Later this month, Daniel Quadrino will be opening in Waitress the Musical as Ogie for their upcoming national tour for a run at Booth Playhouse from April 19th to May 22nd, before heading to Cleveland’s Playhouse Square on May 26th. In 2020, Daniel had been in the cast of FLY at La Jolla Playhouse before it was cut short due to COVID. Previous roles for Daniel have included Mike Teevee on the National Tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Crutchie in Newsies, and he reunited with some of the cast for NBC’s Peter Pan Live!. On Broadway, Daniel understudied the role of Boq in Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, and over the years, he has been part of many readings and workshops. Daniel is also a music artist and released his latest single last year Feel Your Love, with plans to release more music in the future. We recently spoke to Daniel about his upcoming run as Ogie in Waitress, his time as Mike Teevee on the National Tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and understudying Boq at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre in Wicked.
It’s been announced you’ll be playing Ogie in the upcoming tour of Waitress the Musical, was there anything that drew you to the role and production?
I knew I was going to love this show the moment I heard Sara’s (Bareilles) What’s Inside concept album. The music is so beautiful and the show is crafted so wonderfully. Every time I hear and see it, something new sticks out. Jessie Nelson’s book stays true to Adrienne Shelly’s screenplay and is a touchingly beautiful story. Ogie has been a dream role of mine for a while and when this opportunity came along, it was something I couldn’t pass up… Ogie has such a huge heart and his love for Dawn is so honest and rooted with such sincerity, and to me, that’s what makes him the most endearing.
What are you most looking forward to for starting your run as Ogie and what do you think you’ll bring to the performance?
I love how absolutely head over heels in love Ogie is with Dawn from the moment he sees her on their five-minute date. Their love is something so beautiful in the show, and it shows the audience that true love can and does exist! I think I am most excited to find the sincerity and spontaneity of Ogie that moves him to spontaneously erupt into poetry.
You’ve recently started rehearsals, how was it reading the script for the first time and meeting the rest of the cast?
Rehearsals are amazing and this cast is full of amazing humans. It’s so nice to be back in a rehearsal room and it’s a major plus to get to do a show as beautifully crafted as WAITRESS is. I love getting the chance to be part of this production and seeing it come to life in the rehearsal space.
Can you tell us about your time in FLY at La Jolla Playhouse, which you performed in before the pandemic?
FLY was my second time travelling to Neverland and it was so fun because I got to experience it in a different way. This version and retelling of the classic Peter Pan was told from Wendy’s point of view and followed her way around the island of Neverland. Although it was cut short because of the pandemic, we got 27 previews and three shows in post-opening. It was such a feat and had so many amazing technically challenging elements. I was so proud of us and the fact that we were able to get to opening night was something I will never forget… in more ways than one.
You played Mike Teevee in the National Tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what are some of your stand-out highlights from your time in the musical?
Playing Mike and performing that story for a year on tour was challenging and exhilarating. Doing a show that has such a strong connection to pop culture in general is always really challenging because everyone has an idea of how the character “should” be played. Getting to play Mike with my own spin was a thrill. It was my first role full-time and principal. In many ways, it was a giant career step because up until then, I had understudied in every show I’ve done. I’m forever thankful for my time at the Chocolate Factory and I walked away from that show with a lot of lessons learned about myself as a performer and person. I grew so much being away from my NYC home for a full year.
Is there anything you enjoyed most about playing Crutchie in Newsies and what is the production like to do?
Newsies was my reintroduction into the professional theatre scene. I made my debut at 17 and then didn’t really work for four years after that. I was too young for adult roles and too old to play a kid. Newsies came along and I auditioned upwards of 20 times before I actually got the show. Once I booked the show, I learned my ensemble track in three weeks and then started learning my understudy tracks: Davey and Crutchie. Crutchie was a character that spoke to me so much on a personal level, and I instantly fell in love with playing him. After the show closed on Broadway, I went on to play him regionally at a few theatres, and it was great because I got to finally sing the song they added for him on the touring production. Crutchie tugs at my heart strings every time I see the show and getting the honour of playing him is something I will never forget.
Do you remember how you felt booking your role in the Broadway production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, and how was it understudying the role of Boq?
Playing Boq was one of the coolest experiences for me because I grew up ON Wicked. I was beyond obsessed with the show, and I saw the show so many times before I joined the company!
Wicked, in general, was such a dream come true for me in many ways. I saw the show in eighth grade and was instantly enthralled and transported into Oz. I remember turning to my mother at intermission after watching Idina Menzel SLAY Defying Gravity and said “I’m going to be in this one day”… fast forward some years, I got a call that I would be in the show and understudying Boq! It all clicked and set in the day I went on for the first time, and my middle school self was absolutely BESIDE HIMSELF. I felt like I made him so proud, and it was honestly a dream come true. I love Wicked so much, and I hold my two-and-a-half years there very close to my heart.
Can you talk about some of the readings and workshops you’ve been involved with over the years and do you have a favorite aspect of being part of them?
Doing workshops and readings is something everyone in the industry hopes to be doing, and it’s something that is so exciting because you get to see a show be molded and come into shape. It’s an amazing opportunity to be in something while it’s in development because you have an inside look on how musicals are made… something I always wondered growing up. To get the chance to be a part of any sort of new work is always a dream! I always love seeing shows start in early development and then see them onstage living their fullest life.
What was it like being a Lost Boy in Peter Pan Live! for NBC and how was it being part of the cast?
Peter Pan was such an awesome experience! Being a Lost Boy was very similar to being a Newsie… partly because we were made up of mostly former Newsies. It was such a nice way to start something so big that could have very easily been scary, and having my fellow Newsie brothers along for the ride made it such a nice and easy transition. On our way to the soundstage where we did the live broadcast, we would pass my community theatre where I did shows growing up, and it was an amazing full circle moment and realisation that “I was making it” and my dreams were coming true thanks to my hard work.
Last year, you released your latest single Feel Your Love, can you tell us about it and do you have any future music plans?
I do have plans to release more music!!!! It’s all coming but it’s on pause so I can focus on my time with WAITRESS. I am also learning so much by listening to the score every night that it’s influencing the way I am approaching my music from a storytelling standpoint. Feel Your Love was a labour of love and a love letter to all of those who couldn’t be around their loved ones and the ones closest to them during the pandemic.
Follow Daniel on: