Exclusive Interview with John Tartaglia about Shrek the Musical, Puppets & More

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I’m very excited to announce that today I got to sit down with the king of Puppets and Broadway Star, John Tartaglia.  I’d like to thank John for taking some time to talk with us about the upcoming release of Shrek the Musical on DVD and BluRay next week on 10/15/2013 and about everything from puppets to being different and sending out positive messages to love your self as well as what he has in store with a new TV show from his undersea puppet show.  Below is the video of our interview, a video of his favorite song from Shrek the Musical which is also perfect for National Coming Out Day and National Bullying Month.  Thank you all again for reading and if you get a chance to see his touring show Imaginocean, I highly recommend going.  You should also buy Shrek the Musical on DVD and BluRay when it comes out next week where you’ll see him playing a puppet instead of with a puppet as well as Chris Sieber playing Lord Farquaad.  (I apologize in advance for my hair and everything.  They started doing construction on the apartment above mine so we had to rush to a friend’s apartment to do the interview and didn’t have time to clean up.)  (Also, I didn’t edit the typing, I wrote as I was listening to the interview so I apologize for the typos, grammar and that I didn’t give his full answers.  If you listen to the recording you’ll hear some really cool things that I left out on purpose because you have to hear them from him because they are way more funny coming from him!  Thank you again for reading.)

Here are the questions from the interview with John Tartaglia who plays Pinocchio on Shrek the Musical.  (The answers are cut down versions of the full ones.)

1.  You started playing with a puppet on your hand, then you became a puppet on a string and now you have puppets underwater.  Also, your puppets begin what P (Princeton, Pinocchio, etc…).  What’s going on here?

John:  Chuckles, I never really thought of that.  Princeton, Pinocchio, etc…  He was working on a TV show and went to the audition and was worried about missing the audition and the TV show and freaked out.  Then after the audition he got a call from a friend who said You’re Pinocchio.  He didn’t realize they meant the part of Pinocchio.  What was weird was being a puppet after controlling puppets after so many years.

2.  What was your favorite bloopers from Shrek the Musical?

John:  It would have to be his nose.  The nose worked with a motor and extender and it worked about 90% of the time.  Then at one show it wasn’t working and after we thought it was fixed, it randomly snapped and broke and was just hanging there.  That was a matinee show.  Then all of the sudden that night it broke and happened again.

3.  What is your favorite moment in the show and your OMG moment in Shrek the Musical?

John:  The finale.  It’s the only time we’re all together and the music with the song.  It’s also one of the only times he gets to see Sutton Foster.

4.  In the show there’s a cross dressing wolf, a fairly flamboyant Farquaad and a song called Freak Flag.  What other positive messages of encouragement and empowerment can parents expect to find in the show that can help make their kids and people watching feel better about themselves?

John:  That’s funny that you mention that.  The song Freak Flag is all about being who you are, accepting who you are and that it’s ok to be different.  The princess teaches girls that they don’t have to be perfect and that even a princess has flaws.  Even the most bizarre characters like a cross dressing wolf is ok, that’s just who he is and people should love him anyways.

He then goes on to talk about the production value which unlike other shows that have been filmed was filmed in front of a live audience and with 10 cameras.  It is a real production that can help you feel like you’re actually at a show.  It is going to be amazing.

5.  What did you do as an Actor to help audiences who may not have seen a ton of shows realize which broadway shows you were making fun of or spooking?

John:  John talks about the different shows like Wicked, A Chorus Line, Pippin and other shows that were somewhat obvious but only a broadway fan would get.  I’m glad you noticed and brought it up.  Having the spoofs of other shows will hopefully help get more people out to broadway shows and to start to see more theatre.

6.  Is Imaginocean going to tour again or what do you have in the works?

John:  Actually yes, we’re turning it into a TV show and we’re starting to film shortly.  It’ll hopefully be live within the next few years.

7.  What is your favorite moment in Shrek the Musical and what should everyone watching look for?

John:  Gosh it changes so much.  He talks for a while and really gets you excited about it but ends with Freak Flag being the best moment.  It is the one time in the show where everyone no matter how tired or worn out they were always energizes everyone, gets everyone ready to go and brings out the energy in everyone.

I’d like to thank John Taraglia again for taking time to talk with me today and to share what Shrek the Musical is about for him, what he is working on and even where he gets some of his cabaret music which can be anything from a ballad to something funny or anything in between.  I hope you all go out next week and buy Shrek the Musical on BluRay and DVD as well as watch Imaginocean when it goes on TV and the tour when it tours.   Thank you all again for reading.

Here is John Tartaglia playing Pinocchio in his favorite part of the show and song Freak Flag from Shrek the Musical.