Jeremy Morse brings down the house as an understudy for Ogie in Waitress the Musical. When he’s not on as Ogie, Jeremy is part of the talented ensemble. Broadway Wiz chatted with him about playing violin, musical theater, what it’s like to be making his Broadway debut, and much more.
You started with musical theater at a young age. What was the first show you saw, and what inspired you to start performing?
Man. Okay, the first Broadway show I saw was Chicago with Billy Zane as Billy Flynn. It was so cool seeing the show. It’s so funny that my first Broadway show was pretty big people. The first show I saw, I think it was a production of Camelot. I forget who was starring. It was up in Connecticut. I remember seeing it and it was so awesome. I recall the actor in the show — there were two women speaking like full volume in the back of the house and he stopped the show and scolded the women for speaking at full volume. Anyway, that wasn’t the reason why I got into theater.
What was the reason you got into theater?
My first love was music. I just love —
You play the violin?
I play the violin. I also love singing. Choir was a huge influence. I loved singing in choir, so yes. That’s what got me into theater and also this this theater called Upper Darby Summer Stage — I grew up doing that theater every summer. It’s kind of like pay‑to‑play thing. It’s kind of summer camp. They do like six kid shows during the day, and you rehearse for three weeks. And then you have like a week of performances, Wednesday through Saturday, and then you are done. But I remember my first show with them was a production of Once On This Island where I remember playing a tree. I made so many awesome friends and I remember I started getting into theater at that age. The summer after sixth grade is when I did that. I did Once On This Island and I did a show called I think The 2000 Kids Sing The Century and it was just a review. Like they did two songs from every decade.
That is so cool.
Was so cool ringing in 2000, the new millennium.
Violin — oh, my God. I remember this so specifically. It’s just such an awesome question. Mr. Peters, my music teacher, who was a big reason why I fell in love with music at my elementary school, Chatham Park Elementary — go Bulldogs. I love music and they always made class super fun and they had these tests where you listened to different pitches that you like, different qualities of tone to help match you to what instrument you should play. I remember I got matched up with violin and flute, and I remember I was like oh, I want to play the flute, and someone is like, “your lips aren’t formed in the most optimal way to play flutes.” I am like, “okay, I will play violin.” Someone told me that. And yes, I started playing violin and I started taking private lessons with this lady. Her name was Palmer Loux, and I ended up being close friends with two of her sons, Adam and Brady, who were in the same year as me.
Twins, yes. Big family though. Five. Five kids.
How old were you when you started that?
That’s cool. Can you recall the first standout performance that you wanted to do this and funniest mishap on stage?
Standout performance. Oh, I got to dig deep. I don’t know. Not pulling up anything. Oh, lie. Total lie. I did How To Succeed In Business with — I did it at Upper Darby Summer Stage. Marcus Stevens played Bud Frump in that production. I was in the ensemble. I played one of the businessmen.
I am o