Recording a New Audiobook for Hachette!

I’m excited to share that next week I’m going back into the studio to record another interesting audiobook, on a topic that just happens to really resonate with me. I’ll tell you more when I can!

Thanks as always to Andy Paris and his team at Voiceworks Audio. I’m looking forward to being back in the audiobook saddle!


More Images From a Spectacular “Murder on the Orient Express”

This is a gratitude post, and a chance to share some more images from the truly  spectacular production of Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery Murder on the Orient Express at the beautiful Maltz Jupiter Theatre last fall.

As a teen, I read ALL the Hercule Poirot novels. In some ways, I felt I’d found a soulmate. I so admired his passion for truth and try to pursue it in my acting. I will forever be grateful to Producing Artistic Director Andrew Kato at the @maltzjupitertheatre and brilliant director Peter Amster for the opportunity to play my hero in a truly stunning production last fall. I hope my journey with M. Poirot is not yet over, but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my gratitude and share some more images. This was one for the books. ❤️ #MurderOnTheOrientExpress #AgathaChristie 📷: @benjaminrusnak 

2023: The Year of Big Hats and Big Drama!

Wow, 2023 was a remarkable year career-wise. Around the lengthy SAG-AFTRA strike (I spent a lot of time on the picket lines when not working!), I was flat-out offered four truly wonderful projects that brought me a lot of exciting challenges and rewards as an actor, and the joy of meeting a lot of wonderful new performers while also reuniting with old friends. I’m grateful for each and every moment of it all. In between all that, I recorded another audiobook, too!

As you can see from the photo below, 2023 was a year of big hats and big drama. My projects included:

R.E.S.T.—I played multiple versions of my leading character Sylvester in this super cool pilot for a sci-fi series shot entirely in 360 degree VR for brilliant writer/director/producer Charles Huddleston, with dear friend Michele Martin and an all-round fabulous cast.

Arsenic and Old Lace—Playing hapless Dr. Einstein at venerable Barnstormers was an unexpected treat and an absolute joy. I had heard about Barnstormers since my time in high school in New England; what a magical place it is! And being directed by old friend Clayton Phillips only made it even better. To top it all off, I received a Broadway World Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Play! So grateful.

Romeo and Juliet—Playing Friar Laurence in our COVID-delayed production was a long time coming, and worth the wait. What a wonderful cast and production, all helmed by the amazing Sean Hagerty of The Curtain theatre company (formerly Shakespeare@). It was a hit with critics and audiences alike.

Murder on the Orient Express—This one really was a dream come true: finally playing Hercule Poirot, directed by my amazing friend Peter Amster, at my beloved Maltz Jupiter Theatre, in the most physically stunning production of my career to date. And a sold out run, which the theatre hadn’t had since before lockdown. A huge thank you to Peter and to Producing Artistic Director Andrew Kato for entrusting this production to me.

I don’t know what acting gigs will come my way in 2024, but I can share that I’m hard at work on a number of my own writing projects and am insanely excited about them: a 12-character LGBTQ rethinking of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and a new 5-character musical for which I wrote not just book and lyrics but music too! And I’m prepping to write another solo show very dear to my heart this April. I’ll share more when I can. In the meantime, happy new year! ❤️


All Aboard This Stunning Murder on the Orient Express!

As someone who devoured Agatha Christie’s novels when I was a teen, I’m still pinching myself that at last I have stepped into the stylish shoes of her legendary Belgian detective Hercule Poirot to star in Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Dame Christie’s masterpiece Murder on the Orient Express at the gloriously expanded Maltz Jupiter Theatre. It’s a dream come true for me.

