Michael Arden

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Michael Arden
Arden, Michael (2006).jpg
Arden on September 10, 2006
Born Michael Jerrod Moore
(1982-10-06) October 6, 1982 (age 35)
Midland, Texas, U.S.
Education Juilliard School (BFA)
Occupation Actor, singer, composer, stage director
Years active 2003–present
Spouse(s)
Andy Mientus (m. 2016)

Michael Jerrod Moore (born October 6, 1982 in Midland, Texas, United States), known professionally as Michael Arden, is an American actor, singer, composer and stage director.

Early life[edit]

Growing up in Midland, Texas, he was active in the Pickwick Players, Midland Community Theatre's youth performing company.[1] He was a student at Trinity School, a college preparatory school in Midland. A Presidential Scholar in the arts, he received a scholarship to Interlochen Arts Academy as a theatre student, where he graduated in 2001.[citation needed] He was accepted on a full scholarship[citation needed] to the Juilliard School, where he was in the Drama Division's Group 34 (2001–2005).[2] He left Juilliard in 2003 to join the Broadway revival company of the musical Big River.

Career[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Arden made his Broadway debut as Tom Sawyer in the 2003 Roundabout and Deaf West revival of Big River. He also starred opposite John Hill in the 2004 off-Broadway show Bare, a Pop Opera. In Summer 2005, he played Nick, a sexually promiscuous gay man in love with a shark, in Adam Bock's surreal play Swimming in the Shallows at New York's Second Stage Theatre. He played the title character in Pippin for the World AIDS Day Broadway benefit concert in November 2004. He starred in the new Twyla Tharp musical The Times They Are A-Changin' based on the music of Bob Dylan. The Times ran January 25 to March 5, 2006 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California and then on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre from October 26, 2006 to November 19, 2006. In 2007 he starred as John Robert in Ace, at the Old Globe Theatre from January 13 to February 18. In the summer of 2007 he toured Europe with Barbra Streisand as one of her "Broadway Boys." From July to September 2010 he played the lead role in a revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

Arden's regional theatre credits include Pippin, God of Vengeance, Falsettoland, Tom Jones' Harold and Maude, West Side Story, Songs for a New World, The Common Pursuit and The Winter's Tale.

Beginning in October 2014, Arden played the role of Quasimodo in the new musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse. The production ran from October 26-December 7, 2014 and at Papermill Playhouse from March 4-April 5, 2015.

Arden directed Deaf West Theatre's acclaimed Broadway revival of Spring Awakening. The production marked his return to Deaf West and featured a cast made up of both deaf and hearing actors, performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and English. The production began in a small theater near Los Angeles' Skid Row in September 2014, transferred to the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills in May 2015, and finally transferred to Broadway, where it began previews September 8, 2015 and opened on September 27th, 2015 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.[3] On May 3, 2016 Arden received a Tony Award nomination in the category Best Direction of a Musical for his work on the Spring Awakening revival.[4]

Arden went on to direct the musical My Fair Lady at the Bay Street Theater in Southampton, New York in August 2016.[5] He then returned as the first Artist-in-Residence at the Wallis Annenberg Center, where he directed productions of The Pride and Merrily We Roll Along,[6] for which he earned a 2017 Ovation Awards nomination for Best Director of a Musical.[7]

Arden directed the first Broadway revival of the musical Once on This Island, which began previews on November 9, 2017 and opened on December 3 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, where it continues to run. The acclaimed revival, noted for its gender fluid casting and inspired staging, has been nominated for 7 Drama Desk Awards[8] and 8 Tony Awards, including a second Best Director Tony nomination for Arden.[9] The cast includes Hailey Kilgore and Alex Newell in their Broadway debuts as Ti Moune and Asaka, Lea Salonga as Erzulie, and Merle Dandridge as Papa Ge.[10]

Next, Arden will direct Annie at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2018 for the venue's annual summer musical production, with an announced cast featuring Lea Salonga and Megan Hilty.[11] Following Arden is slated to direct Jefferson Mays in his one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse beginning October 2018.[12]

Television[edit]

He has appeared in television on ABC's Grey's Anatomy (episode "17 Seconds" as Neal Hannigan) and in Numb3rs for CBS. He has also been seen co-starring with Donald Trump in a Domino's Pizza television commercial, and with Regis and Kelly in a 2006 Commerce Bank commercial. He was cast in the Fox show The Return of Jezebel James, which aired and was cancelled after three episodes in the spring of 2008. Arden recently had a recurring role in the NBC series Kings as Joseph, the secret boyfriend of the closeted gay heir to the throne, Prince Jack Benjamin. He also guest starred in an episode of The Closer as James Clark, a schizophrenic murder suspect, as well as guest starring in an episode of Bones as Harold Prescott. He will be starring alongside Radha Mitchell, Jeffrey Nordling, and John Heard in the new A&E drama The Quickening. Producers of The Good Wife announced in August 2011 that Arden had been cast in a recurring role as a potential love interest for the recurring character Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts).[13] He starred in the FX series Anger Management.

Film[edit]

Having also done work in film, he is a featured actor in director Colin Spoelman's independent effort "Underground", the story of five friends who become trapped inside a cave system deep below a mountain ridge in central Kentucky. Arden's more recent work included the 2011 movie Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Composing and writing[edit]

As a composer, Arden has written several works, including Easter Rising,[14] As You Like It, and Ripley.

Theatre credits[edit]

Acting
Year Production Role Category
2003 Big River Tom Sawyer Broadway
2004 Bare Peter Off-Broadway
2005 Pippin Pippin Regional (concert)
2005 Swimming in the Shallows Nick Off-Broadway
2005 The Secret Garden Dickon New York (concert)
2006 The Times They Are A-Changin' Coyote Regional
Broadway
2007 Ace John Robert Regional
2014–2015 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Quasimodo Regional
Directing
Year Production Credit Category
2008 A Tale of Two Cities Assistant Director Broadway
2014–2015 Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening Director Los Angeles
2015–2016 Broadway
2016 My Fair Lady Director Regional
2016 Merrily We Roll Along Director Los Angeles
2017 The Pride Director Los Angeles
2017 Once on This Island Director Broadway
2018 Annie Director Los Angeles

Filmography[edit]

Genre Year Title Role Episodes Notes
TV series 2006 Numb3rs Whitley "Backscatter"
TV series 2006 Grey's Anatomy Neal Hannigan "17 Seconds"
Film 2006 The Good Shepherd Pinafore Actor
TV series 2008 Cashmere Mafia Denis "Dog Eat Dog"
TV series 2008 The Return of Jezebel James Buddy "Pilot"
"Frankenstein Baby"
"Needles and Schlag"
TV series 2009 Bones Harold Prescott "The Bond in the Boot"
Film 2009 Bride Wars Kevin
Film 2009 The Cave Movie Sam
TV series 2009 The Closer James Clark "Identity Theft"
TV series 2009 Kings Joseph Lasile "First Night"
"The Sabbath Queen"
"Pilgrimage"
TV series 2010 The Forgotten James Poole "Mama Jane"
TV series 2011 The Good Wife Finn "Get a Room"
Short film 2011 Nurse Jackée Gabe
TV series 2011 Off the Map Pher "Everything's as It Should Be"
"Hold on Tight"
TV series 2011 Unforgettable Joe Williams "Lost Things"
Film 2011 Source Code Derek Frost
TV series 2012–2014 Anger Management Patrick All Episodes Main Cast
TV series 2012 GCB Reverend Steve Stewart "Pride Comes Before a Fall"
"Adam & Eve's Rib"
TV series 2012 The Mentalist Evan Kress "War of the Roses"
TV series 2012 Nurse Jackie Gabe "Slow Growing Monsters"
Film 2012 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Doug Wert
TV series 2012 Royal Pains Homer "Some Pig"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2015 Ovation Awards Direction of a Musical Spring Awakening Won
2016 Tony Awards Best Direction of a Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Director of a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Director of a Musical Won
2018 Tony Awards Best Direction of a Musical Once on This Island Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Director of a Musical Nominated

