If you've been a longtime reader of Steve On Broadway, the name Jon Michael Hill is not new to you. In fact, I first wrote about this gifted young actor in this space on July 10, 2006 when he was performing in the excellent Bruce Norris play, The Unmentionables.
My first words about Hill were as follows:
Even as the booming off-stage voice instructs the audience to silence their cell phones, a menacing, cocky young man named Etienne (Jon Hill) saunters down the aisle looking as if he might not belong before finally calling out to the audience that they should not bother staying for this show. Of course, it's all a ruse, but it's clearly designed to set the stage for the play and challenge some preconceived notions about race and appearance even before the performance begins.More recently, I provided many of you with your more recent introduction to his talents when I wrote this past July 16:
Take a close look at the smiling face to the left. Examine it very carefully. Because this is the exciting face of tomorrow's Broadway.
Ever since Hill made his impressive Broadway debut in the superb Superior Donuts that opened October 1, he's been the subject of a lot of good buzz that amounts to so much more than just a sugar rush. Flush with great reviews and even some well-deserved Tony talk, Hill is making a name for himself on the Great White Way.
It may be a month overdue, but The New York Times is finally sitting up and taking notice. In a terrific story by Patrick Healy, Hill is profiled and assessed by his peers, including director Tina Landau, who states:
“Jon was one reason I said, ‘Count me in,’ ” said Tina Landau, a Steppenwolf ensemble member who directed the play in Chicago and New York. “He’s completely mercurial. He can do everything and its opposite. That’s so exciting to see in a young actor.”Like I've said before, keep your eye on this exciting young actor. By swinging by the Music Box Theatre and seeing him perform this fall, I have no doubt that you'll have bragging rights in someday saying -- when he's a major star -- that you saw him when.
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