Danny Burstein

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Danny Burstein
Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker.jpg
Burstein (left) and wife Rebecca Luker at a gala, December 2008
Born (1964-06-16) June 16, 1964 (age 54)
Mt. Kisco, New York
Occupation Actor, voice actor, stage actor, screen actor
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Rebecca Luker (2000–present)
Children 2

Danny Burstein (born June 16, 1964) is an American actor of stage and screen, who made his Broadway debut in 1992. He is a six-time Tony Award nominee; for The Drowsy Chaperone (2006), South Pacific (2008), Follies (2012), Golden Boy (2013), Cabaret (2014), and Fiddler on the Roof (2016). He has also won two Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, and received two Grammy Award nominations. His other Broadway credits include The Seagull (1992), Saint Joan (1993), and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2010).

Burstein's television work includes a feature-length episode of the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (2002); a Staten Island father in the first season of Louie (2010); he appeared as different characters in six episodes of the original NBC drama series Law & Order (1995–2015), and played the recurring part of Lolly Steinman on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (2010–11). His film appearances include Transamerica (2005), Deception (2008), The Family Fang (2015), and Indignation (2016).

Early life and education[edit]

Burstein was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, and was raised in New York City.[1] Danny's biological parents separated when he was two months old. He was raised by his mother, Virginia (Vega), a painter, and his stepfather, Harvey Burstein, a professor of Greek philosophy.[2][3] His mother, who is from Costa Rica, is Catholic and of Spanish descent, and his stepfather is Jewish.[4][5][6] Burstein attended the High School of the Performing Arts and Queens College in New York City. He received an MFA in Acting from the University of California, San Diego in 1990. Burstein's first acting job was in the chorus of The Music Man at The Muny in St. Louis during college.[7]


On Broadway, Burstein's sixteen appearances, which have garnered him six Tony Award nominations, have included A Little Hotel on the Side (1992), Yakov in The Seagull (1992–93), in Saint Joan and Three Men on a Horse (both in 1993), Paul in Company (1995), 1st Officer William Murdoch in Titanic (1997–99), Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone (2006–07),[8] Luther Billis in South Pacific (2008–10),[9] Taxi Driver in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2010–11), Tokio in Golden Boy (2012–2013),[10] Max in the Sharr White play, The Snow Geese (2013),[11] Herr Schultz in the 2014 revival of Cabaret (2014–15) and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof (2015–2016).

Burstein's Off-Broadway credits include Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night at the Atlantic Theater Company; Talley's Folly opposite Sarah Paulson at The Roundabout Theater Company for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award and a Drama League Award; the world premieres of A. R. Gurney's Mrs. Farnsworth (2004), opposite Sigourney Weaver and John Lithgow, at The Flea Theater[12] and Psych (2001) at Playwrights Horizons.[13] He also starred in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (1996 and 2002) at the Westside Theatre;[14] as Ru/Floor Monitor/Pianist in Merrily We Roll Along (1994) at the York Theatre at St. Peter's Church;[15] All in the Timing at the Houseman; as Daniel in Alan Menken and David Spencer's Weird Romance at the WPA; as Solomon in The Rothschilds and Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, both at Circle in the Square; The United Way at Ensemble Studio Theater; and A Class Act at Manhattan Theatre Club. He appeared in two concerts at Carnegie Hall: the Ira Gershwin centennial and as Steward in Sail Away, (1999).[16][17] He appeared in the Encores! (New York City Center) staged concert productions of DuBarry Was a Lady (1996), as Romeo Skragg in Li'l Abner (1998), as Tailor-Merchant in The Boys from Syracuse (1997) and as Mister Mister in The Cradle Will Rock (2013).[17][18][19]

He played the role of Buddy Plummer in the Kennedy Center production of Follies, which ran from May 7, 2011 through June 19, 2011 at the Eisenhower Theater, co-starring with Bernadette Peters, Ron Raines, and Jan Maxwell.[20] He reprised that role in the Broadway engagement of Follies at the Marquis Theatre from August 7, 2011 (in previews) through January 22, 2012, and continued with the production in its engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, California from May 3, 2012 through June 9, 2012.[21] He won the Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical[22] and was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Actor in a Musical.[23]

Burstein can be heard on the cast recording of many of these musicals. Among his many recordings is the musical Sweet Little Devil in which he introduced three George Gershwin, Buddy DeSylva songs. The score originally went unrecorded in 1924 and was finally recorded by PS Classics, with Burstein playing the role of Sam in 2012.[24]

Burstein's film roles include Duane Incarnate (2004),[25] Transamerica (2005),[26] Deception (2008), Nor'easter (2013), Trust, Greed, Bullets and Bourbon (2013), American Milkshake (2013), Autumn Whispers (2013), Affluenza (2014), Blackhat (2015), directed by Michael Mann, The Family Fang (2015), opposite Nicole Kidman and directed by Jason Bateman, Construction (2015), Indignation (2016), written and directed by James Schamus, and Liv, written & directed by Catherine Eaton. His many television credits include guest starring on Elementary (2017), all the Law & Order series, the BBC's Absolutely Fabulous (2002), the FX series Louie (2010), and The Good Wife. He was cast in HBO's Boardwalk Empire after director Martin Scorsese saw him in South Pacific, and after auditioning for three different characters, he landed the part of Lolly Steinman.[27]

Burstein has lent his voice in a number of video games, including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Manhunt 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Neverwinter Nights 2.

He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Frosch in Die Fledermaus (2013–14 season).

