Fans, here's a fun glimpse into the rehearsal and creative process behind "Brindlebeast", the musical, starring Eric as Will Champion. Makes me feel as though I were there!
Read more and keep up to date on Brindlebeast here.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Fans, here's a fun glimpse into the rehearsal and creative process behind "Brindlebeast", the musical, starring Eric as Will Champion. Makes me feel as though I were there!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
"One can hardly imagine an actor better suited for the role of Joseph than Eric Kunze. His charismatic persona and his captivating good-looks are enough to carry this show, but Kunze also brings with him an incredibly rich and powerful high tenor voice (his “Any Dream Will Do” is full of vocal panache) which he blends seamlessly with his finely nuanced acting (his “Close Every Door” is one of the most tender and touching moments in the entire show)." Read more here.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Read more here.
The show continues October 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9th (check times)
To buy tickets, go to the San Diego Musical Theater website.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
"Eric Kunze, known to Music Circus audiences for his roles as Che, Jesus and Joseph (and a good-looking hunk who probably will play 30-somethings for three decades) is perfectly cast as the GI Chris. His impressive vocal chops never cease to amaze. The combination of dead-on pitch, powerfully resonant yet sweet tone, and surprisingly nuanced and natural acting confirm why he made it to Broadway so early in his career, and why the Music Circus should hire him every chance they get."
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Review from the Sacramento Bee 8/25/11
Stafford Arima directs the large and talented cast with assurance. Kunze and Gray have performed their "Miss Saigon" roles on Broadway, and Dionisio has played her role in London and Canada. They are seasoned performers, but they bring energy and commitment to the roles as if they were new, not old, acquaintances...Kunze and Dionisio have several fine duets, best of which is the exquisite "Last Night of the "World."
Review from the Sacramento Press 8/25/11
"Kunze has a versatile, powerful voice and is believable in the passionate “Why, God, Why?” and in his tender duet with Dionisio, “Sun and Moon.” He conveys strength and anguish in the first act and is convincingly defeated in confrontation with his wife near the end of the second."
My wife and I saw last night's performance of Miss Saigon. It was AMAZING! GREAT JOB BY ALL!!! (Jim Kiniris)
Purchase tickets here: www.SacramentoMusicCircus.com.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Purchase tickets here: www.SacramentoMusicCircus.com.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I got feedback from someone who purchased Eric's CD and want to share it with you. The CD is really THAT good, I promise!...Maggi
Sunday, July 24, 2011
After a wildly successful three month run in Philadelphia with "Miss Saigon", Eric will soon be reprising the role of Chris at the Sacramento Music Theater's Music Circus, August 23-28th.
The "MISS SAIGON" cast will be led by Eric Kunze as Chris, Ma-Anne Dionisio as Kim and Kevin Gray as The Engineer. Kunze performed the role of Chris on Broadway, and was last seen at Music Circus as Che in 2008's production of "Evita." Dionisio has performed the role of Kim internationally, including productions in Britain and Australia, as well as performing as Eponine in the US tour of "Les Miserables." Gray starred in the Broadway revival of "Jesus Christ Superstar" as Pontius Pilate. The production will be directed by Stafford Arima and choreographed by Bob Richard.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Chris' dilemma of being torn between his wife and Kim is a difficult one to portray without seeming callous. I'm not the only one who believes Eric portrays that dilemma in such a poignant way that you actually understand what is going on under the surface. He loved Kim at the time, a love that was heightened by the drama of war and the heartbreaking evacuation in which he was forced to leave her behind. After a year of loss and regret he allowed himself to love once again. Distance and time had given perspective to what he thought was love, but now he has to protect what his reality had become. When he sings "The Confrontation" he opens up for the first time to his wife Ellen. Eric's interpretation of Chris' breakdown is heartbreaking and real.
