Atomic Star Jeremy Kushnier Talks Rent, Superstar, Footloose and a Bad Urinetown Audition
July 31st, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Mega-talented singer Jeremy Kushnier is blowing the roof off Theatre Row this summer as the star of the new musical Atomic. The show is about the creation of the A-bomb and Kushnier leads the cast as Leo Szilard, the genius but rebellious architect behind the Manhattan Project. BroadwayBox caught up with Kushnier to talk about Atomic's killer score and reminisce about his time stopping the shows Footloose, Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar (*cough*YouTubetheBootlegs*cough*).
1. The Rent memory of mine I’ll always cherish:
All my Rent memories are extremely special. I have around eight years worth. However, one that sticks out would have to be being in Minnesota on the national tour. It was the very beginning of my journey of playing Roger. Before this, I had covered Roger and Mark and, quite frankly, thought of myself as a Mark. I was having some trouble vocally and was a little under the weather with a cold. Tim Wiel was in town, and I had been scheduled for a vocal rehearsal with him at 10 in the morning. I was like, 'Come on what am I going to accomplish at that time of the morning?' After our 20-minute session I can honestly say I can credit Tim with helping me take the next step vocally in my career. I know that the parts I've played and the confidence I have vocally are in huge part thanks to that day!
2. If I had to sum up my experience in Footloose in a Tweet (140 characters), I’d say:
The hardest/best job I've ever had! I never knew how good I had it! #iowewalterbobbieadrink
3. The most gratifying moment I’ve had on a Broadway stage would probably be:
Having my parents and my godmother at the opening night of Footloose. The people that have never stopped believing in me and the two women who "made" me get into this business.
4. The hardest show I’ve ever had to sing:
Probably Jesus Christ Superstar. Although I'm not sure which role was harder, Jesus or Judas. They were both tough for different reasons. A close second would be the show I'm doing now, Atomic. There's a lot of rock and roll belting going on for me.
5. The voice that gives me goosebumps when I hear it:
Not just 'cause he's a Tony nominee now or 'cause he's a good friend, but I've always loved listening to my buddy Jarrod Spector sing. I've said it before the boys a star!
6. The Atomic song I’ll revisit for concerts and appearances:
Probably "One Day." The song that ends Act 1. But I would have to have a bomb go off at the end or I wouldn't know what to do.
7. The showstopper I like to break out when I’m alone:
"Natural Woman." I've done it with my band and at karaoke. I've even used it for auditions. I remember when Urinetown was originally auditioning the asked for a comedy song. I walked in and very seriously sang it in Aretha's original key. I finished to a table full of blank faces. Needless to say I didn't get it.
See Jeremy Kushnier rock out hardcore in the new musical Atomic at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre.