NICHOLAS LAMPIASI, current on the boards at Newsies is a certified-Broadway veteran … and, he’s only 10. He’s in the Disney show through the fall and before that, was in the National Tour of Billy Elliot. His first movie, called Molly’s Theory Of Relativity (from acclaimed director Jeff Lipsky), comes out Friday, March 1. And, he’s on WCBS’ Live From The Couch this Monday. How did he get to be this big … this fast?
We caught up with the pint-size wunderkind in his dressing room at Newsies, at the Nederlander Theatre.
Q: You’re already something of a Broadway veteran … tell us a little of the excitement for you.
A: NEWSIES is a really fun show to be in and I love that there are so many guys in the show – and that they are all such talented dancers, gymnasts and singers. I also love that my character Les is really feisty and not intimidated by the older Newsies and wants to be one of them. We are so lucky to performing in front of AMAZING audiences who really get into the show and that gives us so much energy on stage. Some of the guys in the show say that now we know what it feels like to be in a “Boy Band” I think we should call ourselves “1899 Direction” instead of “One Direction.”
Q: How did the Broadway-bug get to you? Did you know right away?
A: I’m the youngest of 4 kids in my family, and I definitely got the theatre bug from my older sisters Diana (20) and Rebecca (18), and my brother Jeffrey (16). There was always someone singing, dancing, filming a student film or doing something creative in my house, so of course I decided I needed to try it too! Billy Elliot was actually my first theatre audition ever and I was in 1st grade and 7 years old when I auditioned. When I found out I got the part I was SO excited. I didn’t realize how much hard work it would be because I had never done a show before, but when I started performing in front of the audience it felt so great and I knew it was something I LOVED doing.
Q: Tell us about the Billy Elliot experience.
A: I was the youngest kid in the show, and the only Small Boy, so I did all 8 performances a week. I had to be really focused because I opened the show by myself, walking down the aisle of the theater carrying a boom box on my shoulder right through the audience. Each theatre was different, so my entrance was different in each city and how I got on to the stage would change.
Q: How did the role in the Molly come about?
A: After I got back from the Billy Elliot I started going out on some commercial and TV/Film auditions. I had done a bunch of student films in the past, but this was my first real film.
Q: Did you enjoy that a lot?
A: It was exciting to work with such great actors and a really talented creative team. It was also very funny that once I got on set I realized I knew the other little girl in the movie. She lives 5 minutes from my house and we had done a theater summer camp together the summer before.
Q: Have you made some good friends in the Broadway community?
I usually run into the same kids at most theater auditions so over the years we’ve started to become friends. The people from the Billy Elliot tour were my first real theater “family” because we didn’t just work together, we did EVERYTHING together. There were about 20 kids on that tour and we did our school work together, did “field trips” to local museums, had nerf gun wars in the hallways of our hotel and even celebrated the holidays together.
Q: When you’re not in school or on the stage … what do you like to do?
A:I love to play piano, do gymnastics, dance and play with my two dogs, Ben & Jerry. I also am learning computer programming.