Chad Kimball, currently featured in the roof-raising revival of Godspell at the Theatre at St. Peter's, is one lucky dude. Just nine days after graduating from Boston Conservatory, Kimball landed in The Civil War, which took him straight to Broadway. Raised in Seattle, Kimball caught the show biz bug after being cast in a sitcom called The Adventures On Sinclair Island; but it was a high school production of Our Town that made him decide to devote himself to the stage.
Making full use of the comic timing that he seems to have been born with, Kimball in Godspell gives a performance that is filled with manic moments of comic splendor. He's a mimic, a clown, and a damn good singer rolled into one. Just before the roar of the greasepaint was about to overcome him on a recent Monday evening, Kimball took phone in hand and spewed some wise and funny words for TheaterMania.
When you were a kid, is this where you thought you'd be in the year 2000?
I wanted to be a CIA agent, or an FBI agent, or a West Point Cadet. But I settled into theater quite nicely.
What is your favorite song from a musical?
Probably "The Ballad of Booth" from Assassins.
Who's your personal hero?
Oh, boy. My personal hero would probably be my brother. He was my comic touchstone.
Is your brother older or younger?
Older, and I finally got to a point in my life where I could keep up with his jokes and make him laugh.
What role would you like to play that you will never, ever get to play?
Never, ever? Probably Hermione from The Winter's Tale.
What's you favorite four letter word?
What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you on stage?
It happened not so long ago at the Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C., when I was singing "Johanna" in Sweeney Todd and the orchestra was about four measures ahead of me. I ended the song with the word "Johanna," an elongated "Jo...hann...aah," with a timpani and one flute playing behind me. And then, you know, there were rounds of laughter that sort of started with two people.
What's your pet peeve?
Probably tourists in Times Square.
If you could wake up in the morning with a skill that you don't already have, what would it be?
What's the best movie you've seen recently?
What's the last stage play you saw?
The Ride Down Mount Morgan. Loved the script and, of course, Patrick Stewart.
What is your favorite sound?
What was your favorite childhood game and whom did you play it with?
Cops and Robbers with my friend Shane.
What gets you really choked up?
Dead Poets Society.
What show got you your Equity Card?
The Civil War--Broadway!
Rock or show tunes?
Morning or night?
Definitely, the night.
What's your favorite way to unwind after a show?
Do you have some favorite restaurants?
I'd have to say McDonald's is one of my favorites.
What's your favorite color?
East Coast or West Coast?
Oh, that's a hard one. I'd have to say East Coast, because I'm on the East Coast right now. But, if I was on the West Coast, I'd probably say West Coast.
Intimate gatherings or wild parties?
Wild parties. Why not?
Boxers or briefs?
Briefs. Yeah, briefs.
Theater, film, or TV?
Theater all the way!
Don't show this again.