Christopher Kale Jones is now starring opposite Santa and young Stella Rose Hoyt as the dashing lead in Theatre at the Center’s holiday hit “Miracle on 34th Street –The Musical” through Dec. 23.
A familiar face and talent who draws audience applause, Christopher returns to the TATC stage in 2019 performing in concert with Michael Ingersoll April 6 for “Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll.”
I caught up with Christopher between shows for a Q&A to share his latest highlights in the spotlight…
- Your stage resume includes both extended schedule performances that range from Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” and TATC’s “Miracle on 34th Street” to special event weekend concerts with Michael Ingersoll’s Artist Lounge Series such as your tribute show to Bobby Darin you performed last summer at TATC. Do you prefer one work platform over the other or do you like the variation?
Christopher: I enjoy working in each platform for different reasons, though my heart will always go to Acting. I am so grateful to have been able to work on all of these wonderful jobs and have taken something with me from each experience.
2. Is it an extra special stage experience when you are cast in a holiday show run such as TATC’s “Miracle on 34th Street?”
Christopher: Performing in a holiday show kicks you right into that holiday spirit! It brings me a lot of joy to do what I love, and celebrating the love of Christmas sometimes twice a day definitely is a treat.
3. How did you get your start in the performance field and do you get lots of people who ask about “Kale” being included for your marquee name?
Christopher: Well, as you know there is another Chris Jones in town, and many others with the same name… Once I had the opportunity to join Actors’ Equity (the actor’s union) I had to use my full name because Chris Jones was already taken. Fun Fact… many people think that Kale is pronounced like the leafy green… but actually it’s pronounced KAH-LAY…which is Charles (a family name) in Hawaiian (reflecting my home state).
4. How many years did you perform in “Jersey Boys” and is that how you met Michael Ingersoll to join the iconic PBS performance group “Under the Streetlamp?”
Christopher: I was lucky enough to be the original “Frankie” in “Jersey Boys” after the Broadway Tony-winner, headlining the 1st national tour for approximately 2 years. I also played Frankie for a short stint in Las Vegas after that. Michael played “Nick” in that 1st company and to this day he is my best friend. I was actually one of the founding members of Under the Streetlamp, and toured with them until about a year ago when I decided to put roots down in Chicago with my family.
5. You earned audience ovations for your June 2018 TATC concert tribute to Bobby Darin. Were you always a fan of Darin’s talent or did a producer or booking agent suggest you were the ideal stage artist to capture his vocals and persona to do this stage tribute?
Christopher: I’ve always loved Bobby Darin’s music, but it was a reviewer from VARIETY who came to see my original “Frankie” in Jersey Boys at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles that tipped me on to my likeness of him. They said I had the chops of Valli but resembled more of young Bobby… which got me thinking. After that, I discovered his full song book and knew I had to do something with his body of work.
6. What can TATC audiences expect when you join Michael Ingersoll in April on the TATC stage for this new Artist Lounge Series concert event “Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll?”
Christopher: A fun night! Like I said, Michael is my best friend… which means we like to bust each other’s chops (all in good fun, of course), sing the music we love to sing, and hang out with the best musicians in the Chicagoland area. Picture The Smothers Brothers blended with The Everly Brothers singing a whole bunch of good old time rock and roll, and you’ll start to get the picture!
7. What is one special secret, talent or personal anecdote about Christopher Kale Jones which might surprise your fans?
Christopher: I have always loved math and numbers, which seems odd for a creative type. I actually double-majored for a bit in Mathematics at Northwestern University, and at one point, I could solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes. I also have a love of fitness and am currently getting certified as a personal trainer to pass that love on to others.
- Fellow PBS television stars from Under the Streetlamp fame, as well as Jersey Boys castmates Michael Ingersoll and Christopher Kale Jones unite for an uplifting evening of inspirational rock anthems including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by Frankie Valli, “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, and “America The Beautiful” by Ray Charles, when they bring their show “Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll” to Theatre at the Center for two performances 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2019. Tickets: $45 or for TATC subscribers $40 or for Students $20 by calling 219-836-3255 or www.TheatreAtTheCenter.com
- And don’t forget the Artists Lounge 4-Show Package also available for $135 and includes:
Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll – April 6
Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul – June 15
Karen Carpenter: We’ve Only Just Begun – Aug. 24
Elvis: My Way – Oct. 26
(Group rates available by calling 219-836-3258)