After seeing this production at Walnut Street eight times I feel I can say that it is the best production I have seen to date. The show moves along so seamlessly there is not a dead moment and my attention never wavered. I felt the actors were giving 100% at every performance, despite their grueling nine show-a-week schedule, which included rehearsals and promotion. Sunday night I sat close enough to see tears roll down Melinda Chua's cheek at the death scene. The staging, direction and cast rival and even surpass a Broadway production. Now that I am home I cannot stop replaying the songs over and over in my mind.
Here are a few photos of our fanclub gatherings and stage door meetings from last weekend:
I had a chance have dinner with new fans including Suzanne, Sheri, Suzy, Nikki, Monica and Ingrid and connected with others I met at the theater.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Interview with Eric in the Philadelphia Examiner today!
Kunze has a lot of history with the show. He worked with the Broadway Company.
Kunze said, "it's just a really incredible interpretation of it. The directors let us get gritty and real with these characters. I'm having a great time."
Thursday, June 30, 2011
In the space of 24 hours, two people have ordered Eric's CD from the fansite and three have left rave comments about Eric:
My name is Jennifer. I went last night to see Miss for the second time at the WST. I first saw it on Broadway. When I heard Eric's voice last night, I was mesmerized! He and the entire cast at the WST did a wonderful job! The emotion and sincerity on how they portrayed their roles was amazing! Also, Eric is very easy on the eyes! :) In short, please pass along to Eric and the entire cast of the WST that I really enjoyed the show. As someone who does not have any musical talent what so ever-I truly enjoy watching good theatre. Thank you! Eric- I have become a fan!
Jennifer, South Jersey"
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
An interesting comment was left on the fansite today:
I am a specialist in voice care (Vocologist), and a Professor in Speech Pathology. During this week I am visiting Philadelphia as I am attending the 40th Annual Symposium of The Voice Foundation. Today I saw the Miss Saigon show at Walnut Street Theatre. I was seriously impressed with Eric Kunze's voice. Beautiful! He has a new fan.
And this comment was sent to me via email:
I found your fansite for Eric as I was checking out the info for Miss Saigon at the WST [Walnut Street Theater]. What a great way to let people know about the talented Mr. Kunze!
Miss Saigon is my favorite Broadway show and I have seen it at least ten times in many different states. I was lucky enough to see Lea Solanga in it when she returned to Broadway but unlucky in Dublin, Ireland when the show was canceled due to mechanical troubles, if you can believe that! As every theater lover knows, each time the curtain goes up it's a different show and atmosphere each time. When I saw it on May 25th, I was totally blown away by the entire production! It was the most emotional and excellent production I have ever seen!!!
Whenever I see Miss Saigon, I always fall in love with Chris during the first act but really change my mind when he pretty much kicks Kim to the curb in the bedroom scene with John and Ellen. It always bothers me that he decides to leave Kim and Tam to fend for themselves. Each performer I've seen portray Chris has always been good but not memorable in any emotional way. Eric's acting talents really came across and I finally believed that it was heartwrenching and horrible for him to decide what to do. I still loved him by the time the curtain came down! The entire cast was so believable that I felt like I was watching it for the first time. It broke my heart and I quickly tried to get rid of the tears when the lights came on so people didn't think I was a basket case!
I purchased Eric's CD before I saw the show and his voice was phenomenal in person. While I sat in the audience at intermission, I thought about the difficult role Eric has playing Chris and wondered if he ever looks out at the audience and imagines if any of the men sitting there has left a child behind in Vietnam. It makes me sad to think that and I can't even watch the film they show when John sings Bui-Doi.
Thanks for the great website about Eric and I look forward to following his career and seeing him on stage again. Will you be doing any more special fan club events before the show ends in July? How do I join the fanclub?Sincerely, Susie M.
I replied to Susie that the next fanclub dinner will be held Friday, July 15th at 5:00 p.m. at Marathon Grill, just 1-1/2 blocks from the theater. All are welcome to attend, just email me at email@example.com to rsvp. Anyone wishing to be on our mailing list to be notified of Eric news should email me as well. Thanks Susie! I'm sure Eric and the cast will be blessed to read your kind remarks.
