July 5, 2007

JBB EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Kris Coleman!

July 5th, 2007

Kris Coleman

Jersey Boys Blog had the marvelous opportunity to chat with one of JB’s newest cast members, Kris Coleman, before his Wednesday matinee performance on May 9. Kris talks about what it’s been like to be part of the hottest show on Broadway; how it all began for him; how he prepares to play so many versatile characters; and so much more!

JBB: What has it been like to be part of the 2006 Best Musical Tony winner and the hottest show on Broadway?

KC: On one hand, it has been overwhelming! It all happened so fast. I auditioned on a Thursday, they told me Friday, and was on a plane on Saturday. At the time of the audition, I was doing an accounting job in L.A.

When I got here, I realized—this was the Number One show on Broadway. I knew it was big, but at first, I didn’t realize it was that BIG!

JBB: Tell us about your beginnings. How did you become interested in musical theatre and who were your influences?

KC: Well, at the age of ten, I saw “Dream Girls” and wanted to be James “Thunder” Early. I really wanted to be Jimmy!

However, I didn’t pursue acting until college at Hampton University. I was leaning more toward singing for a while. My father was a singer and was also the conductor for Aretha Franklin and The Temptations.

While in college, I was singing a solo in my college choir, and the choir director shot me down. A little later, I was in the Laundromat and a friend told me about an upcoming audition for an Avon Long musical at Hampton University. At that audition, I fell in love with musical theatre.

JBB: You play so many amazing, versatile characters in “Jersey Boys” (a French rap star, Hal Miller, the Cop, DJ Barry Belson, just to name a few). What do you do to prepare, and how do you get into the characters?

KC: Well, to prepare, I always warm up vocally. With the characters, there’s lots of work you need to do—studying the script, then deciding how you want the characters to come across. I put images with the characters. As an example, the Cop loves the Four Seasons, but he also wants to do his job. So, I had the image of a black Barney Fife when I took on the character.

JBB: What’s your favorite musical number in “Jersey Boys”?

KC: Well, it sucks, ‘cause it’s not one of mine, but I love “Cry For Me”! I love the phrasing of the song and I love the sound.

JBB: What about your favorite scene?

KC: The fight scene in Gyp’s basement.

JBB: What about your favorite line?

KC:“Make it out to Love Muffin.”

JBB: What have you discovered about yourself that you didn’t know before joining the cast of “Jersey Boys”?

KC: That I could do eight shows a week. I bought the cast CD, but never had a chance to play it after getting the part, ‘cause things were moving so fast. The first time I saw “Jersey Boys,” I was watching Tituss, and he was whaling!! The first thing I thought, ‘I’m getting FIRED tomorrow!’

So, I discovered that I have the stamina to do the show eight times a week. In other productions, you might do a show for four nights, and then you have time to recover. But with Broadway and regional theatre, you have to keep healthy, eat right, and get lots of sleep to develop the stamina to do it right.

Thank you again to the multi-talented Kris Coleman for taking the time for this terrific interview and we wish him continued success on Broadway!


  1. Kris you are awesome. End of May my daughter & I went to New York of course to see Jersey Boys, and when we were waiting at stage door you were one of the first ones out. You were so gracious and so nice, we really enjoyed talking to you. You are one of our favorites. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by gail drouillard — July 6, 2007 @ 7:50 am

  2. Kris, you were very gracious at the Actors Fund benefit this past April; enjoyed reading about your background. And your Dad conducted for Aretha?–wow–her “Day Dreaming” is one of my favorite all-time songs. You and I share “Cry for Me” as our favorite JB number.

    Finally, it’s great to meet a fellow accountant. I’ll keep you in mind if I have any tax questions next spring! Best wishes, Kris.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — July 6, 2007 @ 9:09 am

  3. lol, i loved the interview! i gotta agree w/ his favorites. they’re all excellent: “Cry For Me” (coincidently listening to it right now on my JB soundtrack); the fight scene; and “Make it out to Love Muffin.” That part cracked me up when i saw the show! the line itself is funny but all their reactions are hilarous! awesome choices, Kris!

    Comment by Lauren — July 6, 2007 @ 10:40 am

  4. Hi, Kris,

    I share my friend, Howard’s, sentiments. It truly was a pleasure meeting you at the Actors’ Fund performance. You do a great job in all your Jersey Boys roles – will see you again in a week. Can’t wait. IE

    Comment by irene eizen — July 7, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

  5. Kris Coleman was fantastic in college…and I’m not biased because we share the same last name (smile). I’m in NY and would love to catch the show. I just need to know if he’s performing July 25, 26, or 27.

    Someone PLEASE contact me at [email protected].

    Comment by Yolonda D. Coleman — July 24, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  6. I saw Kris Coleman perform in Los Angeles before he made it big, and he was amazing. He has hands down the best singing voice I ever heard live in my whole life.

    Comment by Christy — June 16, 2010 @ 3:04 am

  7. Went to NY for my B-day, Just had to let you know that I saw the Jersey Boys a few weeks back w/six of my closest friends and my lovely wife. It was awesome, what an experience you were great playing all those parts- your all out opening sets the tone for the rest of the show.
    On behalf of all of us who sat in ” Row U” (Lisa)can’t wait to see it again!

    Comment by E-Man — October 12, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

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