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Friday, January 8, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Will Nunziata, Singer and Actor

Born in Brooklyn and raised just north of New York City, Will Nunziata has traveled the country and the world performing, mainly with his twin brother, Anthony (, previously featured as a Mover and Shaker yesterday.

Will grew up just north of New York City in Westchester County, NY where he began to thrive as a student, athlete, and singer.  As a kid, Will went with Mom, Dad, brother, Anthony, and younger sister Annie on car rides down the West Side Highway into New York City to see Broadway shows, museums, sporting events, and dinners at the New York Athletic Club.

The idea of singing together professionally with Anthony began in the beginning of their sophomore year at Boston College when University Chorale director John Finney suggested the brothers sing a solo during the annual fundraising concert where the Boston Pops visits Boston College and perform along with the University Chorale.  Will & Anthony sang the Stephen Sondheim song “Our Time” and, as Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart announced to the arena filled crowd, the brothers became the first identical twins to be soloists with the Boston Pops.  It was a pivotal evening for Will & Anthony, both realizing that as a team they could fulfill their passions for singing and connect with people through music.

Recently Will has appeared as a headlining soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra (with an audience of over 20,000) and, in New York City, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, the United Nations, National Arts Club and Feinstein’s at Loews Regency.  Will & his brother's vocal versatility and stage presence has caught the eye of conductors and concert halls around the country, performing Broadway tunes, classic standards, songs from Italy, and contemporary music.  Will has also studied at Upright Citizen's Brigade in long-form improv and has appeared dozens of times doing stand-up comedy in such NYC-renowned comedy clubs like Gotham Comedy Club & Caroline's.

Premiering their new concert show “Our Time” at New York City’s Feinstein’s at The Regency in October 2009, Will & his brother thrilled the standing room only audiences and will return for seven shows during a full week engagement from April 20-24 2010.  Peachy Deegan can't wait for this, and of course as she is bleeding maroon and gold, met Will Nunziata at a Boston College event.

Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, (current) director and collaborator to Barbra Streisand, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Bernadette Peters, the brothers continue to tour and will introduce their new show throughout the next year.

Will currently resides in New York City, and is excited about performing in the future with his brother, and exploring the mediums of television and film as an actor and the theatre as both an actor and director.  We are so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Will Nunziata for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first singing memory?
Will Nunziata:  I remember singing in my kitchen at around 3 years old humming to the television.  It was later on when my Mom admitted to me that she heard me singing in the womb.

Tell us one thing about your twin that everyone should know that they don't know now.
He thinks he's older than I am.  But, although he came out of my Mom first, I was developed first, so, in essence, I am older.

What are your favorite three things about Boston College and why?
1. The Theatre Department at Boston College became my second home.  I made some of my best friends in the students and professors.  2. The University Chorale was where I met a mentor, Chorale's Director John Finney, and very close friends as well.  As a member of the Chorale, I was able to travel throughout my 4 years and sing in Ireland, Puerto Rico, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Austria.  3. Being an Orientation Leader the summer going into my senior year was a life-changing experience, where I not only was able to welcome incoming BC students, but I was able to discover life-long friends, my faith, and my purpose in life.

What do you prefer in Manhattan to Chestnut Hill?
It's open 24 hours.

What do you prefer in Chestnut Hill to Manhattan?
The closed-knit, homey feel to it.

What has been your best performing experience and why?
Such a hard question, as there have been some great experiences throughout my short career.  But I'd have to say to sing at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, and know the people that have graced that stage before me, was an exciting & humbling experience.

If you could perform on any stage where would you most like to perform and why?
For as long as I remember, it's been a dream of mine to perform at Carnegie Hall.  I want to perform there because it's, I think, the ultimate venue for any performer.  The pinnacle.  I mainly want to perform there, though, because my Gramma, who passed 10 years ago, always told me stories of how she sat in the back seat of the top balcony to hear Frank Sinatra sing.  I know when the day comes to perform at Carnegie, my Gramma will have the best seats in the house.

What is your favorite song to sing alone, and favorite song to sing with your twin and why?
My new favorite song to sing is No More by Stephen Sondheim.  It was introduced to me by my director, Richard Jay-Alexander, when we were putting together our Feinstein's debut show.  At first I felt I had no connection to it.  However, after sitting with it for a week, it devastated me.  The lyrics & music just HIT me one day, and I "got it."  I love to sing it because I discover new nuances and subtleties every time I sing it, and it brings up emotions in me I never thought I could express through interpreting a song.  My favorite song to sing with my brother would have to be "The Prayer," as it is a song that holds a lot of personal meaning to me.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
My family has been so incredibly supportive of my career, and I am grateful everyday for their love and encouragement.

What are you proudest of and why?
I'm proud of the fact I remain grateful and open to any and all experiences in my life

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
Perform at Carnegie Hall.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Hell's Kitchen.  The restaurants are endless-- the best food in town!

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
I love too many to just pick one!

What is your favorite drink?
A simple Cranberry & Vodka with a lime.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Vice Versa, owned by my good friends Franco & Stefano.

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
Too many to pick just one!

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Seeing friends finish the New York City marathon. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Running through Central Park, walk the pier along the Hudson, see a Broadway show, go to a Thai place and next door is Italian, lots of 24 hour stores, the list goes on and on!

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Working with my brother, director Richard Jay-Alexander, and musical director Ben Toth on our upcoming Feinstein's show in April.  Truly is a dream come true to work with the best. 

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
The seasons are underrated, I LOVE winter here!  NOTHING is overrated, it's all fantastic!

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Gotham Gadgets and its great to learn of the new technological advances being made to make everyday life just that much more easy...and fun!

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I love long walks on the beach....haha....just kidding.  

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
People can contact me by going to!

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