Brent Barrett

Brent Barrett (born 28 February 1957) is an American actor and tenor who is mostly known for his work within American theatre. Barrett has performed in musicals and in concerts with theatres, symphony orchestras, opera houses, and concert halls internationally. He starred in the original production of Maltby and Shire's hit Off-Broadway musical Closer Than Ever in 1989 and the 2001 West End revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate. He has also appeared sporadically on television and in films.

Brent Barrett
BornFebruary 28, 1957 (age 61)
Quinter, Kansas, United States
Years active1980–present

Early life and career

Barrett was born and raised in Quinter, Kansas, the youngest of three children.[1]

He began his education at Fort Hays State University in 1974 as a vocal performance major but ultimately transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in 1976 where he studied musical theatre. While still a student he began his professional career performing with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera during the 1978 and 1979 seasons, appearing in productions of Half a Sixpence, Camelot, Good News, The Red Mill, Cabaret, and Funny Girl among others.[2] While in his final year in college, he was cast by Jerome Robbins to play Diesel in the 1980 Broadway revival of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. He finished his degree that year and went to Broadway to begin his long association with New York theatre. He ultimately took over the role of Tony for the last three months of the show's run.[3]

In 1981, Barrett played Whizzer in the Off-Broadway production of March of the Falsettos, taking over the role when the production moved to the Westside Arts Theater.[4] In 1982 he portrayed the title role in the Off-Broadway production of Des McAnuff's The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed From Earth at the Joseph Papp Public Theater[5] and he starred in Howard Marren's Portrait of Jennie at the Henry Street Settlement's New Federal Theater.[6] He returned to Broadway in 1983 as Charles Castleton in the ill-fated Alan Jay Lerner musical Dance a Little Closer.[7] That same year he was cast in the recurring role of Tony Barclay on the soap opera All My Children, appearing in several episodes through 1984.[1]

In 1985 Barrett portrayed the role of Lieutenant Cable in the National Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. In 1986 he appeared as Eddie Yeager in the Off-Broadway revival of Arthur Laurents's The Time of the Cuckoo at the York Theatre at St. Peter's. In 1988 he portrayed the role of R. Daneel Olivaw in Robots, a television film adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Robot series.[8] In 1989 he appeared in the original production of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire's Closer Than Ever at the Cherry Lane Theatre. A critical success, the show ran for 312 performances and a CD recording was made on the RCA Victor label.[9]

Later life and career

Barrett had a small role in the 1990 film Longtime Companion.[1] In May of that same year he joined the original Broadway cast of Grand Hotel, replacing the ailing David Carroll as Baron Felix Von Gaigern. This replacement—only six months into the show's run—resulted in Barrett playing the Baron during the 44th Tony Awards telecast, despite the fact that Carroll was nominated for the part. Delays in recording the Grand Hotel score led to Barrett also being featured on the show's cast album. Barrett went on to reprise the Baron role for the original West End production of Grand Hotel in 1992, as well as portray the Baron during the show's international tour.

In 1993 he toured the United States as Frank Butler in Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, with Cathy Rigby as Annie.[10] In 1994 he appeared as Victor Duchesi in the original production of the Sherman Brothers's Busker Alley, which through unhappy circumstance never made it to Broadway, although it had been scheduled to do so.[11] In 1996 he played the role of Uris in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys's episode A Star to Guide Them.[8] That same year he appeared as Tommy Albright in the New York City Opera's production of Brigadoon with Rebecca Luker as Fiona,[12] and he played the role of Archibald in Lucy Simon's The Secret Garden in cities throughout New Zealand.[13]

He returned to Broadway in 1997 to portray Maximilian in the revival of Bernstein's Candide.[14] In 1998 he portrayed the role of Billy Flynn in the National Tour of Chicago for which he won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and the following year he took up the same role in the Broadway revival for several months.[15][16]