Just a heads up for our MISS SAIGON fans: Due to popularity, we're extending MISS SAIGON until July 24...The Heat is On - LONGER! Tickets for the extension are on sale this Monday.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
As one would expect in a musical production of this caliber, all the voices in the cast are excellent; but it is the quality of the acting that sets the WST production apart from others. The chemistry between the American GI, Chris (Eric Kunze) and the young Vietnamese girl, Kim (Melinda Chua) is palpable in the duet, “Sun and Moon”, aided in part by the tender staging, deftly handled by veteran director, Bruce Lumpkin. This team has worked together before, so perhaps that accounts for the level of intimacy achieved in the lovers’ early scenes. Whatever the reason, the result is beautiful to behold. Chua makes a fine Kim, fragile and sweet of voice, but with the core of strength the role demands. Kunze’s vocals are masterful and his portrayal of Chris completely truthful.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
"When you have a man like Eric Kunze playing Chris in MISS SAIGON, it's easy to understand how Kim can carry a torch for him after so many years. There's no denying that he's a handsome fella, but furthermore, he's an enormously talented performer with the kind of leading-man good looks you'd expect for the role. And boy, does he deliver the goods! Originally from San Diego (which he still calls home today), his first theatrical performance was at the age of 17 in a production of Tom Sawyer at the Moonlight Ampitheater. He spent many summers on that stage growing as a young performer before going to college after high school. "I love coming home to family, friends, weather and ocean air that San Diego provides" gushed Eric.
In the last quarter of his college year, he was in New York City on an internship studying theatre, and auditioned for Les Miserables, landing the role of Marius. It was time for Eric to make his Broadway debut in the world's most popular musical. Who could ask for anything more? There was no where to go but up from that point on. "About nine months later," Eric explained "I was moved into the role of Chris in MISS SAIGON, also performing in the First National Company (where I met and worked with Melinda Chua and Phillip Michael Baskerville from our current production) as well as the Broadway company."
Working with the big stars and big lights on Broadway could make an actor jaded, but not so in the case of Eric. He couldn't be more thrilled to be here in Philadelphia at America's oldest theatre reprising his MISS SAIGON role. "This production at The Walnut is by far one of the most passionate, well sung, and beautifully directed productions I have ever been a part of - thanks to Bruce Lumpkin. This story and music that Philly audiences are experiencing is absolutely TOP NOTCH and I am fortunate to be part of something that affects hundreds of people every night." As for what part of the show is his favorite, all he can say is "it is difficult to point out a particular moment that is my favorite, but I suppose every time I get to sing into my co-star's eyes, that is a pretty special moment to me." And when you hear Eric singing such anthems as "Why, God, Why," it will be a special moment for you too. We can't wait to see what's next for him after his Walnut debut in MISS SAIGON!"
Also from their newsletter:
THIS IS THE HOUR OF MISS SAIGON!
Such an amazing production! I am honored to have seen it! And the cast was out of this world! - David McCloughan Jr.
Rarely am I as blown away as I was by Miss Saigon. Thank you for a fabulous night of theatre. - Debbie Bradin Silverstone
The show was amazing...so emotional it had me crying! I loved it! - Cathie Polchenko Josaphouitch
100% standing O from the top of the balcony down to the front row. There was so much passion, energy and talent onstage! Amazing show - do not miss it! - Margaret Stava Wunschl
These are quotes from actual audience members who have experienced the sensation at the Walnut Street Theatre that is MISS SAIGON! The standing ovations keep on coming. The applause is louder than the helicopter. The critics agree that MISS SAIGON is really going to heat up Philadelphia this summer. MISS SAIGON is a blockbuster that audiences can't stop raving about. With Bruce Lumpkin's brilliantly nuanced direction, Michelle Gaudette's heart-stopping choreography and the star-making performances of Melinda Chua and Eric Kunze, MISS SAIGON is a masterpiece that will dazzle your senses.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
To see the photos in a full size slideshow or to download, click on the round Picasa icon in the right hand corner.