This is my fifth show at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and my second there directed by the brilliant Peter Amster (we did The 39 Steps together here in 2011). It’s a dream production in every sense: Peter’s uncanny ability to balance (as he calls it) “schtick and stakes” creates a production that allows Ken Ludwig’s humor to pepper the proceedings while never losing sight of the very real tragedy that lies underneath the story (which was inspired by the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby). The design elements are nothing less than cinematic and truly breathtaking; it’s the most visually stunning production I have ever been part of during my long career. The cast is fabulous start to finish. And Peter’s production ends with a quiet visual coup de theatre that is leaving audiences both haunted and moved. I am confident Dame Christie would have approved.

We have been playing at 91% capacity every night, and have only one week of performances left. I can’t tell you how sorry I will be to see this magnificent and moving production close on 11/12, and to give up my signature Poirot mustache—for now. But I will relish every single moment on board this stunning Orient Express. If you are anywhere near the Jupiter, FL area: you really don’t want to miss this thrilling ride.

Set Design: Paul Tate DePoo III
Costume Design: Tracy Dorman
Lighting Design: James Lawlor
Sound Design: Mathew Parker
Projections: Greg Emetaz
Original Score: Gregg Coffin
Assistant Director: Creg Sclavi

Photos: Benjamin Rusnak and Jason Nuttle

Romeo and Juliet was a Hit!

I’ve been so busy that it’s been hard to find time to update my website. Please do follow my Instagram/Facebook/Twitter account for more regular updates—thanks!

The Curtain’s production of Romeo and Juliet in Jersey City, directed by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty, won wild praise from critics and audiences alike. We had an absolutely fantastic company—every single performance was strong and specific. And everyone praised both the passion and clarity of the production. I am so proud of the amazing young actors Aria Shahghasemi and Anita Pomario as our title characters; they both put themselves on the line every single performance and it was nothing less than thrilling and moving being onstage with them each night. Their chemistry was palpable and it made the inevitable ending all the more tragic. It was an honor to step onstage with Aria, Anita, and our entire company every evening. Audiences are already asking what’s next for The Curtain theatre, back with a bang in this production after the covid lockdown. Stay tuned!

Some selected critical praise:

Andrew Sellon (whom you may recognize from several villain roles on Fox TV’s “Gotham”) brightens every scene he’s in as Friar Laurence.

Standouts include Aria Shahghasemi, as a beautifully understated, amusing and love-struck Romeo, Andrew Sellon, as the grounded, heart-felt and steadfast Friar Laurence, and Anita Pomario, as the riveting, dynamic, and heart-wrenching Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet: Together At Last!

Back in March of 2020, I was two weeks away from starting rehearsals as Friar Laurence in a new cutting of Romeo and Juliet by director/producer Sean Hagerty of Shakespeare@ (the same company for whom I played Polonius in Hamlet in 2019) in Jersey City, NJ. Then covid stopped the world.

Flash forward to today, August 24, 2023, and I’m about to start rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet at last! Some of the cast members have changed, the cutting is even sharper, the new venue is fantastic, Shakespeare@ has been rechristened The Curtain, and I’m still so excited to play Friar Laurence opposite my buddy (and my Laertes) Aria Shaghasemi as Romeo, with Sean directing. Our Juliet is the wonderful Anita Pomario, making her U.S. debut with this role. There is going to be a lot of smoldering between those two!

We held a private launch event this week for patrons and Jersey City politicians, and it’s so great to see how much local support there is for this new classical company in Jersey City. This is going to be a terrific and exciting new production; I’ll share more information soon!

More Praise for My Narration of “Rattle Man”

I’m honored to see some more listener praise bubbling up on Amazon for my narration of Ethan Gaskins’ wonderful debut novel, Rattle Man. You can download and listen to this terrific Nordic space opera from Amazon, Audible, or other major audiobook sellers. Treat yourself to the audiobook today. It’s a great ride!

Arsenic and Old Lace at Barnstormers!

Somehow, despite the fact that I’ve been acting since I was 14, I had never actually done summer stock. Until now. Director Clayton Phillips and Artistic Director Sarah Rozene invited me to venerable Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth, NH to play the plum role of Dr. Einstein in their production of the classic dark comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring.