In 2000 Barrett portrayed the role of Edward Moncrief in the New York City Center Encores! revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Kristin Chenoweth as Daisy Gamble.[17] He returned to Broadway again in the winter of 2001 to replace Patrick Cassidy as Frank Butler in the revival of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, portraying the role opposite Reba McEntire as Annie. The Fall of that same year he was cast in the starring role of Fred Graham for the West End revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, which also starred Marin Mazzie and later Rachel York as Lilli Vanessi. For his performance he received a Laurence Olivier Awards nomination. The production was recorded live for broadcast on PBS's Great Performances in the United States and is available on DVD.[1]

In 2002 he portrayed the role of Sid Sorokin in the City Center Encores! revival of The Pajama Game[18] and he played the role of Billy Crocker in Anything Goes at UCLA's Freud Playhouse in Westwood, Los Angeles, California.[8] On New Years Day 2003 he appeared in a concert of music by Kurt Weill with the Berlin Philharmonic under conductor Simon Rattle. That same year he portrayed Arthur in Lerner and Loewe's Camelot at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey[1] and he returned to Broadway to portray Billy Flynn in the revival of Chicago, leaving the production in 2004.[19]

In 2005 Barrett appeared as Brian The Set Designer in the film version of The Producers.[20] That same year he returned to Broadway to portray the role of Billy Flynn again in the revival of Chicago and he sang at the New York Festival of Song at Carnegie Hall in a concert honoring Hal Prince. In 2006 he played the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera for the new production in at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas which was directed by Hal Prince.[21]

On July 7, 2009, he rejoined the Broadway cast of Chicago, in the role of Billy Flynn, a role he has now played several engagements of on Broadway. He starred alongside Samantha Harris from television's Dancing with the Stars in the role of Roxie.[22]

Barrett rejoined the cast of Chicago from February 7 to March 7, 2011, to be replaced by Christopher Sieber temporarily, to then take over again from March 26 to June 19, 2011. During this return, he starred opposite Christie Brinkley in her Broadway debut.[23]

On June 24, 2011, five days after leaving Chicago, Barrett began starring as famous character Hannibal Lector, in SILENCE! The Musical, described as an "unauthorized parody" of The Silence of the Lambs. The show has run for longer than its initial limited engagement at 80 St. Marks Place, directed and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli. Barrett can also now be heard on the Original Cast Recording.[24]

Barrett starred as Captain Hook in the American tour of Peter Pan opposite Cathy Rigby with whom he had previously starred in Annie Get Your Gun.

It was announced he would reprise the titular role in the Oberhausen production of The Phantom of the Opera in November 2015, with Elizabeth Welch from the New York production playing Christine. His run was postponed to early 2016 due to an injury he sustained during rehearsals.

In June and July 2016, Barrett played Georges in a production of La Cage aux Folles at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.[25]

In June 2018 Barrett joined the cast of Cocktail Cabaret at Caesar's Palace for a limited engagement. [26]


Barrett has appeared on several recordings, including theatrical cast recordings and compilations.[27]


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Series Result
2011 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Best Actor Follies as Ben Winner
Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Chicago as Billy Flynn Winner
Olivier Awards Best Actor for Fred/Petruchio (London) Kiss Me, Kate Nominated
(Source: [1])