The fanclub dinner was a big success! We met at Marathon Grill, just two blocks from the theater. Present were fans from Houston, Michigan, northern and southern Jersey. We celebrated Eric's birthday belatedly with handmade E and K cookies. Everyone (including our lone male, Jake with the crooked little finger) got official Eric Kunze fanclub rings. Eric's fans are all so nice. We always have a great time together. Afterward we attended the show and were able to visit with the cast, including Angelica-Lee Aspiras and Melinda Chua, in the lobby following the performance.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The theater was sold out, except for one seat left in the upper balcony, back row, which I snapped up. It was a treat to see the capacity crowd clap, whistle and roar in appreciation after the musical numbers. Apparently, there have been standing ovations every night and this was no exception. Every person stood, from the upper balcony to the front row.
The reason for that is, this cast is exceptional. Eric is joined by his Houston Kim, Melinda Chua. They know each other inside and out, having done the show so often together, every move looks entirely natural and believable. They have worked with Philip Michael Baskerville before as well and he always turns in consistently excellent performances. The part of the engineer always has been a scene stealer and show stopper, but the spin Bobby Martino puts on the role takes it up a whole other notch. I don't know how he does it but he elicits real sympathy for his sleazy character expecially during the re-education sequence.
Having seen Eric perform this role at the Muny and at TUTS in Houston, I felt he played his character in a slightly more hardened, jaded way than before. That made his falling in love with Kim all the more poignant.
The pivital helicopter scene is a challenge depending on the limitations of the venue. Director Bruce Lumpkin is especially inventive here at the Walnut and is able to use smoke and mirrors for a realistic evacuation sequence. I've seen the show produced four different times. I've never been quite so moved to tears as this production. Kudos to the entire cast, director and crew for their superb work!
(written by Maggi Wunschl)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Toi, toi, toi!!!!!
That's the opera equivalent of "break a leg", the pre-show good luck wish. It's to represent spitting, and properly done, it is said over the left shoulder of the recipient of the wishes. So, to Eric and the cast of Miss Saigon on the opening of the show, "toi, toi, toi".
Monday, May 23, 2011
"I have been a subscriber for nearly a decade. While I truly enjoy most productions, rarely am I as blown away as I was by Miss Saigon. Thank you for a fabulous night of theatre."
"Another Standing O last night at MISS SAIGON! The "Heat is On" with this fantastic cast gracing the Walnut's stage. We're all very excited for Opening night next week!"
"Such an amazing production!!!! I am honored to have seen it!!!! And the cast was out of this world!!!!!"
And on Eric's Fanclub Facebook page:
"I saw the show last night at WST. Such an amazing voice!"
"I agree with Ella!! You were amazing!!!"
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Eric was asked to participate in a high school project in the Philly area where Broadway actors are asked questions by the students about their careers and the business in general. They asked Eric, who is starring in Miss Saigon at the Walnut Theater and because they will be attending. This is Eric's response to the questions asked:
I'm glad to be able to participate and hopefully help out with this project!
I first played the part of Chris in Miss Saigon with the Broadway company, and have since played the role in MANY productions across the country. I have never actually counted how many performances... I think that would be very daunting...however, being that the material is SO well written, the challenge of playing the role so many times NEVER gets old or boring in the least. It is both a challenge and a pleasure to sing this music night after night, providing respect for the piece and also the veterans and victims of the Vietnam War.
In my opinion, that point is one that Bruce focuses on with great intensity with his direction. He searches for the truth and drives it home through his directing- letting the audience experience and react to it their own way. I am always learning new things about both myself and this piece when I work with him.
I think its important for the students to realize that the climate of the world today is not too far from when this story takes place. It is still very relevant and holds its own to many generations that will see it.
I hope you and the students enjoy it!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
More exciting Eric news today: Eric's CD, "My Collection" was given a very good review in the summer edition of "The Sondheim Review" by writer Andy Propst. The publication is available at bookstores and newsstands in NY or you can order it via this link.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Performers include (subject to change): Josie Andrews, Taylor Bright, Melinda Chua, Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble Joilet Harris, Eric Kunze, Ben Lipitz, Brandon O'Rourke, Katie O'Shaughnessey, Peter Schmitz and Denise Whelan.
