Arturo Hilario / El Observador
Danny Burgos dances, sings, and occasionally dresses up like a fork and a knife.
Burgos is currently in the touring Broadway version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, which will come to San Jose Center for the Performing Arts from April 1-3. His personal road to Broadway has been an unconventional journey full of turns and interesting points, eventually landing him in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”.
“I grew up in Miami Florida and I didn’t really grow up around any arts or any sort of drama or theater or anything like that but there were some Saturdays in the month where I would go to church and one of my aunts was the choir director at church, and another was a section leader in the choir so I grew up listening to that music my whole life.”
His voice eventually came to notice, as he stood in for one of his aunts who couldn’t’ sing a certain day at church. “They gave me the solo at church and everyone kind of realized oh wow he’s got a voice, he can sing. So I grew up singing at church.”
Of Cuban-Puerto Rican heritage, Burgos says his Latinos parents put a lot of focus on him being the first generation American born, which left little opportunity to pursue dance and theater. “In Latin culture it is very normal for your parents to worry about you. They want what’s best for you, like every parent, but Hispanic parents go the extra mile and try to decide things for you as well! My Mom always wanted me to be a nurse, my aunt was a nurse my Dad worked in the health services field. I was actually a nursing student for 2 years at school because I really wanted to make people happy, I wanted to see my Mom happy I wanted to see my Dad happy because I was following in his footsteps. I feel like theres a lot of pressure to succeed.”
After his stint in nursing school Burgos began his path to the stage, doing some community college theater productions and getting cast in the musical “She Loves Me”. It was at this point that Burgos decided to make the leap of faith, and audition for the Musical Theater Program at Florida State University. “I was accepted in 2011 and I actually just graduated in May of 2015 with my Bachelors of Music and Musical Theater” he adds.
Burgos ended up auditioning for “Beauty and the Beast” a few months prior to graduation from FSU, and 3 months after his initial auditions he was in New York City doing the final interviews and preparations for the role. “They always make this joke in school that an actors job is just 20% acting, 80% auditioning, so while I was in school I was actually going in for auditions for “Beauty and the Beast” and to several other productions (but) “Beauty and the Beast” has always peaked my interest.”
Now as a full-fledged cast member in a Broadway production, Burgos admits it’s a rollercoaster of fun and requires determination as well as being nimble on stage. “In the first half of the show I am in the ensemble so you’ll see me as everything from a drunk townsperson to a fork and a knife in “Be Our Guest” In the second act is where I have a feature role, I play Monsieur D’Arque. Monsieur D’Arque is the owner of the insane asylum. I’m the bad guy kind of.”
Through the 2+ hour show Burgos says the excitement and dance routines are energetic and fun. His personal favorite point in the show is called “Gaston”, which is also in the movie. “They added a massive dance break and we all have mugs that we clink together. It’s without a doubt my favorite moment that we have on stage because it’s an ensemble of about 22 onstage doing this ‘big clink’, were we just clink together all our beer mugs and just have a good old time.” This is one of the moments where the choreography is much more improvised and as such can be a whole different spectacle from show to show.
To conclude, Burgos lays down his opinion on “Beauty and the Beast” as a whole. “It’s a really really fun show, you don’t need to have expectations, you don’t have to prep yourself for a long emotional night at the theater. If you love the movie you’ll love the show. All the characters and the lines that you know and love from the film. In the audience we have people from 8 years old to 98 years old. It’s a really fun and beautiful night at the theater. It’s a very very good time.”