  1. ^ a b c d e Gurewitsch, Matthew (February 16, 2003). "Theater: Who's That? Well, Now He's the Star". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  2. ^ Kimmel, Bruce (2001). "The Unseemly Interview Interview Section... Brent Barrett". Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  3. ^ Paddock, Terri (October 29, 2001). "20 Questions With...Brent Barrett". Whats On Stage. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  4. ^ "'March of the Falsettos' Moves to Westside Arts". The New York Times. October 11, 1981. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  5. ^ Rich, Frank (July 30, 1982). "Theater: MUSICAL: MCANUFF'S 'RICHTHOFEN' ARRIVES AT PUBLIC". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  6. ^ Gussow, Mel (December 19, 1982). "THEATER: 'PORTRAIT OF JENNIE,' A MUSICAL ADAPTION". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  7. ^ Rich, Frank (May 12, 1983). "STAGE: LERNER MUSICAL 'DANCE A LITTLE CLOSER'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c "Brent Barrett Biography (1957-)". Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  9. ^ Holden, Stephen (February 25, 1990). "RECORDINGS; 'Closer Than Ever' Is One From the Heart". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  10. ^ Ketcham, Diane (October 3, 1993). "Long Island Journal". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  11. ^ Everett, Todd (June 29, 1995). "Stage Door Charley". Variety. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  12. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (November 15, 1996). "In the Magical Highlands With a Day to Find Love". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  13. ^ International New Zealand Artists Archived January 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben (April 30, 1997). "High-Voltage Voltaire". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  15. ^ Brantley, Ben (July 7, 1999). "THEATER REVIEW; New Roxie And Velma Take Over In 'Chicago'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  16. ^ Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards Web Site Archived 2008-01-24 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Brantley, Ben (February 12, 2000). "THEATER REVIEW; Reincarnation With a Green Thumb". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (May 4, 2002). "THEATER REVIEW; A Test of Love for Labor and Management". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  19. ^ Brantley, Ben (August 4, 2003). "THEATER REVIEW; Movie Doll Hits Broadway Without Breaking a Sweat". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  20. ^ Scott, A. O. "The Producers (2005)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  21. ^ Jones, Kenneth (12 June 2006). "Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular Begins June 12; Brent Barrett Dons Mask". Playbill News. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  22. ^ "Broadway - Chicago: Samantha Harris, Brent Barrett and Roz Ryan join cast". Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  23. ^ "Brent Barrett returns as Chicagos' Billy Flynn". Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  24. ^ Silence! The Musical - Off-Broadway (2011-05-11). "Brent Barrett to Play Hannibal Lecter in Parody Tuner Silence! The Musical". Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  25. ^ Rickwald, Bethany (8 June 2016). "New Photos and Video From Signature Theatre's La Cage aux Folles". Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  26. ^ Hall, Debbie. "BWW Feature: THE COCKTAIL CABARET at Cleopatra's Barge At Caesars Palace". Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  27. ^ Brent Barrett: Recordings
  28. ^ "2011 BroadwayWorld Chicago Award Winners Announced! FOLLIES, PUSSY ON THE HOUSE, CATS and More To Be Honored at 12/28 Celebration at The Call". Retrieved 2012-01-15.

External links

2002 Laurence Olivier Awards

The 2002 Laurence Olivier Awards were held in 2002 in London celebrating excellence in West End theatre by the Society of London Theatre.

44th Tony Awards

The 44th Annual Tony Awards to honor achievement in Broadway theatre was held on June 3, 1990, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and broadcast by CBS television. The hostess was Kathleen Turner.

Busker Alley

Busker Alley is a musical with music and lyrics by the Sherman Brothers and a book by AJ Carothers, based on the 1938 British film, St. Martin's Lane, which was inspired by the 1905 novel, Small Town Tyrant, by Heinrich Mann.

In the 1995 touring production, Tommy Tune played the lead character, "Charlie Baxter", a busker in love with another busker, who leaves Charlie to follow her dream of becoming a star. The musical toured the US in 1995 but did not open on Broadway.

