlisted the help of her husband, who she said, ‘…is an actor who does a lot of accent work.’ Thanks to her, Daniel Day Lewis coached me on finding the right voice for my character, kindly, generously, and with absolute expertise. It’s still one of those memories that, every time I think about it, I giggle like an eight-year-old.”
Another fun fact: Joel is an avid wiffleball enthusiast. He says, “My lefty curveball, in my hey day, was pretty unhittable. Now, of course, when I try to throw it, my arm falls off.”
You can also catch Joel in re-runs of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” where he played TARU tech Rubin Morales for ten seasons.
For more about Joel, visit his web site.
February, 2014 – Sebastian Arcelus
Sebastian Arcelus can currently be seen as journalist “Lucas Goodwin” in the hit Netflix series House Of Cards. He describes his experience on the series: “As someone who grew up fascinated by all things All The President’s Men, I have to admit that few moments compare to walking onto our Washington Herald set that first day of shooting on ‘House Of Cards.’ The art direction, the details, the vibe, the hum, the cast…and, of course, David Fincher. The authenticity. It was too perfect. As was every day that followed.
Anyone who loves what they do for a living knows what I’m talking about. It’s that thing that keeps you lingering after work for a few more moments, just soaking it all in. My wife often laughs at how I’m always one of the last actors in a show to make my way out of the theater. Could be I’m sentimental…or maybe just a slow dresser…”
Sebastian’s other recent projects include a pilot for Cinemax called “Blanco,” which he says is, “the story of a young Dominican man (played by Shiloh Fernandez) in Washington Heights who gets turned FBI informant. While he aids the Feds, he simultaneously uses their protection to build up his own criminal underworld. I play his friend and attorney, Andy Silver…a slick, smart guy who is above it all but grounded in this kind of old-school, wry charm.”
Another fun “fact” in Sebastian’s own words:
“My wife and I entered into the HGTV Dream House sweepstakes, and we’re pretty confident we’re going to win. So if you’re looking to vacation in Lake Tahoe anytime soon, you might want to look us up.”
Sebastian appeared on Broadway in Rent, Good Vibrations, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Elf, and A Time To Kill. For more information, visit Sebastian’s Web Site.
January, 2014 – Stephanie Kurtzuba
Stephanie Kurtzuba can currently be seen as broker “Kimmie Belzer” in Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street, now in theaters. Later this year, look for Stephanie alongside Emmy Rossum in The Long Goodnight, directed by Academy Award-winner Shawn Christensen. Christmas 2014 will find Stephanie featured in a principal role in the newest film version of Annie, also starring Jamie Foxx, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz.
Stephanie reflects on her work the film industry:
“The relationship I had with Stephen Daldry on Billy Elliot was exceptional and led to me being cast in his Academy Award-nominated film Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close.
I think the all-time highlight so far has been The Wolf of Wall Street and getting to work with Marty. I also did an unbelievable reading of a screenplay for Martin Scorsese. He asked me to participate in a table-read where I was the only woman at the table surrounded by Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Bobby Cannavale! It was like a dream and I kept giggling because I couldn’t believe I was in that room!”
More fun facts in Stephanie’s own words:
“My family owns a bowling alley in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s been a family business since before I was born and yet I’m still lucky if I can break 100 in 10 frames…pathetic.
I also can clog – as in country-style, hoe-down, churn-the-butter, bell-kick tap dancing. Again, I’m from Nebraska.”
Stephanie appeared on Broadway in Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins and The Boy From Oz and has been featured in the recurring role of defense attorney “Olivia Sukonic” on CBS’s “The Good Wife.” For more information, visit Stephanie’s Web Site.
Stephanie J. Block recently starred as “Sheryl Hoover” Off-Broadway in Little Miss Sunshine at 2econd Stage.
Stephanie also appears on Showtime’s Homeland as attorney “Patricia Cooper”.
Stephanie will be presenting her solo concert in 2014:
February 9th: Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Aventura, FL
February 10th & 11th: The Old School Square – Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, FL
March 7th & 8th: The Cabaret at The Columbia Club in Indianapolis, IN
Some fun facts in Stephanie’s own words:
“I make a mean breakfast. My eggs, pancakes, and crispy bacon are crazy good!! I have quite an impressive and eclectic giraffe collection and I am a dual citizen (US and Italy).”
Stephanie appeared on Broadway in The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Anything Goes, 9 to 5: The Musical(Drama Desk nomination), The Pirate Queen, The Boy From Oz, and Wicked.
Rated P’s David Josefsberg recently appeared in Honeymoon In Vegas at Papermill Playhouse with Tony Danza.
Some fun facts in David’s own words:
“My favorite film story has got to be playing an extra in Carlito’s Way. My dad was a NYC cop, and his partner was Al Pacino’s bodyguard. He knew I was an actor and so he got me, at 18, an extra part at a swanky Long Island mansion. At said mansion, I was to dress in a speedo and pretend to snort fake cocaine off real Playboy bunnies. Talk about a career highlight…and I also got to meet Mr. Pacino…excuse me, Al!
When I was a kid, I remember listening to a lot of musicals, a lot of Billy Joel (a requirement for a Long Island boy), and an album that my father played for me that had a huge impact on my life (not sure if it was good or bad!). It was Stephen Lynch’s comedy album. I thought, ‘Damn, this is funny! I want to write dirty comedy songs, too!’ …and so I did.
While doing The Wedding Singer on Broadway, who happened to be playing the Tony-nominated lead? And who did I invite to come see my comedy show? And who invited me to come on tour and write songs with him? That’s right: Stephen Lynch! For five years, we toured all over the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall! I even have my own comedy album now called Manhood, written with my writing partner, Jeff Gurner. We are called Joberg and Gurner and are signed to Comedy Central Records. Our CD is available on iTunes. One of my favorites is our Christmanukah song for the holidays, called ‘Christmas Lovin’ Jew,’ which you can see below starring “Larry” from ‘Three’s Company!’ ”
David appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables (where he met his wife Liz), Grease, and The Wedding Singer, and off-Broadway in Altar Boyz and MDR’s own Rated P. Regionally, he has performed in The Drowsy Chaperone (directed by MDR’s Casey Hushion), It Shoulda Been You, (directed by David Hyde Pierce and starring Tyne Daly), The Last Five Years, and Papermill’s recent production of Lend Me A Tenor. Fans may also have seen David on TV as Arthur Fonzarelli (“The Fonz”) in NBC’s “The Mork And Mindy Story.”