Photos by Jenny Anderson
The MCC Theater production of Really Really features a cast of seven super-talented up-and-coming theater actors. The new drama by Paul Downs Colaizzo begins at an unnamed Ivy League university the night after the biggest party of the year. After seeing the play, we were inspired to catch up with the sexy young stars to hear tales of real-life parties past, their first impressions of each other and more. Scroll below to get to know the Really Really company, and enjoy these awesome photo portraits by Broadway.com's Jenny Anderson.
MATT LAURIA (Davis)
Age/Hometown: I am not from there, per se, but I will say that there exists, in Winston-Salem, NC, a drive-thru-grilled-burger-chain that is unrivaled among fast-food institutions. And the name of that glorious chain is Cook Out. I wish I was from there—not Winston-Salem—Cook Out, itself. I wish I was born in the back of the kitchen, next to where the hush puppies sizzle.
Favorite Subject in School: Meh...?
Best Party You’ve Been To: My eighth birthday party, at Chuck E. Cheese’s. I beat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, as Donatello.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: His ravishing good looks.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: "I thought it was going to be the other chick from Girls."
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I saw Prince wear his famed ass-pants, I thought, "Now that...that is what I want to do with my life."
My Dream Role Would Be: ET, the extraterrestrial.
ZOSIA MAMET (Leigh)
Age/Hometown: 25; Los Angeles, CA
Favorite Subject in School: I hated school.
Best Party You’ve Been To: My 20th birthday.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: Her fight.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: How game everybody was.
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I was in the womb.
My Dream Role Would Be: Anything that truly challenges me.
DAVID HULL (Cooper)
Age/Hometown: I’m 28, and I grew up just outside of Cincinnati, OH (WHO DEY).
Favorite Subject in School: I loved Government because I was a Junior Statesman of America, and I wanted to go into politics. But I also have a math brain, so I loved math and science. Specifically Physics, because when I was a kid, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a roller coaster designer. I guess I blew it.
Best Party You’ve Been To: Anything with outdoor daytime drinking and cornhole. Maybe with woods, or a mountain, or a lake involved.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: His desire to have a good time. He just wants to have fun and wants the same for everyone around him. Maybe to a fault, but he’s a good-time-guy.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: I thought they were all untalented and I hated them all. Nothing has changed.
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I was 16 and met some of my best friends in the world singing in pop & country revues at a theme park near my hometown called Kings Island. We did five-show days and got paid next to nothing, and I have never had so much fun in all my life. I should also mention that I was very good.
My Dream Role Would Be: Pauly Shore’s character in the remake of the classic American film Bio-Dome. Or anything in the Pauly Shore canon, really. Or anything opposite Jennifer Lawrence because we will find that we are destined to be together forever. Or the title character in the inevitable Justin Bieber songbook jukebox musical, because, no joke, those are my jams.
ALEQUE REID (Haley)
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Favorite Subject in School: I loved learning, but I didn't respond well to tests and time constraints. Fave subjects in my life curriculum were reading classic novels and anything by David Sedaris, cutting and dying my own hair, writing scripts and short stories, dressing up paper drag queen dolls, K-Earth 101, wigstock, classic and foreign films, classic comedies, Marilyn Monroe, old movie stars and artichokes.
Best Party You’ve Been To: At this point, I'm past my hardcore party prime. My idea of a party now is being home in L.A. with Mama Reid and curling up to watch a movie or Bill Maher. Our "party" snack consists of vanilla yogurt, roasted, salted and frozen almonds and berries. I also love dinners with friends. That's always a great way to spend an evening.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: Her tenacity and strength. Haley is a "go-to-any-lengths" gal and is incredibly persistent. She is a bad-ass with heart and gumption.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: These dudes and dudettes are so rad. And hot. And talented. Maybe this is the best "rager" I've ever been to?
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I started performing when I was little as a coping mechanism in order to try and fit in anywhere and with anyone. I grew up an only child in multiple households and wasn't seen as the coolest kid in town (though I'd love to have a kid like me), so I would watch old movie stars, comedians and drag queens and listen to musicians of all genres and imitate them. I would write scripts and sketches and perform them for people (parents' friends and such). It helped me feel a part of something and gave me something to dream about.
My Dream Role Would Be: This play is certainly a dream fulfilled. To play Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe or Patsy Cline in a bio-pic would be amazing. A Christopher Guest, any Anderson brother, Coen brother, Aaron Sorokin, Steven Soderbergh, Affleck, Apatow film/TV show would be rad, to name a few...so many actors and theater directors I'd die to work with. A lead in Shakespeare in the Park. Produce a documentary. Write, direct and produce a film or one hour drama.
KOBI LIBII (Johnson)
Age/Hometown: 28; Fort Wayne, IN
Favorite Subject in School: Post-colonial theory.
Best Party You’ve Been To: My college roommates and I threw an annual "40s + 40s = 80s" party: 40 oz. bottles and 80s music.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: His discipline.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: Shorter in real life.
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I was in eighth grade and did my first real play.
My Dream Role Would Be: Angry, old testament God.
EVAN JONIGKEIT (Jimmy)
Age/Hometown: 30; Langhorne, PA
Favorite Subject in School: Theoretical physics, writing for science and nature.
Best Party You’ve Been To: Playboy mansion, or my nephews bowling and pizza party.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: His haircut, and his capacity for love.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: What nice hair they all had.
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I saw Dolly Parton sing for the first time.
My Dream Role Would Be: Playing Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
LAUREN CULPEPPER (Grace)
Age/Hometown: 26; Florence, SC
Favorite Subject in School: Whatever subject I could get the best grade in was my favorite.
Best Party You’ve Been To: In college, we had a Peter Pan themed party. I think I was a green Tinker Bell. It was one of the few I attended. I was never a party person—I was the one who came to the party with a homemade pie or something.
The Quality I Admire Most About My Character Is: I admire Grace's tenacity and determination. She's a little kooky but she's a go-getter.
My First Impression of My Really Really Castmates Was: How ridiculously talented and genuinely kind every single one of them was.
I Knew I Wanted to Be A Performer When: I saw the Broadway tour of Cats back in like, '96 at the Palace Theatre in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was the first professional musical I had ever seen. I became obsessed: I came home, sketched out the entire set from memory, framed it, bought every Cats paraphernalia I could get my hands on, and choreographed tap numbers to the songs I had on a cassette tape. I think I saw it five times over the course of my childhood.
My Dream Role Would Be: I know I should say Hedda Gabler or Rosalind but honestly, I would really love to have my own cooking show.
Really Really plays off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre through March 17.