Closer Than Ever

Closer Than Ever is a musical revue in two acts, with words by Richard Maltby, Jr. and music by David Shire. The revue contains no dialogue, and Maltby and Shire have described this show as a "bookless book musical." The show was originally conceived by Steven Scott Smith as a one act revue entitled Next Time Now!, which was first given at the nightclub Eighty-Eights.The success of Next Time Now! led to a much expanded production retitled Closer Than Ever that was co-directed by Maltby and Smith. This production began its life at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts during the Summer of 1989. It came to New York the following Fall, opening in previews on 17 October 1989, and officially opening on 6 November 1989 at the off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, where it ran for 312 performances. The cast included Brent Barrett, Sally Mayes, Richard Muenz, and Lynne Wintersteller.Closer Than Ever features self-contained songs which deal with such diverse topics as security, aging, mid-life crisis, second marriages, working couples, and unrequited love. Maltby and Shire based many of the songs on real-life experiences of their friends, or stories told to them. The revue won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and Maltby, Shire, and Wintersteller all garnered Drama Desk Award nominations for their respective contributions. The original New York cast recorded an album of the revue for RCA Victor (RCA Victor 60399).

Dance a Little Closer

Dance a Little Closer is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Charles Strouse. The story is an updated version of Robert E. Sherwood's 1936 antiwar comedy Idiot's Delight.

David Carroll (actor)

David Carroll (30 July 1950 – 11 March 1992), sometimes billed as David James Carroll, was an American actor whose last, and best remembered, role was that of Baron Felix von Gaigern in Grand Hotel: The Musical.Carroll was born in Rockville Centre, New York, grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he was an active member of the Dartmouth Players. While at Dartmouth Carroll had star roles in several college musicals and in community theater.

He was nominated for two Tony Awards as Best Actor in a Musical: in 1988 for Chess and again in 1990 for Grand Hotel. Carroll also received three Drama Desk Awards nominations as an Outstanding Actor in a Musical: La bohème (1984), Chess (1988), and Grand Hotel (1990). The Original Broadway Cast recording of Chess received a 1988 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Cast Show album. On the big screen, he had a brief scene with John Ritter in the movie Hero at Large.

Suffering from AIDS, he died of a pulmonary embolism in the restroom of the New York City BMG/RCA studio while attempting to record the cast album for Grand Hotel. The album had been delayed for years because of rights issues and legal disputes over the score. For the cast recording Brent Barrett ultimately performed the role of the Baron, but Carroll was featured on a bonus track: singing the Baron's solo number "Love Can't Happen", recorded during his cabaret performance at Steve McGraw's on 14 February 1991 with Wally Harper at the piano.

His long-time partner, Robert W. Homma, died on April 18, 2006.


Encores! is a Tony-honored concert series dedicated to performing rarely heard American musicals, usually with their original orchestrations. Presented by New York City Center since 1994, Encores! has revived shows by Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, among many others. The series has spawned nineteen cast recordings and numerous Broadway transfers, including Kander and Ebb's Chicago, which is now the second longest-running musical in Broadway history. Videotapes of many Encores! productions are collected at the Billy Rose Theater Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Since 2000, the series has been led by artistic director Jack Viertel.

From 2007 to 2009, City Center presented a spin-off series titled Encores! Summer Stars, which produced well-known Broadway shows in fully staged productions. The first musical in the series was Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines, and Laura Benanti. Gypsy received unprecedented attention for an Encores! show and eventually transferred to Broadway; LuPone, Gaines, and Benanti all won Tony Awards for their performances.

In 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center!, a sister series devoted to groundbreaking Off-Broadway musicals. Led by founding artistic director Jeanine Tesori for its first four seasons, Encores! Off-Center was subsequently led by Michael Friedman. Following Friedman's death, it is currently led by co-artistic directors Jeanine Tesori and Anne Kauffman.

Feinstein's/54 Below

Feinstein's/54 Below is a cabaret and restaurant in New York City owned by Broadway producers Steve Baruch, Richard Frankel, Marc Routh and Tom Viertel. It has hosted shows by such performers as Patti LuPone, Ben Vereen, Marilyn Maye and Barbara Cook. It is located in the basement of Studio 54.

Fort Rouge Curling Club

The Fort Rouge Curling Club is a curling club located in the Fort Rouge district of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Grand Hotel (musical)

Grand Hotel is a musical with a book by Luther Davis and music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, with additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston.

