Robert Westenberg (born October 26, 1953) is an American musical theatre actor, acting teacher and professor. He appeared on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George, The Secret Garden and Into the Woods, as well as several other musicals. He is the musical theatre coordinator and associate professor in the theatre and dance department at Missouri State University.
Early life and education
Born in Miami Beach, Florida, but raised in Fresno, California with his six siblings. Westenberg graduated Bullard High School in 1971, where he was active in sports, specifically football. He then attended California State University, Fresno.
He made his Broadway debut in the 1983 revival of Zorba as Nikos, for which he won the Theatre World Award. He took over the role of George in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George in September 1984, and played opposite Bernadette Peters. He received a Tony Award nomination and won a Drama Desk Award for his performance as Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf in Sondheim's Into the Woods (1987). It was during this show where he met his wife, Kim Crosby, who played Cinderella. He starred with Mandy Patinkin, Daisy Eagan, Alison Fraser and Rebecca Luker in the original Broadway production of The Secret Garden in 1991.
In 2002, Westenberg was in the US and Japan tour of The Full Monty. Westenberg has been in several MUNY (St. Louis) productions. He played Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady in 2001 opposite his wife, Kim Crosby, as Eliza Doolittle.
He played the roles of both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in the July 2007 St. Louis MUNY production of Peter Pan. He reprised these roles in a 2009 production in Branson, Missouri, with Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan. In 2012, he directed a production of Les Misérables at Springfield Little Theatre.
Television and film credits
Westenberg's film credits include Mr. and Mrs. Bridge and The Ice Storm. He has made guest appearances on Third Watch, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the short-lived series Aliens in the Family. He played Prince Raymond on the soap opera, One Life to Live from 1989-90.
Stage credits (select)
Additional Broadway credits
- Sunday in the Park with George
- Les Misérables
- Into the Woods
- The Secret Garden
- Abe Lincoln in Illinois
- Professor Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady; 2008)
- Captain Hook and Mr. Darling (Peter Pan; 2007)
- Mr. Brownlow (Oliver!; 2006)
- Captain Georg von Trapp (The Sound of Music; 2005)
- Professor Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady; 2001) (with Kim Crosby)
- Captain Georg von Trapp (The Sound of Music; 2000)
- John Adams (1776; 1999)
- The King (The King and I; 1999)
He married actress and singer Kim Crosby on June 19, 1991, and the couple now have three children.
Westenberg lives with his wife, daughters Emily and Katherine, and son Joe in Springfield, Missouri, where he is musical theatre coordinator and associate professor in the theatre and dance department at Missouri State University. He was previously chair of the theatre program at Drury University.
- "Robert Westenberg Bio" masterworksbroadway.com, accessed July 2016
- Rawson, Christopher. "Stage Preview: 'Medea' brings top-class, hard-working actor to the bad-guy role of Jason" post-gazette.com, September 28, 2001
- "Award-winning actor to lead MSU’s musical theatre program" missouristate.edu, February 1, 2016
- " Zorba, Broadway 1983" Playbill (vault), accessed July 27, 2016
- " Sunday in the Park with George Broadway 1984" Playbill (vault), accessed July 27, 2016
- " Into the Woods Broadway 1987" Playbill (vault), accessed July 27, 2016
- Culwell, Logan. "Did They Finish the Hat? Where Are the Stars of 'Sunday in the Park with George' Now?" Playbill, May 12, 2015
- " The Secret Garden Broadway 1991" Playbill (vault), accessed July 27, 2016
- Ehren, Christine. " 'Full Monty' 's Westenberg, Woods Bare All for Boston, DC, San Fran, Japan", Playbill, March 22, 2002
- "2002 Interview with Robert Westenberg" talkinbroadway.com
- Gans, Andrew. "He's Flying: Francis Jue Is 'Peter Pan' at the Muny Beginning July 16" Playbill, July 16, 2007
- Cantrell, Rachel. "Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan" branson.com, May 15, 2009
- Jones, Kenneth. Westenberg and Crosby Spar in The Muny's 'My Fair Lady,' July 30-Aug. 5" Playbill, July 30, 2001
- Ehren, Christine. "'Sit Down, Bob!': Westenberg Returns to '1776' via St. Louis Muny, July 26-Aug. 1" Playbill, July 25, 1999
- " 'INTO THE WOODS' Tony Nominee Robert Westenberg Joins MSU Faculty" broadwayworld.com, February 2, 2016
- Gordon, David. "5 Facts We Learned About 'Into the Woods' During the Original-Cast Reunion" theatermania.com, June 22, 2015