Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Mamma Mia!'s Neil Starkenberg
August 24th, 2015
by Neil Starkenberg
After touring the country with Mamma Mia!, Neil Starkenberg found his home on Broadway as the final Pepper in the long-running hit show. Starkenberg made his Broadway debut in 2014 as the Greek Isles’ #1 fun-loving, cougar-bait, and will be dancing at the Broadhurst through the final performance on September 12. Below, the Cali native talks with BroadwayBox about the virtues of tour life, being a puppy voyeur and the cartoon character who remains his kindred spirit.
1. I think Pepper’s biggest struggle in life is probably:
Pepper doesn’t really have many struggles living on the island. When you’re working on the beach and perfecting your tan “all day, err day,” life’s a party!
2. My favorite pop culture cougar is:
Helen Mirren is a fox.
3. Being on tour in Mamma Mia! taught me:
Touring with Mamma Mia! taught me how to pack light, and learn to love late night delivery from Jimmy John’s.
4. Go-to Mamma Mia! song to sing in the shower, car, etc:
Probably "Fernando". Just because that’s the only song that I haven’t sang over 1,000 times.
5. Musical that completely rocked my world the first time I saw it:
Next to Normal at the Booth Theater hands down. I was completely inspired leaving that show. The talent on that stage was unbelievable.
6. Thing I miss most about Cali when I’m in New York:
I miss my family of course. But I do miss driving my car down Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) blasting music with the windows rolled down.
7. Most embarrassing TV show on my DVR:
The Whispers. I am told I should probably be embarrassed by this, but I really enjoy it.
8. My NYC happy place is:
I love going in between shows to a small park right on the water by the Intrepid. Great place to chill, and clear your mind AND you can watch dogs play at the dog park. Stalking the dogs is the closet I can get to having one of my own in the city.
9. Fictional character I seriously relate to:
T.J. from Recess.
10. When Mamma Mia! ends it will be 14 years old; if I had to describe my 14-year-old self in hashtag it would be:
You only have until September 12 to see Neil Starkenberg as cougar-bait Pepper in 'Mamma Mia!' at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre.