Q & A with Arnie Burton when he starred in the Off-Broadway comedy Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party which played at Theatre Row's Acorn Theatre from 11 Aug 2010 - 5 Sep 2010.
Sept 22. Virgo!
Place of birth?
You now live in?
My own private Idaho: NYC.
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
The University of Arizona.
As an actor, do you have a preference for stage, tv or film?
The Stage will always win. The only downside is you have to work harder with much less pay.
Your first stage performance was?
A gingerbread child (the LEAD Gingerbread child) in Hansel & Gretel.
Career highlight to date?
The lead gingerbread child... No, The 39 Steps, from the first day of rehearsal to the day we closed 2 years later an absolute pleasure.
What roles would you most like to play?
Inspector Truscot in Loot.
Whats the best advice you have ever received?
Embrace the thing that you dislike about yourself. For it is that, that will make you unique.
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Totally forgetting my lines during a speech in 39 Steps. I just kept my mouth moving and started channeling lines from the movie , that I didnt know I knew.
What is the most annoying part about your job?
Those other pesky actors... No, cant think of one honestly.
Briefly tell us how you become involved with Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party?
My manager sent me the script and I read it and loved it. so funny, moving and totally original!
Briefly tell us about the character you play in Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party?
I play Anton Renault, a New York Times reporter, a complete urban, blue state snob who comes to a small town to cover the "trial of the century".
You are about to appear on Broadway in A Free Man of Color - briefly tell us about your part in that production?
It is an amazing new play by John Guare. A true epic and very funny, with an amazing cast lead by Jeffery Wright. I play Remy Dorilant. a frenchman living in New Orleans before the Lousiana Purchase.
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I always fantasized of owning my own bookstore.
Who are your favorite actors/actresses?
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Mike Nichols and Elaine May and ask them if I could join them in An Evening With Nichols and May and Burton.
Favorite after-show haunts?
What was the last book you read, and name some of your favorite authors?
Just finished rereading To Kill A Mockingbird, and currently reading World Without End. Guilty pleasure is true crime.
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favorite movies?
The Man Who Came To Dinner on TCM. I love Classic films so my tv is usually on TCM. I especially love old horror films.
Favorite TV programs?
The Carol Burnett Show.
Favorite holiday destinations?
Mexico and Palm Springs.
Do you have any hobbies?
My therapist says I need to get one. I need to get on that.
Do you have any superstitions?
Nope, not superstitious.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
A real long book, Yuki and Walter.
What are your future plans?
To have another year like this, where I get to do very different interesting new plays, great roles while living in this magnificent city.