Crazy for Cole Burden
Last time we spoke with the #star Cole Burden, he was taking Chicago’s theater scene by storm. Now he’s moved on to dazzling the stage in DC, where he can be seen in Crazy for You at Signature Theatre. Read on for Cole’s inside scoop!
Tell us about life in DC…
This is my fourth time working in DC. It’s beginning to feel like a home away from home and that makes me very happy. I am based in NYC, so I appreciate the relationship these two incredible theatre towns have. So far I have played the Kennedy Center twice. I toured in 2010 with the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Miserables and more recently with The Bridges of Madison County. In between those gigs I got to spend some time in Dupont Circle at Studio Theatre in a 4-person musical called Murder Balled. It was directed by the Artistic Director, David Muse and it starred me, Christine Dwyer, Tommar Wilson, and Anastacia Mcclesky. We tore up Dupont Circle and the upstairs theatre at Studio. So much fun!
What do you love about DC theater and working at Signature Theater?
I met Matthew Gardiner when I was touring through the Kennedy Center with The Bridges of Madison County. I had always heard of Signature, Mr. Eric Schaeffer, and the incredible work that goes on here…so I knew that I wanted to come play with these chaps any chance I got. Lank Hawkins in Crazy for You sort of fell out of the sky like a Christmas blessing and I jumped at the chance and I am having a ball. Magic happens in this little village of Shirlivegas (Shirlington). This trip I have been able to see Alan Paul’s production of The Pajama Game at Arena Stage and Ethan McSweeny’s Twelfth Night at Shakespeare Theatre. Holy Moly! So many legendary artists in such incredible houses!!! I am having an admitted affair with the DC theater community!
What are you most excited to experience this holiday season in DC?
White Lily Buttermilk Cornmeal. Self-Rising. I am from GA and I can never find it in NYC. Virginia is going to provide and I will be able to make a proper southern dressing with my turkey.
Crazy for You is a hoot! I laugh with my co-stars every night…I am very happy to bring that energy to the stage this Holiday season. I think we need to laugh as much as we can right now. It’s helping me. I know it’s helping others too. Who could ask for anything more?
What is your most embarrassing memory onstage?
I once was on the barricade in Les Miserables. I played the student Courfeyrac. There is a very serious moment where Enjolras says “Courfeyrac, you take the watch,” and he hands me his gun so he can get some rest. Very serious. Very dramatic. Very Les Miz. One night I retrieved the gun from Enjolras, shook his hand, turned upstage and fell flat on my face. The barricade was always a little screwed with me taking the watch. I’m anxious and I get distracted easily. Here’s the thing, they were all going to die anyway. Everyone laughed…and there’s no laughing in Les Miz!
Why do you love musical theater, and more specifically, classic musical comedy?
It begins with music. I love music. I also love words, and although words assembled a certain way can be powerful…music can be transformative. Dance is not something I really do so maybe I appreciate it even more? Danny Gardner plays the lead in Crazy for You at Signature and I just watch in awe. When you throw a play, a score and choreography together there’s so much potential. Like any science project it can explode in your face… but if it succeeds it can change the way we look at ourselves thus changing humanity altogether… it’s a powerful formula, this Musical Theater!
If you could gender-bend one role in any musical, who would you choose to play?
Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie. I have played it many times in my living room. I just love her. She is a strong gal that realizes a little home in Queens and a steady job isn’t a bad dream. I also love Charles Strouse and Lee Adams’ music!
First thing that comes to mind:
Favorite Holiday Movie. Scrooged. Someone write the musical for me, please??
What you want most this year. If I say World Peace is it too cliché? Cause like…I could really use some world peace this year…and if Santa brought a Range Rover I wouldn’t be sad.
Favorite holiday song to belt in the car. “I’m The Happiest Christmas Tree” by Nat King Cole. Listen to that sh*& and tell me it doesn’t make you smile!? I just imagine I am the Christmas tree and I am showering and getting ready for a big date (Christmas) and singing about how happy I am. It’s foolish and it’s RIGHT!
Naughty or nice? I’ll let you decide. I think you know.
Snow or no snow? Honestly, the only snow I want comes out of a pastry bag and is used as glue for gum drops and M&M’s and Gingerbread people. I guess a White Christmas would be beautiful…I mean of course it would…but I really love the sun and heat and beaches!
Use code COLE for an extra $5 off tickets to Crazy for You!