Joey Fatone is in sync with The Producers Challenge
If you didn’t know that Joey Fatone was part of ‘N Sync, the boy band that sold 56 million records, or that he finished second on “Dancing With the Stars” a couple of seasons ago, or that he has two Broadway shows and several movie roles under his belt, you wouldn’t suspect anything of the sort from the easygoing guy in the seat across the table.
But the jovial Mr. Fatone has done all of those things, plus voice-overs and TV hosting duties — and he’s got that ever present trim beard and mustache, so he’s easily recognizable when he walks into a small conference room in the Benedum Center.
He’s wearing a T-shirt and shorts after a wardrobe fitting for Pittsburgh CLO’s “The Producers,” and he shares an iPhone image of himself in the lederhosen and Nazi helmet of his character, the Hitler-adoring playwright of “Springtime for Hitler,” Franz Liebkind.
The role was played by Will Ferrell in the movie version of “The Producers” and earned Brad Oscar a Tony nomination on Broadway.
When ‘N Sync dissolved, Mr. Fatone, 33, looked to his first love, musical theater. In 2002, he was offered his choice of a role in the Broadway revival of “Rent,” but asked to audition.
“When I did ‘Rent,’ it was a huge leap for me coming out of ‘N Sync. Of course I embrace [the band years], that’s where I came from, but you try to set yourself away from it. I wanted to become someone on Broadway.”
He auditioned for the part of Roger, the tortured rocker and recovering addict. He wound up as the narrator Mark, the role he had coveted from the beginning because it was more within his voice range.
As a replacement in the 2003-04 revival of “Little Shop of Horrors,” he again had his choice: the sadistic dentist or Seymour. “I said Seymour, because it’s a lot more challenging for me to do a role that even though he’s funny and slapsticky, he’s not trying to be funny. He’s just geeky, and that’s who he is.”
Several stops along the way will come in handy for his role as Franz Liebkind in “The Producers.” It’s a relatively small role with the potential showstoppers “Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop” and “Haben Sie Gehort Das Deutsche Band (Have You Ever Heard the German Band)?”
He joined ‘N Sync fresh out of a Florida high school that did three stage productions a year — one Shakespearean, a one-act drama and a musical. The boy band was launched in Germany, where he recorded and toured for about 2 1/2 years.
“I know a lot more German than I should; sometimes some of the bad words,” he says with a chuckle.
Read the rest of this awesome article on Joey at Joey-Fatone.com!