Personal life[edit]

He was born to a very young mother who also struggled with drugs and alcohol. When he was about 2-years old, his father committed suicide. Arden went on to live with his grandparents who raised him from a very young age in Midland, Texas.[15] He remembers the moment he caught the acting bug when he was only four years old. His grandparents had taken him to see Sesame Street Live and he says there's a memorable picture of him in which he is just on the edge of his seat, absolutely mesmerized. "It's almost as if I'm trying to get on the stage," he says. He also found a great theatrical outlet through his community theater company called the Pickwick Players.[16] Arden also found a mentor at the Episcopal school he attended, his English teacher, Shelly Wright. He says he asked his grandparents to let him build theatrical sets in their own garage.[17]

Arden is openly gay.[18] He first came out to his English teacher. But it took longer to tell his very religious Southern Baptist grandparents that he was gay. They both passed away in 2014.[16]

Arden got engaged to fellow Broadway and TV actor Andy Mientus on June 23, 2014. He and Andy Mientus planned proposals to each other the same day, without the other knowing.[19] They married on August 18, 2016, at Babington House, Somerset, England.[20] They have been together since November 14, 2010.[21] The two first met on October 26, 2006 during the opening night party of the Broadway show The Times They Are-a-Changin', in which Arden was a performer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wong, Wayman (April 1, 2004). "THE LEADING MEN: Candor and Ebb". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Alumni News". Juilliard School. September 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 
  3. ^ http://www.broadway.com/shows/spring-awakening-dw/
  4. ^ Times, Los Angeles. "'Spring Awakening' and Deaf West's unlikely road to three Tony nominations". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  5. ^ "Michael Arden Will Direct My Fair Lady This Summer". Playbill. 
  6. ^ Ng, David. "Wallis 2016-17 season to feature Simon McBurney, Peter Brook, plus 'Merrily We Roll Along'". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Michael Arden, Carmen Cusack, Merrily We Roll Along Earn L.A. Ovation Award Nominations". Playbill. 
  8. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Carousel, SpongeBob SquarePants, Mean Girls Lead 2018 Drama Desk Award Nominations". Playbill. 
  9. ^ Libbey, Peter. "Tony Awards 2018: Full List of Nominations". New York Times. 
  10. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, and More Join Once On This Island on Broadway". Playbill. 
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Michael Arden Will Direct Annie at the Hollywood Bowl". Playbill. 
  12. ^ "Michael Arden to Direct Jefferson Mays in One-Man A Christmas Carol". TheaterMania. 
  13. ^ "Exclusive: Good Wife Gives Alicia's Bro a Beau". TVLine. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Easter Rises at Joe's Pub — with Arden, Butler and Pasquale — Dec. 21" Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill.com. September 13, 2004.
  15. ^ Fung, Lisa (November 28, 2016). "Michael Arden, man of the moment in L.A. theater, stages a revival of a famously 'troubled' musical". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  16. ^ a b Medina, Monica (October 17, 2014). "Gay Broadway actor brings Quasimodo to town". Gay San Diego. Retrieved May 28, 2018. 
  17. ^ Interview with Deaf West’s director for SPRING AWAKENING, Michael Arden
  18. ^ Wong, Curtis (August 10, 2012). "Michael Arden Dishes His Upcoming NYC Gig, Charlie Sheen And Barbra Streisand". Huffington Post. 
  19. ^ "Michael Arden on Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Logo NewNowNext: Broadway Boys Andy Mientus And Michael Arden Got Married
  21. ^ Mientus, Andy (2015-11-14). "Instagram". Retrieved 2015-11-18. 

External links[edit]