Center Stage Texas
'Broadway Baby' Bologna back on the boards in Austin
Austin's latest Tony nominee is back home. David Bologna, recently up for the Featured Actor in a Musical award for his show-stopping turn as Michael, the cross-dressing best bud to Billy, in Billy Elliot the Musical, left the Broadway company in September and returned to Texas. And this weekend the young star is stepping back into the spotlight locally for a good cause: the second Thanks-for-Giving Sing-a-Thon, where folks can sing along to numbers from favorite musicals with proceeds benefiting the free theatre classes that Center Stage Texas, home to the kidsActing theatre school, provides to hundreds of children in East Austin. Bologna, a kidsActing alumnus himself, talked to the Chronicle about his Broadway days.
Austin Chronicle: What was the hardest thing about doing Billy Elliot?
David Bologna: Keeping my school up in the midst of doing a show and rehearsal almost every day. Sometimes I would have to get up early in the morning right after getting home at 12:30 at night. Devoting all my energy to everything I did throughout the whole day was a challenge.
AC: How did you hear about the Tony nomination?
DB: I was in Times Square that morning with my mom because they were going to show the announcements on the big screen, but there were some technical difficulties, and they did not show up. That's when my dad called my mom and told her he was watching them online, then all of a sudden my mom started screaming! I thought something was wrong, but it was just that my dad had told her I had gotten the nomination. My mom told me, but I thought she meant the show got nominated, then she told me two more times, and I finally realized it was me. I was speechless and still am to this day. I was also kind of embarrassed since my mom was randomly screaming in the middle of Times Square.
AC: How was it being at the Tonys?
DB: Tony night was truly magical. I've always watched them on television, and to actually be in Radio City Music Hall in the fourth row was something I never thought would happen at that point in my life. The atmosphere was seriously organized chaos. I loved every second that I was there.
AC: What do you miss most about the show?
DB: My friends. I've met so many incredible people, and to leave them behind was very hard. There's something special about being in the original cast. You really feel like a family because you've gone through rehearsals, opening night, and Tonys with everyone. You've created something together. It was a sad day, but I'm so glad to be back at home.
Center Stage Texas' Thanks-for-Giving Sing-a-Thon will be held Sunday, Nov. 15, 2-5pm, at Center Stage Texas, 2826 Real. For more information, call 391-1800 or visit www.centerstagetexas.com.
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