Nick Spangler has accomplished what most people just dream about. He has created a role on Broadway, won “The Amazing Race,” started a family and is now touring with “An American In Paris.” Oh, he took his family on the current tour as well. Yes, wife, infant and dog in tow across America.
“An American In Paris” is playing at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre through May 14th. Get tickets here.
“An American in Paris” is the new hit musical about an American solider, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director-choreographer and 2015 Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with Tony Award-winning orchestrations of unforgettable works from George and Ira Gershwin in the four-time Tony Award-winning production that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014-2015 season!
Earle Dutton: You are travelling with your wife, infant son and dog. How do you juggle all of that?
Nick Spangler: It is definitely tough. Doing the tour has been interesting because for the prior six years, I have been doing Broadway shows pretty much nonstop. We have had a pretty centralized home base of operations. I have never really toured before. So now, having the kid and a year later uprooting everything and bringing everyone on the road has been a little crazy.
ED: Could you tell me a bit about your character Henri Baurel in “An American In Paris”?
NS: The show centers around an American, Jerry Mulligan (McGee Maddox), who decides to stay in Paris after World War II. He rips up his train ticket and meets another American, Adam Hochberg (Etai Benson), who has decided to stay and me, a Frenchmen who is the heir to a family company/fortune. It is expected that I am going to take over the family business but I have a secret desire to become a cabaret singer. I am terrified that my parents will find out my secret. All three of these guys fall in love with the main female lead in show, Lise Dassin (Sara Esty), but she is engaged to me. I sort of have the upper hand in the beginning. All the guys become best friends until it comes out that they are all in love with the same girl. There are a lot of major choices in the second half of the show to decide who will end up with whom.
ED: What is your favorite part of the show?
NS: Well let’s see, in the Second Act I get kind of a big number called “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise.” It is sort of my fantasy version of my career. It is a big Radio City sort of number with singing, dance and tap. There are men in top hats and tuxedos. There are women in feathered headgear and dresses with sparkles. It is cool because it is not like any other number in the show. The rest of the show is very ballet-centric. I don’t think the audience is expecting this number when it happens.
ED: Do you have a dream role you would just love to play?
NS: (Laughter) That is funny because one of our directors was just asking us the same question. I think once you get to a certain point, your dream role is the one that hasn’t been written yet. The dream becomes creating a brand new role for a brand new show on Broadway. I actually got to do that two years ago in a new musical called “It Shoulda Been You.” That was really cool. I would love to create something from scratch or something that has a lot of me written into it. That would be really special. I do have to say that I have always wanted to play Jekyll/Hyde in “Jekyll & Hyde” since I was a kid.
ED: How did it feel to win “The Amazing Race” with your sister?
NS: It was crazy. We ran the race like nine or ten years ago, which seems like forever ago, right now. I think we were the youngest people to every win the race. I think we were the first ever blood related team to win. At the time of our season, I believe we also had the record for most consecutive wins in a row and the most first places in a row. Oh it was really cool; we were also the first team since the original season to win the first episode and end up winning the entire race.
My entire family is pretty competitive. I don’t know where it came from in particular. It felt really unreal to win. We watched earlier seasons and knew you could go from first place to being eliminated really easily. We were really amazed that we just kept doing so well. We really thought that our luck was going to run out at any moment. I never believed we were going to win until I read that final clue that said “Go to the finish line.” I think we definitely had our share of luck over the course of the race but we also made our own good luck as well. We took advantage of it when it presented itself.
ED: What is your favorite memory from participating in “The Amazing Race” with your sister?
NS: Hmm, I have a couple. I think the craziest moment that will always stick with me is in the very first episode, we were in Brazil and we had scale this giant cargo net on the twenty something floor building. It was just a beautiful view and then we saw “The Amazing Race” helicopter filming us and we knew we were in first place. That was my first oh my gosh this is “The Amazing Race” moment.
ED: Would you do it all again?
NS: It is funny that you say that (laughter). When we got to our hotel room; after crossing the finish line and doing all of our interviews, I turned to my sister and said I was so happy that we won but I am so glad that it is over. It was the first time in over a month we weren’t being filmed or miked. It is so tiring and stressful. You just can’t relax. Then a couple months went by and I decided it was really awesome and I would definitely do it all again.
Don’t forget to catch Nick Spangler in “An American In Paris” which is playing at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre through May 14th. Get tickets here.