Has Tituss Burgess Been On Broadway? The 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Star Has Already Had His Break
How much are you loving Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ? The wannabe Broadway baby and crooner of "Pinot Noir" is certainly the show's breakout. The character may be out of luck, but actor Tituss Burgess is already a Broadway star. He is best known for playing Sebastian in The Little Mermaid on Broadway way back in 2009. He also appeared in the original cast of Jersey Boys. You might recognize him from 30 Rock and other television roles. However, the stage had him before Tina Fey did. The actor has also released two albums and appeared on many compilations for musical theater composers.
In fact, I'll let you in on a fun Broadway in-joke that happens in the fourth episode, titled "Kimmy Goes To The Doctor." Remember Coriolanus Burt, the "dollar store Titus" and his personal acting rival when he goes to audition for "Spidermen"? Coriolanus is played by James Monroe Iglehart, who recently won a Tony for playing the Genie in Aladdin: The Musical on Broadway. What I'm saying is, that episode was basically a "Sebastian vs. Genie" Disney standoff. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidtis a pretty outlandish show, but this was a cute way to have art imitate life.
Want to hear more of Tituss Burgess' ridiculously good voice? He recently played The Witch in a production of Sondheim's Into The Woods in Miami. However, here are a few clips that span his Broadway history.
The Little Mermaid
Sebastian really gets the best songs in The Little Mermaid, doesn't he? Except for "Part of Your World," of course. If Ursula floats your boat, I won't judge you, but I'm still scared of her myself. Anyway, above is Tituss Burgess' serenade of "Kiss The Girl," and check out a "Under the Sea" as performed for Good Morning America below.
Yes, this production used heelies to create a "swimming" effect. Heelies, if you recall, are those sneakers with wheels that kids use to try to take you out in the grocery store. The skating in The Little Mermaid works a lot better than it should, in my humble opinion. The theatre is a crazy place, y'all!
Guys And Dolls
Here's Tituss Burgess performing "Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat" from Guys and Dolls at the Tony Awards in 2009. Don't mind the technical difficulties at the beginning. It's a live show, and once they get going they really get going.
Tituss Burgess' Broadway debut was a little show called Good Vibrations. It was a jukebox musical, meaning that it was comprised of an artist's previously recorded songs, and the artist in question was the Beach Boys. Above, Tituss sings "Help Me Rhonda." He's so young! Unfortunately, Good Vibrations was a flop — it only ran for three months. His former castmate, Smash's Krysta Rodriguez, has some funny stories to tell about the creative process behind that show.
And a *Bonus*
This isn't from a particular show but it is one of my favorite songs, so I will happily share it with all of you. The song is called "Quiet," written by upcoming composer Jonathan Reid Gealt. Just soak in the drama and enjoy.
Image: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix