In this week's episode of Broadway Profiles from Broadway.com, Paul Wontorek chats with Raúl Esparza about creating the Drama League Award-winning Take me to The World: A Sondheim 90th birthday celebration, returning to LAW & ORDER: SVU and more.
Raúl sat down with Eddie Shapiro, author of new book 'A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with Great Men of Musical Theater' (to which he contributed) to discuss what theater may look like when it return, which roles they’d like to re-examine, what they learned from working with Stephen Sondheim, and how it feels to be interviewed in-depth (hint: it’s awkward, but also kind of flattering.)
Watch the video from Playbill.com below:
Today might be Raúl's birthday, but we, his fans, are the ones getting the present, with three new photos and an interview!
The photos are courtesy of Broadway.com and were taken as part of his appearance on their #LiveAtFive show this afternoon to to talk all things Seared. He also teased a few upcoming/possible projects.
If you missed it, don't worry; you can watch below!
It's a Christmas miracle! The Sheen Center have made Raul's In Conversation from last December available to rent on Vimeo.
The event, where he spoke to Fr Edward Beck about his life and shared some important songs, was held on December 14th, 2017. Here's a short snippet of him singing 'O Holy Night'.
You can rent the video here at a cost of $5.99 for 72 hours (US) or £4.73 for a week (UK)
'On Stage', NY1's weekly theater show aired an interview with Raúl about his current show, 'The Resistible Rise of Arutro Ui'.
You can watch the segment below:
This interview originally appeared on WAMC.com on July 18, 2018
Raúl Esparza On The Waves And Why He's Ready To Create New Work
Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s second Main Stage Powerhouse production this summer is “The Waves,” a musical adaptation of the novel by Virginia Woolf. The piece, which features a book by Lisa Peterson and music and lyrics by the late Davick Bucknam, was produced nearly 30 years ago in New York City. The version running at Vassar July 19-29 is directed by Peterson, features additional music and lyrics by Adam Gwon, and employs four time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza as creative consultant and actor.
Esparza’s Broadway credits include “Cabaret,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Taboo,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “Company,” “The Homecoming,” “Speed the Plow,” “Arcadia,” and “Leap of Faith.” Television credits include “Pushing Daisies,” “Hannibal,” “The Path,” “BoJack Horseman,” and he recently finished a six-season run as ADA Rafael Barba on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Esparza joins us to talk about his work.
This interview first appeared on Playbill.com on July 17, 2018
How Raúl Esparza Wound Up Leading the Cast of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves Onstage
It may have taken 30 years and some star power, but Woolf’s famed novel hits the stage as a musical.
Thirty years ago, writer Lisa Peterson teamed up with composer-lyricist David Bucknam to adapt one of Peterson’s favorite novels: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. “The language is gorgeous and probably one of the most fantastic descriptions of the experience of life that I’ve ever read,” Peterson gushes. (She’s not the only one who feels that way; in a 2015 poll by the BBC the novel was voted the 16th greatest British novel ever written.)
The Waves follows the lives of six friends as they grow up together, lose sight of each other, and find their way back to their childhood friendships. “The novel starts with first experiences—literally days-old experiences—of these six characters, but it follows them up into their middle age,” which is the focus of this adaptation, which is this year’s solo Mainstage musical playing Vassar College & New York Film and Stage’s Powerhouse Theatre and begins July 19.
Coincidentally, the process of writing The Waves mirrors its story: Peterson and Bucknam bonded over their love for this book and setting it to music, but then Bucknam passed away. Peterson shelved the project, but harbored a desire for people to hear Bucknam’s score. “There’s no recording of it, so we began this process thinking we were just preserving something,” she says. Recently, she found a way to come back to it and, through her collaborators, Bucknam’s creative sensibility.
She brought on Adam Gwon, a composer-lyricist and former student of Bucknam’s at NYU, to write additional music and lyrics. “He was the first person who told me that I should be a composer, that that was where my voice lived,” says Gwon. Then she recruited Tony nominee Raúl Esparza, another student of Bucknam’s as a creative consultant and one of the six friends. (He’s joined by all-star castmates Ken Barnett, Eleasha Gamble, Douglas Lyons, Tony winner Alice Ripley, and Tony nominee Lauren Worsham.)
“He reminds me a lot of David,” says Peterson of Esparza. “He has a similar kind of fast mind, but he’s injecting—as Adam is—a new perspective into it for me.”
But some elements remain the same, specifically Woolf’s voice in the piece. Because Woolf’s prose captured Peterson in the first place, she prioritized the preservation of the original words wherever she could.
“People will hear her language spoken and sung,” says Peterson, who also directs the project.
“Each of the six characters capture one part of Virginia Woolf’s personality,” says Gwon, “and they’re six very different friends, but when you look at them together, somehow they capture something about the human experience because they all go through these iconic, spiritual journeys.”
Here you'll find all the up-to-date news about Raúl and his projects.