My Las Ve­gas

Where Las Vegas - - CONTENTS -

Daniel R. Sul­li­van

As the bad boy in "Jersey Boys," Sul­li­van plays against char­ac­ter; the en­thu­si­as­tic and pas­sion­ate ac­tor shares his thoughts on Ve­gas and per­form­ing.

Daniel R. Sul­li­van is a liv­ing ex­am­ple of the say­ing “en­thu­si­asm is con­ta­gious.” An afi­cionado of theater, mu­si­cals and magic, he de­vel­oped his love of the stage af­ter his fifth-grade teacher cast him in his first play. Sul­li­van chron­i­cled his jour­ney through the “Jersey Boys” au­di­tion and re­hearsal process in the book “Places, Please! (Be­com­ing a Jersey Boy)" and is pas­sion­ate about teach­ing theater stu­dents. The Ama­zon.com syn­op­sis de­scribes your book as the tale of a boy­hood dream com­ing true. When did you first fall in love with per­form­ing? In the fifth grade, be­cause of a great teacher I had, Mrs. King. She cast me in my first mu­si­cal, where I played a role called Colonel Cud­dly. I was a tin soldier in a toy shop. I’ll be for­ever in­debted to her.

What were you like as a child? I was a lit­tle bit mu­si­cal-theater nerd, I en­joyed learn­ing about mu­si­cals and putting on my own shows. I would do magic shows, be­lieve it or not. I was one of those cheesy per­former kids. Now, it’s funny, be­cause as dorky as things were back then for me, I’m play­ing the toughguy role. It was a sur­prise to me when I be­came an adult that I could be seen as the “tough guy.” I think in “Jersey Boys,” they like a tough guy with a smile, and that’s what got it for me.

What’s it like to play a bad boy? It’s so ful­fill­ing. I think of it as “the guy you love to hate.” He’s a tough guy, but be­cause he’s do­ing ev­ery­thing he be­lieves is the right thing to do, and does it all with charm and a slick smile, that makes it re­ally, re­ally fun. I be­gin the show by talk­ing to the au­di­ence for half an hour and things hap­pen around me. That’s the part where I get to be charm­ing. But play­ing the bad boy lets me be di­rectly mean to ev­ery­body in the later parts of the show. I like that di­chotomy. How long have you been with the Ve­gas show? I came in last Novem­ber and have been en­joy­ing it im­mensely ever since. It’s not the first time I’ve been to Ve­gas, but it’s the first time I’ve lived here, and I’ve dis­cov­ered that Ve­gas is so much more than the Strip. I love this town! One, be­cause it is very, very sup­port­ive of per­form­ers, and also be­cause it’s si­t­u­ated in the moun­tains and the desert, so there’s a lot of out­door stuff to do. I’ve been try­ing to do it all! What have been some of your fa­vorite dis­cov­er­ies? I like to hike Mt. Charleston and fin­ish up with din­ner at the lodge up there. That’s prob­a­bly my fa­vorite thing. And the parks are great—the wet­land park is my fa­vorite park in Las Ve­gas. It’s a hid­den gem. Also, tak­ing a boat out on Lake Mead.

Other restau­rants you like? Springs Pre­serve's [Di­vine Cafe] is one of my fa­vorites. I like to sit out­side on the gor­geous bal­cony over­look­ing the pre­serve. Then, of course, Capo’s Ital­ian Speakeasy is my other fa­vorite— if I want a dark, Ital­ian, se­cre­ten­trance type of res­tau­rant. Kind of like where Tommy DeVito would go? Ex­actly. You have to have the pass­word to get into that place.

What shows have you seen? When other shows have a latenight per­for­mance, I’m the first one there. KÀ is my fa­vorite be­cause it’s so spec­tac­u­lar, but I also have a stand­ing date in the au­di­ence at The Bucket Show, which is a small im­prov com­edy show that hap­pens ev­ery Wed­nes­day night—I think this im­prov com­edy show is the great­est cheap thing to do in Las Ve­gas. It’s a tiny show at Arts Square down­town. It’s re­ally great qual­ity. Also, I’m a huge David Cop­per­field fan. I’ve seen him a num­ber of times—I could go to see him ev­ery night.

Sul­li­van (third from left) in "Jersey Boys"

Sul­li­van as Tommy DeVito

Sul­li­van (far right)

and cast

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