Thursday, January 11, 2018

PHX STAGES Q/A: Ted Frumkin

Ted Frumkin
by Gil Benbrook

Sprouts Farmers Market executive by day and comic actor by night, Ted Frumkin has tread the boards of various theatres since being bitten by the acting bug in high school.

Tomorrow he stars as King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot! at Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre, where he's also appeared in several other productions including Moon Over Buffalo and Fiddler on the Roof.

Frumkim took a break from his busy schedule to sit down and answer the PHX Stages Q/A.

Name:  Ted Frumkin

Where you were born:  I was born in 29 Palms, CA on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.

What brought you to Arizona? I lived in Phoenix from 1964-1966 when my Dad got out of the Marine Corps.   We moved around a lot when I was kid.   I lived in 6 states before turning 18 and 5 since.   I moved to Arizona in 2012 when I took the job as Sr. Vice President of Real Estate Development for Sprouts Farmers Market.  I was promoted to Chief Development Officer in 2014.
What your parents did/do for a living:   After getting out of the Marine Corps my father was and still is at 79 years old in the commercial real estate field.

Siblings:  I have 2 younger siblings.  1 brother and 1 sister.

as Franklin Hart, Jr. with Kelly Flanagan Bubello in
River’s Edge Players 2012 production of 9 to 5
Family/Children:  I have been married to my wife for 33 years this February and we have 2 children.  My son Nathan is 26 and is a 6th Grade Science and Math teacher in Chandler.  My daughter Mara is 23 and lives in Orlando where she works for Walt Disney World and is a remote marketing employee for Sprouts.
Day job/part time job: As I mentioned above, I'm the Chief Development Officer for Sprout’s Farmer’s Market and was also their Senior Vice President of Business Development since joining the company in December 2012, after spending 11 years at Staples as the Vice President of Real Estate.  I'm responsible for all aspects of the company’s new store growth, managing real estate, construction, property management and facility maintenance.

First show you ever saw: I think it was the touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar in the early 70s in San Diego with my parents.

Moment you knew you wanted to become a performer:  I sang in choir in school.  I always liked to sing.  I actually got talked into auditioning for my high school musical my sophomore year.  I just wanted to be on the tech crew because I loved creating the sets and scenery.   I ended up being cast as Alphonse in The Boyfriend.  I loved it and that was where it all started.

The one performance you attended that you will never forget:    Too many to recall.   I did get to see Topol pay my dream role in Boston when he was touring with Fiddler on the Roof.  And last year I had the pleasure of seeing the Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 with Josh Groban.  Mara and I loved every second of it.  It was a special show that I can’t stop talking about.

First stage kiss: I think it was in Hello, Dolly! when I played Horace Vandergelder my Senior year in High School.

in Moon Over Buffalo
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
Best stage experience you’ve had so far acting?  There have been many.  Playing George Hay in Moon Over Buffalo was a special treat due to the cast and crew.

What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect of your current/ most recent show?    I am a huge Monty Python nerd.  I memorized almost every one of their routines from the Flying Circus television program.  I loved The Holy Grail and Life of Brian movies.  When I had the chance to see the original production of Spamalot on Broadway with the original cast, I told my friends that I would love to play King Arthur in that show.  Here I am getting the chance to create that role.  Talk about a dream come true!

Most challenging role you have played onstage?  The toughest was playing Petrovin in Anastasia.  I had to learn a Russian accent and it was a very heavy drama.  I tend to prefer to play it for the laugh.  There was no room for that in that show.
Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about?  No side projects.  I am a runner and am always training for some race.  I am going to run the Phoenix Half Marathon right after the close of Spamalot.  I have completed 9 marathons too with my fastest time being 3:59:21 in the 2009 Boston Marathon.

What was the first show you performed in and what did you learn from it that you still use today? My first show was The Boyfriend.  I learned that a show cannot be successful unless everyone in the production plays their part no matter how big or small.  I still stive to be a good ensemble member no matter what role I am playing.

as Lazar Wolff with Ginger Muth Tanaka
in Desert Stages Theatre's production of
Fiddler on the Roof - 2014
Leading role you've been dying to play:  Tevye!!
Leading role of the opposite sex you wish you could play:  Miss Hannigan

Guilty pleasure show you’d love to perform in: La Cage Au Folles

Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:  I like to get to the theater early and sit in the audience and try to visualize what they will see.  I always go to a quiet spot back stage right before they call places and center myself so I can reduce any pre-show jitters.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:   Way too many.  The funniest was in The Importance of Being Earnest where I misspoke the line “But it is not for any child, dear Doctor. I am very fond of children.” as “I am particularly fond of children”.  The Director got quite a kick out of that one.
Worst costume ever:  My puffy sleeved shirt for Petrovin in Anastasia.

Best costume ever:  King Arthur in Spamalot!

Your go to audition monologue/song:  My go to song is “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot.  My monologues very depending on what I am auditioning for.

If you could go back in time and catch any performer or show, what would they/it be? I would have loved to have seen the original cast of Hair.

Famous past stage or screen star(s) you would have loved to have performed with:  So many – Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland

Your personal acting idols:  I love Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance
Performer you would drop everything to go see:  Bette Midler

Favorite plays:   Anything Shakespeare.  I also love Jerusalem and The Humans
Favorite musicals:  Fiddler on the Roof; Company; Sweeney Todd; Kinky Boots; The Book of Mormon
Some favorite modern plays/musicals:  As I said, I loved The Great Comet of 1812.  I also had a chance to see Come From Away this year on Broadway.  Fantastic.

in Open Door Theater’s 2012 production of
Fiddler on the Roof
Favorite showtune of all time:  “If I Were a Rich Man”

Most listened song/music on your iPod/Phone?  Classic Rock and when I need to wind down I love listing to The Grateful Dead.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:     Vinyl – “A Night at the Opera” - Queen

Must-see TV shows:  “The Goldbergs” or “Big Bang Theory”

Guilty pleasure binge watching tv show:  “Stranger Things” or “Black Mirror”.

Last good movie you saw:  “Star Wars – The Last Jedi”

Favorite movie:  “Grease:”

Favorite cities:     San Diego and Denver

Sports teams you root for:  TCU Horned Frogs; Minnesota Vikings and the San Diego Padres.   

Career you would want if not a performer:  Believe it or not, my current job.

What you love most about theatre in Phoenix:  I like the variety out there.  Plus, it is a very welcoming community which made it nice when I got out here and started auditioning.

with Nicole Odekirk and Sheryl Altman in the Westborough Players production of Annie

And, the “Inside the Actors Studio” 10 questions:
1. What is your favorite word?  Possibility

2. What is your least favorite word?  No

3. What turns you on?  Being in the outdoors preferably in a remote area.

4. What turns you off?  Crowds and noise.

5. What sound do you love?  The sound of the ocean.

6. What sound do you hate?  Car horns.

7. What is your favorite curse word?  Fuck

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?  Voice Over Actor

9. What profession would you not like to do?  Soldier

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“You Made it.”

as Caldwell B Cladwell in
River’s Edge Players production of Urinetown - 2010

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