Tickets are available for purchase now! $35 for Orchestra and Mezzanine Seating, $75 for premium seats plus a complimentary pre-show cocktail
$250 for Gala Tickets: VIP seating, complimentary pre-show cocktail, and access to the exclusive VIP Party which follows the concert – the stars will be in attendance!
To purchase tickets to the Gala, call the theatre at 215-574-3550 or visit our website. Proceeds go towards the Education and Outreach department, which helps support over 100,000 kids a year.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Eric will soon be appearing from May 17th to July 17th at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia as Chris in "Miss Saigon". Tickets here.
Thank you all for your overwhelming response and support!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Eric's CD got a great review from TheaterMania.
By Andy Propst:
Kunze's graceful tenor voice seems custom built for the big anthems of the British poperas, and a host of them are included on this disc that's a retrospective of his career, including a particularly satisfying "Gethsemane" from Jesus Christ Superstar and a terrifically considered "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miz. There are a couple of nice surprises in the mix, too, such as Stephen Schwartz's haunting ballad "Fathers and Sons" from Working.
Here is a link to the entire article.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
BIG NEWS, SPORTS FANS!
while in Philly at Walnut Street Theater's production of Miss Saigon
Picture them standing on the field below at Citizens Bank Park which holds at least 44,000 people:
SUNDAY: 8:00 p.m. May 1
(From Maggi: I don't know what time the pregame starts, so I would tune in earlier.)
Phillies vs Mets
Broadcast: ESPN, WPHT 1210,
from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.throughout the game and postgame.
If you are in the Philly area and want to attend the game click here.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Our first fanclub dinner will be held Friday, May 27th at 5:00pm near the theater. Let Maggi know if you would like to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 4, 2011
Eric Kunze and Gina DeLuca have collaborated musically since their high school days. They starred in musicals, among them West Side Story, in which their performances were so good the mayor of the city declared he didn't believe they were only high school students. They both separately went on to successful Broadway careers. They are still performing, but their love of the art inspires them to pass on their knowledge to children and teens aspiring to Broadway careers.
Broadway's Best is a show they created to give these youngsters a chance to work with them and gain needed stage experience. The Lake Havasu production included young people from the area (Telesis Preparatory Academy specifically) and was custom tailored to their talents. The two tiniest members, Cole Baillargeon (singing Gavroche) and Claire Killian (little Cosette) stole the hearts of the audience. I could imagine both of them moving on to successful musical careers one day. Corey Janecek, who recently starred as Lancelot in Grace Arts' “Camelot” had us in stitches with his slyly timed “Cést Moi”. Magin Hall and Tara Crawford, two of the older teens, were professional in their renditions of “I Know Things Now” (Into the Woods) and “Simple Joys of Maidenhood” (Camelot). The musicians, led by Suzy Bohling added to the quality of the production.
Their numbers were interlaced with Eric and Gina singing solo and together some of the most showstopping numbers in their repertoire. We were transported from 1800's France in Les Mis, to the opera house in Phantom, to biblical times in Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar. Costumes or sets were not needed to set the mood. Their vocal and acting abilities sufficed. The show was a testament to Eric's organizational, directorial and teaching abilities. These were very lucky children and they clearly adored Eric and Gina, as evidenced by the pair being mobbed after the show for autographs. Grace Ann Etcheberria-Jacobs (who was Eric and Gina's first theater teacher in San Diego) hosted the show at Grace Arts Live. It is evident she loves what she does and has a heart to pass on her love of theater to her students. I am so glad she passed it on to our Eric xxx-years ago!
Photos of the show: (I was given express permission to photograph the show just for Eric's fans from my front row seat, using no flash).
(You are able to view these in full screen mode in Picasa by clicking on the icon in the lower right hand corner.)