Actor Daniel C. Levine has appeared on Broadway in hit shows such as “The Little Shop of Horrors,” Mamma Mia!”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Chicago,” “Evita,” “Oklahoma!”, “Man of La Mancha,” “Guys & Dolls,” “Next to Normal,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Les Miserables.” Nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Cousin Kevin in “The Who’s Tommy,” Daniel also serves as the Artistic Director of ACT in Connecticut, and he is the founder of Daniel C. Levine Productions as well as the Creator/Director of Broadway Backstage. He recently discussed his career in the performing arts and his plans for the coming seasons.

Theater

Blasting News (BN): How did you find your way into the theater, mainly producing?

Daniel C. Levine (DCL): While in dental school at Tufts University I auditioned for the Broadway show “Les Miserables” and I landed a part.

That is what brought me to NYC, Years later, I was cast as the dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors”! I discovered that I had a lot of creative ideas of my own and that I wanted to try my hand at developing original shows. I now work as a director, performer, and producer of my shows which seems to me to be the best of all worlds.

BN: What inspired you to start Broadway Backstage?

DCL: Having worked on Broadway for so many years, I always marveled at how the audience would come in and see an absolutely polished gem of a show but, meanwhile, there were all kinds of chaos going on backstage! Frantic costume mishaps missed entrances, and so on. I thought it would be fun for audiences to see what goes on backstage, but also what goes into a Broadway career – how we got our big breaks, our most embarrassing moments, and more! Now we are returning to On Stage At Kingsborough on April 1, 2017, with an all-new show after the sold-out success of our first Broadway Backstage presentation there.

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I began Broadway Backstage in 2013. I don’t think I knew I was starting a company then. I was just pursuing an idea I had. After the success of that show, I created another one, and then another…and suddenly I had a company.

BN: Can you tell us a little bit about exactly what your company does?

DCL: Daniel C. Levine Productions creates original productions for the stage. We are now creating a new show, “American Dance Spectacular,” which will feature the great American social dances – from the Fox Trot to Lindy Hopping to Vogueing – and this show will be presented at On Stage At Kingsborough in the fall of 2017.

Productions

BN: What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of working in the theater industry?

DCL: The shows that I create utilize the talents of Broadway choreographers, music directors, designers, and Broadway performers. We’re a very busy bunch so it can be hard to coordinate schedules to spend the time needed to develop new work. The most rewarding aspect of what I do is bringing a new work of theater that celebrates the talent and magic of Broadway to an enthusiastic audience.

There is nothing like feeling that positive energy in the theater during a show that I have worked so hard to create.

BN: What kinds of projects do you aspire to work on in the future?

DCL: I was just named the Artistic Director of the newly-formed ACT Theatre in Ridgefield, Connecticut. We will break ground on our new home in 2018, and will ultimately present five productions per year there. I am looking forward to presenting more original productions there, alongside the great Broadway musicals from yesterday and today. Also, I am looking forward to touring the original works I have created.

BN: Can you think of anything else that you would like to mention?

DCL: We are really glad to be returning to On Stage At Kingsborough on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 8 pm. The venue has been a home to us for premieres and early presentations of the works that we have developed. The theater is really beautiful, and the audience is very welcoming, and it’s pretty great to perform in Brooklyn!