The talented newcomer shares his behind-the-scenes thoughts about taking over the role of Jack Kelly in the hit musical.
By Nick Orlando • Sep 26, 2012 • New York City
Landing a starring Broadway role as the "King of New York" -- aka Jack Kelly in the hit Broadway musical Newsies at the Nederlander Theatre -- is certainly a dream come true for Corey Cott. The actor, who just graduated from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama this past May, recently spoke with TheaterMania about his ambitious debut on the Great White Way.
THEATERMANIA. How did this role come about?
COREY COTT: I was auditioning for a bunch of stuff while I was in college. One day, I went to [casting director] Bernard Telsey's office to audition for something else and found out that Newsies was looking for a Jack Kelly standby. I had an audition, they called me back the next week, and I got the job. It was about being in the right place at the right time.
TM: What was the hardest thing about juggling your classes and auditions?
CC: I remember one morning waking up at 4:30am, flying from Pittsburgh to New York for an 11:30am audition, and then flying back to Pittsburgh for a 2:30pm class. Oh, I also had a show that night, Sweeney Todd. My goal was to have an acting job once I graduated. I didn't want to wait tables or have a catering job. This is what I studied to do.
TM: Did you get any other job offers besides Newsies?
CC: Yes, it's incredible. Before I was offered this gig, I was offered a part in the Second National Tour of Wicked and the lead role in the Off-Broadway musical Bareat New World Stages. I was thinking of taking Bare, because it would have given me the opportunity to create a role in New York. And then I got a call saying Ryan Murphy and his team wanted to test me for Glee. But my heart felt right withNewsies.
TM: What do you love about Jack Kelly?
CC: So many things! He is a natural-born leader and he doesn't even know he is a leader. Everyone gravitates towards him. That's his gift. He's witty and street smart, and has the most integrity and the most heart of any character I've ever played. He has so much willpower. As you can tell, I admire him a lot.
TM: You have a childhood buddy in the cast, right?
CC: Yes! Ben Fankhauser (who plays Davey) and I grew up together in Ohio, and we did many musicals together. I remember in 10th grade, we were hanging out and joked that we'll be on Broadway together one day -- not thinking it would ever happen.
Editor's Note: Bart met Corey at the 2012 Broadway Flea Market. What an amazing and impressive young man with such a rich and vibrant future! This article was posted on the Between My Stage Life Facebook page and is reprinted here. Thanks to Nick Orlando for such an amazing interview!