Audio Interview with Ben Vereen
11-17-2015 Audio Interview with Ben Vereeen
Ben Vereen is an icon; star of stage and screen, he is an internationally known and loved performer. Although he was singing and dancing in church and entertaining at churches and hospitals by the time he was four, Ben had no aspirations to be a performer; he thought he was going into the military. It took a very perceptive school principal to insist that he try out for the school of performing arts, and another perceptive teacher to see though his “bad audition.” Listen to the ironic way life conspired to help him find his passion. And once having found it he grabbed on and hasn’t let go. His credits include Wicked, I’m not Rappaport, Chicago, Hair, Jelly’s Last Jam, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Christmas Carol and winning the Tony and Drama Desk awards for his performance in Bob Fosse’s Pippen. His movies include Idlewild, All That jazz, Sweet Charity, and Funny Lady. TV; How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Law and Order, Criminal Intent, Armstrong. His latest film Time out of Mind costarring Richard Gere opened in September. He’s been inducted into both the Theater Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame. Hyper aware that his generation “failed to make good on its promise to create a safer more humane world,” Ben has re-imagined the iconic musical Hair and directed a very young cast at the Venice Theater in Venice FL in a production that will run Dec 13th. He hopes that by bringing this version to a current audience he will jump start a renewal of the spirit contained there. Listen to this serious, funny, self-deprecating, man talk about his life, his hopes for his version of Hair; and hear Sharon Leslie’s review as well as several songs from the show.