Talking With Santino Fontana – January 29, 2024
This week, Ira spoke with Tony Award® winner Santino Fontana, performing in Myron’s at The Smith Center February 3. In this episode of “Talk About Las Vegas With Ira,” Santino talks about when he decided to pursue a musical career; how his grandfather was a big influence on him; why he didn’t want a 9-5 job; how he grabbed what work he could, not knowing anybody in show business; the first time he felt he could make it as a performer; why he decided to do as many things as he could in stage, film and recording; why he loves the doing of it; the constants (the doing and the relationships); the impact of COVID and being a father; and his performance at Myron’s that will have the audience involved.
Santino Fontana is one of Broadway’s brightest stars and a versatile formidable screen talent. In 2019, Santino won the Tony Award, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his virtuosic performance as “Michael Dorsey”/”Dorothy Michaels” in Tootsie. He is widely known for lending his voice to the villainous ‘Prince Hans’ in Disney’s Academy Award winning animated feature, Frozen. He was also seen in Universal Studio’s Sisters, opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. His independent film work includes the romantic comedy Off The Menu, psychological thriller Impossible Monsters, and comedy Papercop, for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Williamsburg International Independent Film Festival. He will soon appear in the feature Lost And Found In Cleveland opposite Martin Sheen and Dennis Haysbert, as well as Stalking The Bogeyman and the Tribeca comedy Billy & Brenda and the Pothos Plant.
On television, Santino was seen on the critically acclaimed “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He also starred on CW’s comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” as fan favorite, ‘Greg’ and NBC’s drama series “Shades of Blue,” opposite Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta, simultaneously. Other television credits include “Fosse/Verdon,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Royal Pains,” as well as the popular web series, “Submissions Only.”
Highly regarded for his work onstage, he’s received the Tony, two Drama Desks, an Outer Critics Circle, a Lortel, an Obie, and the Clarence Derwent Award for his work in both plays and musicals. The New York Times wrote, “Santino Fontana [is] one of the most promising actors to emerge in the New York theater.” New York Magazine heralded him as an “indispensable stage star.” Santino received a Tony Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of “Prince Topher” in Cinderella. Other Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly! opposite Bernadette Peters, Act One opposite Tony Shalhoub, The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), A View from the Bridge, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), Billy Elliot, and Sunday in the Park with George. Off-Broadway, Santino was acclaimed for his performance in Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet. He also starred as ‘John Adams’ in 1776 and ‘Elliot Rosewater’ in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, both for New York City Center Encores!
A critically acclaimed narrator of audiobooks, he was the original voice of ‘Joe’ in Caroline Kepnes’s cult hit You and all its sequels. He received the Audie award for Stephen King’s The Institute and was chosen to read Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes. He is a favorite narrator with dozens of titles to his name including works by Tom Perrotta, Cara Bastone, Frederik Backman, Stephen Crane, Jennifer Weiner, Alice Hoffman, and Naomi Alderman.