I have never worked with a lovelier bunch of human beings. I can’t say enough good things about the cast and crew and whole company. Plus, having buddy David Sitler (who played Owen in my 2014 The Foreigner at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre) playing opposite me as the evil Jonathan Brewster made it all the more fun. And the stunning natural surroundings in tiny Tamworth were an absolute joy every day. We had one week of rehearsal in an old barn by a gorgeous river (really) and then two weeks of performances in the little 280-seat gem that is Barnstormers Theatre. And on one of my morning bike rides, I saw a black bear—from a safe distance! What a beautiful area. It was like stepping back in time, or visiting Brigadoon.

And it happened so fast! Three weeks from start to finish. But I will carry many happy lasting memories from this summer idyll. It was a genuinely lovely experience in a magical place. I was honored to be included in the Barnstormers’ 93rd season!


I’m humbled by the lovely response to my interpretation of Dr. Einstein. 

Broadway World:

Sidekick Sellon is a fun-loving sot—nervous and impish, always making his supporting role shine. The best moment of the show is when he is ready to turn himself in to the authorities for his crimes only to be congratulated and set free by the bumbling Lt. Rooney. 

Conway Daily Sun:

In the film, Dr. Einstein was played by German actor Peter Lorre whose accent and speech pattern still remain iconic. Sellon resists doing a Lorre impression except in the way he says “Johnny.” While he retains the German accent, he makes it his own.

So much of this play is reactionary and, like Ahnquist, Sellon has terrific facial expressions in response to the play’s building insanity. He also makes the character oddly endearing and likable. 

(For the record, the German accent and the way I pronounced “Johnny” as “Chonny” came straight from the script!) 😏

Exciting VR360 Sci-Fi Noir Pilot Coming Soon!

Gosh. Things have been so busy, and there’s more coming. But I wanted to post about a couple of awesome projects I’ve completed so far this year.

In May/June, I spent 2 weeks in Atlanta, GA shooting a wonderful role in a terrific sci-fi/noir TV pilot shot entirely in 360 degree VR! It’s currently called: REST: A Stack Overflow Exception. This pilot is an amazing rethinking of a pilot I shot a few years back (Emily2410). The magical Michele Martin and I reprised our roles as Emily and Sylvester; everyone else was new to the project—although I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of them on other projects by the brilliant Charles Huddleston, including Nija Okoro and John J. Tague. Add Kenny Johnson (SWAT) and Hari Williams, and we simply had a dream cast. Fun shoot locations included a local railway museum that has been used by Spike Lee, among other notable directors, an ominously empty warehouse, and a mirror-filled space filled with gigantic overstuffed thrones in lurid colors.

The script is clever and great fun (the world Charles has created is fascinating!), and shooting in 360VR was a fun challenge for us all. Since the camera can see everything in all directions, the director and crew had to be in the next room, watching on monitors. If post production is done in time, Charles will be submitting the pilot to the Sundance VR Festival this fall, and to other festivals in the U.S. and Europe in coming months. Stay tuned, and have your VR headset ready!


Catching Up With Broadway!

Wow. The last Broadway show we saw before lockdown was The Minutes (with the original cast). That was March of 2020. Between the pandemic (and two cases of covid myself) and my being out of town a lot in 2022 performing, my husband and I had not taken the plunge and returned to seeing Broadway shows.

After I got back from doing Forum at the wonderful Maltz Jupiter Theatre at the end of December 2022, we agreed we really wanted to start going back to live theatre in NYC—but we also agreed we would still do it masked. Thanks to TDF, we were able to catch a bunch of wonderful productions, many of which were about to close. It felt so good getting back to being audience members again, and seeing a lot of truly wonderful pieces and performances. And so far we haven’t caught the latest version of covid. I’m fine with keeping my N95 mask on for seeing shows, especially since most audience members don’t wear masks anymore. I’m used to it, and it’s one less thing to worry about. I’m just so glad to be seeing productions in NYC again!