Based on the 1929 Vicki Baum novel and play, Menschen im Hotel (People in a Hotel), and the subsequent 1932 MGM feature film, the musical focuses on events taking place over the course of a weekend in an elegant hotel in 1928 Berlin and the intersecting stories of the eccentric guests of the hotel, including a fading prima ballerina; a fatally ill Jewish bookkeeper, who wants to spend his final days living in luxury; a young, handsome, but destitute Baron; a cynical doctor; an honest businessman gone bad, and a typist dreaming of Hollywood success.

The show's 1989 Broadway production garnered 12 Tony Award nominations, winning five, including best direction and choreography for Tommy Tune. Big-name cast replacements, including Cyd Charisse and Zina Bethune, helped the show become the first American musical since 1985's Big River to top 1,000 performances on Broadway.

Hugh Wooldridge

Hugh Wooldridge is an English theatre director, theatre and television producer and writer, and stage lighting designer. Wooldridge was born in Amersham, Bucks, the son of British composer John Wooldridge and actress Margaretta Scott. He is the brother of actress Susan Wooldridge. Wooldridge currently specialises in large productions, often at the Royal Albert Hall, London. He also teaches, gives master-classes and runs workshops.

Kiss Me, Kate

Kiss Me, Kate is a musical written by Samuel and Bella Spewack with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi. A secondary romance concerns Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, who runs afoul of some gangsters. The original production starred Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang.

Kiss Me, Kate was Porter's response to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! and other integrated musicals; it was the first show he wrote in which the music and lyrics were firmly connected to the script. The musical premiered in 1948 and proved to be Porter's only show to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. In 1949, it won the first Tony Award for Best Musical.

List of LGBT-related films of 1989

This is a list of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films released in 1989. It contains theatrically released films that deal with important gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters or issues and may have same-sex romance or relationships as a plot device.

Princeton Symphony Orchestra

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (locally known as the PSO) is a professional U.S. orchestra based in Princeton, New Jersey. Rossen Milanov has been music director since 2009, leading the orchestra in critically acclaimed performances. All orchestra concerts take place at the 900-seat Richardson Auditorium Richardsonian Romanesque, a historic concert hall located on the campus of Princeton University.

Robot series (Asimov)

The Robot series is a series of 38 science fiction short stories and five novels by American writer Isaac Asimov, featuring positronic robots.

Robots (1988 film)

Robots is a 1988 Interactive movie directed by Doug Smith and Kim Takal. Its screenplay, by Peter Olatka, is based on Isaac Asimov's Robot series. It stars Stephen Rowe as Elijah Baley, Brent Barrett as R. Daneel Olivaw, and John Henry Cox as Han Fastolfe.

Silence! The Musical

Silence! The Musical is an award-winning 2005 musical created by Jon and Al Kaplan as a parody of the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs.

So in Love

"So in Love" is a popular song, written by Cole Porter, from his musical Kiss Me, Kate, (opening on Broadway in 1948) based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. It was sung in the show by Patricia Morison, reprised by Alfred Drake and further popularized by Patti Page in 1949.

The Page recording was issued by Mercury Records as catalog number 5230, and first reached the Billboard chart on February 12, 1949, lasting two weeks and peaking at No. 13.Other versions which were popular that year were by Gordon MacRae and Dinah Shore.The song has been recorded by many other significant female singers, including Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald.

Strike Up the Band (musical)

Strike Up the Band is a 1927 musical with a book by Morrie Ryskind, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and music by George Gershwin. It ran in Philadelphia that year, unsuccessfully, and on Broadway in 1930 after the original book by George S. Kaufman was revised. The story satirizes America's taste for war: America declares war on Switzerland over a trivial trade issue.

Aside from the title tune, the 1940 Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney musical film Strike Up the Band had no relation to the stage production.

The overture is often performed as a stand-alone concert work.

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