Ever wonder what it is like to live in a world of “Pure Imagination”? Well, that’s something that Daniel Quadrino gets to do more than five times a week. Mr. Quadrino currently plays “Mike Teavee”, one of the lesson-starved in the musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. The new take on the classic tale plays at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is playing at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre July 31 – August 11, 2019. Get tickets and more info here. Check out our interview below, first.
Eric Andrews-Katz: Who were your earliest influences in becoming a performer?
Daniel Quadrino: I guess it wasn’t so much a single person as it was an experience. I saw AIDA on Broadway and it was the first show I saw. I fell in love with that experience. I saw WICKED on Broadway (when I was in the seventh grade) with Idina Menzel. I told my mom at intermission, ‘this is what I want to do’!
Andrews-Katz: What would you say is your strongest attribute in being a performer?
Quadrino: I guess I fell in love with singing at a young age. I lead with my singing because I feel this is the best way I emote, and the way I do it the most. I like expressing my emotions through song.
Andrews-Katz: Eventually you got to perform on Broadway in WICKED as Boq. How did that role come about for you?
Quadrino: I just finished doing Peter Pan, and my agent called me to audition. I went in, and it was an all day thing. Then I had a ‘Dance’ call. The next day, I went in and sang for the team. It [WICKED] was the show that made me fall in love with musicals, and I’m thankful everyday for that show.
Andrews-Katz: There’s a new series out called #OutofOz (click here) that released different interpretations of songs from the hit musical WICKED. You are among a group of men that rereleased “What is this Feeling”. How did the concept for this come about, and what was it like to perform a new take of this song?
Quadrino: Honestly, I got a call from the Company Manager [of WICKED] and they said they wanted me to come back and do this “Boy Band” version of the song. I was waiting for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory rehearsals to start and it was fun to do a different take on the song. It wasn’t too serious, and it’s a fun way to release the “Out of Oz” takes.
Andrews-Katz: You’re currently touring in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. What is it about this story that seems to captivate people and allows it to be long-time endearing to so many?
Quadrino: I think it’s because it’s a classic. The book has been out for so long, and there have been several versions of the story. We get to follow the underdog Charlie, and watch him succeed. The fact that we watch the show, and most people know what’s going to happen, with its new staging and choreography, it’s just beautiful to watch.
Andrews-Katz: There have been many adaptations of this story. What makes this one stand out from the others?
Quadrino: This version uses a bit from the book, as well as from both film versions, and we mix it up, and the story holds up well. There have been a lot of changes from the original London production, with new songs added and different staging. For my character, Mike Teavee, he’s been updated. In the original he is obsessed with TV Westerns and guns. In this version, he is addicted to his Game Boy and iPhone, and basically all kinds of electronics. I like to think of my character as a ‘cautionary’ tale (as are most of the kid roles in this show), and I hope people learn something from his mistakes.
Andrews-Katz: In this version only Charlie is played by a kid, the rest are all adults. Why do you think this was changed?
Quadrino: Charlie is the child because he represents innocence and youth. Each of the kids in the ‘bad kids club’ is an adult because we all have, well, not a sin but we are all brats. Charlie isn’t, and he doesn’t know anything else aside from being youthful and innocent because of his situation. I think it works well because he represents those qualities and the ‘bad kids’ don’t. That’s only my opinion – the way I like to think about it.
Andrews-Katz: Skip ahead several years. Mike Teavee is now in his 20’s. What is his life like?
Quadrino: Oh he’s still living in his mother’s purse. Only kidding. I definitely think he is a computer nerd still. I only hope he learns his lessons when he returns to his ‘normal’ size.
Andrews-Katz: If you could play any role – regardless of any limitations – what would it be and why?
Quadrino: That’s a really hard question. I think – it’s probably boring because it is very much my generation – I’d like to play Evan Hanson from Dear Evan Hanson. It would be completely different from anything I’ve ever done. It would be wonderful with an important, serious message. Not that Charlie isn’t something serious, but there’s not a lot of ‘fluff’ in Dear Evan Hanson.
Daniel Quadrino earned his Broadway debut in the revival of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Next, he went on to be cast in the Disney musical, “Newsies”, and eventually [one dream come true] cast in the musical WICKED. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman with a book written by David Crieg. It plays at the Paramount Theatre from July 31 – August 11, 2019.