Meet Broadway Wiz Bright Star, Gianluca from Albany, New York.
Gianluca reviews shows for BroadwayWorld.com and his favorite performer is Sutton Foster!
On average, how many Broadway shows do you see a year?
I aim to see every musical that opens during the season, as well as some plays and off-Broadway shows that spark my interest.
How many local shows or community theater shows do you see a year?
Since I travel between Albany and NYC and review shows for BroadwayWorld.com, I see a TON of community and regional theatre productions. I would say around 50 per year.
Favorite Broadway show:
Oh gosh, this question. If I’m being honest, it’s Legally Blonde. I know, it’s basic, but Laura Bell Bundy as Elle Woods slays me every time.
All-time favorite performer:
Sutton Foster all the way. But I am also a huge fan of Ryan Steele.
Songs you like to belt in the shower:
I love belting out some “Dead Girl Walking” from Heathers.
Favorite piece of theater memorabilia you own:
As a graduation gift, someone gave me the ticket stub that Sutton Foster rips in the beginning of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Best. Gift. Ever.
Most memorable performance you’ve ever seen:
Oh gosh, there have been so many! If I can decide two, then it’s definitely Sutton Foster in Violet (obviously) and Carmen Cusack in Bright Star. Those performances live with me to this day and inspire me so much.
Best interaction you have had with another theater fan:
I have been able to meet so many amazing theatre fans over the years, but my favorite was at the national tour of The Lion King. I met a woman who had studied dance and was now a teacher, and we had so much in common which made that experience a great one!
Why do you love theater?
Theatre is an outlet for expression and self discovery. It allows us to become whoever we want to be and explore different areas of ourselves that we may have never known about it before. Aside from the joy of performing, the theatre is community is incredibly welcoming and helpful. Everyone is so willing to lend a hand and getting to be a part of this business is incredibly up building and exciting.
Elle Woods in Legally Blonde obviously. But for real, I would love to play The Baker in Into the Woods and I would love to be in any dance heavy show like Cats or A Chorus Line.
Best stagedoor or backstage experience?
The first time I ever went backstage at a Broadway show was at the current revival of Les Miserables and it was magical. That theatre is beautiful and it was so fascinating to see the backstage work of the famed show.
Favorite spots in NYC:
Schmackarys, picnics in Central Park, and adventuring through Brooklyn.
If you could sing a duet or perform a scene with any Broadway star, who would it be?
Would love to sing anything with Sutton Foster. Literally anything.
Did you ever fangirl when you met an actor/performer?:
Oh yes. Up until a year ago, I could barely speak at a stage door without getting star struck. My favorite was at the national tour of Newsies. I was so in awe of the dancing and performances that I could barely speak and had nothing to say. Thankfully, when Ben Cook came out, I told him that my best friend Brianna Fragomeni was in Billy Elliot with him, so I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much in front of him.
Favorite thing about Broadway Wiz?
What would your super power be?
Ability to stay alive without sleeping. I pack my schedule as much as possible and could really use those five hours a night that I’m usually sleeping.
Besides theater, what are some of your other passions or hobbies?
I love cooking, writing, and going on fun adventures with friends.
Where can we stalk you online?
Twitter/Instagram: @g_russo1. Website: GianlucaRusso.webs.com
Anything else you would like to share? Funny stories, weird facts about yourself, cool talents?
I still don’t know how to ride a bike. It’s real rough. But who needs to bike when you can grand jete down the sidewalk?