Burstein serves on the Artists Committee of the Kennedy Center Honors and has been a guest lecturer teaching at many universities such as Yale, NYU, Juilliard, UCSD and Queens College.

Burstein played the role of Tevye in the 2015 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, at the Broadway Theatre, directed by Bartlett Sher. The revival began in previews on November 20, 2015 and officially opened on December 20, 2015 and closed on December 31st, 2016.[28][29][30]

In the summer of 2017, he played the role of Nick Bottom in the New York Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In summer 2018 he will appear in Moulin Rouge! as Harold Zidler. Moulin Rouge! began preview performances on July 10, 2018, at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. The production is scheduled to officially open on July 22, 2018, and will complete its limited run on August 19, 2018.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Burstein is married to actress Rebecca Luker[32] and has two sons, Alexander and Zachary.[33][34]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2006 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical The Drowsy Chaperone Nominated
2008 South Pacific Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
2012 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Follies Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Astaire Award Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show Nominated
2013 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Golden Boy Nominated
2014 Best Featured Actor in a Musical Cabaret Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2016 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Fiddler on the Roof Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
2017 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Nominated


  1. ^ Danny Burstein sings 'Blues' in 'Follies' but feels great latimes.com, May 22, 2012
  2. ^ "THE LEADING MEN: Danny Burstein Digs Into a Group Theatre Classic, Golden Boy". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  3. ^ "From the Footlights: Street smarts on the South Seas". TimesLedger. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Danny Burstein on the Golden Roles that Made Him One of Broadways MVPs" broadway.com
  5. ^ "Dannys Double Life" playbill.com
  6. ^ "'Chaperone' in Good Company". Jewish Exponent. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  7. ^ Panarello, Joseph F. "Behind the Stage Door with Danny Burstein" Broadway World.com, July 6, 2006
  8. ^ Murray, Matthew. "Review, 'The Drowsy Chaperone'" talkinbroadway.com, May 1, 2006
  9. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Sher to Discuss South Pacific at Vivian Beaumont March 26" Archived 2009-01-14 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill.com, March 7, 2008
  10. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Starry 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' Opens on Broadway Nov. 4" Playbill.com, November 4, 2010
  11. ^ Purcell, Cary. "Danny Burstein, Victoria Clark, Christopher Innvar, Evan Jonigkeit Join Mary-Louise Parker in MTC's 'The Snow Geese'" playbill.com, August 26, 2013
  12. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review; Patrician Calm Can't Extinguish Embers of Pain" The New York Times, April 8, 2004
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Grad School is a Real Psych Out at Playwrights Horizons, Beginning Nov. 24" Playbill.com, November 24, 2001
  14. ^ Simonson, Robert "Perfect Casting: Danny Burstein Returns to Off-Broadway Revue" Playbill.com, April 16, 2002
  15. ^ " 'Merrily We Roll Along', 1994 York Theatre Company Production" SondheimGuide.com, accessed June 26, 2012
  16. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Review: 'Sail Away'" Variety, November 14, 1999
  17. ^ a b "BursteinBiography" BroadwayWorld.com, accessed June 27, 2012
  18. ^ "Encores! Previous Seasons" Archived 2012-06-29 at the Wayback Machine. New York City Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  19. ^ "Danny Burstein Star File" Broadway.com
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Hats Off, Here They Come, Those Beautiful Girls': Starry Follies Begins Kennedy Center Run May 7" Archived 2011-05-08 at the Wayback Machine., Playbill.com, May 7, 2011
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew (January 22, 2012). "Hey, L.A., We're Coming Your Way: 'Follies' Ends Broadway Run Jan. 22". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  22. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Once', 'Tribes', 'Follies', 'Salesman', Audra McDonald, Danny Burstein and More Are Drama Desk Winners" Archived 2012-06-06 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill.com, June 3, 2012
  23. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "'Once', 'Clybourne Park', 'Porgy and Bess', Audra McDonald, 'Salesman' Win Tony Awards" Playbill.com, June 10, 2012
  24. ^ Jones, Kenneth. Danny Burstein, Rebecca Luker, Philip Chaffin Will Sing Forgotten Gershwin Score of Sweet Little Devil on CD" Playbill.com, March 26, 2012
  25. ^ Scheib, Ronnie. "Review: 'Duane Incarnate', Tribeca" Variety, (webcache.googleusercontent.com), June 4, 2004
  26. ^ " 'Transamerica' Listing" AllMovie.com, accessed June 26, 2012
  27. ^ Lazarus, Catie. "Danny Burstein on Auditioning for Martin Scorsese, or is it Marty..." Youtube. 
  28. ^ Gordon, David. "Full Casting Revealed for Danny Burstein-Led 'Fiddler on the Roof' Revival" theatermania.com. October 7, 2015
  29. ^ Gans, Andrew and Viagas, Robert. "Danny Burstein Is Tevye in Broadway Revival of 'Fiddler on the Roof', Starting Tonight" playbill.com, November 20, 2015
  30. ^ "Fiddler on the Roof – Broadway Musical – 2015 Revival". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  31. ^ "Moulin Rouge! The Musical". www.emersoncolonialtheatre.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03. 
  32. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Madam Librarian! Actors Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein Tie the Knot" Archived 2012-10-22 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill.com, June 14, 2000
  33. ^ Nondorf, Tom. "The Leading Men: Burstein and Barrett" Playbill.com, December 3, 2009
  34. ^ "Fast chat: 'Follies' for Danny Burstein" Archived January 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Newsday.com, September 8, 2011

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