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Jonathan Groff & Alfred Molina in RED

August 14, 2012


Words seem to come easily to wavy-haired Jonathan Groff, and his soft voice lacks the pretension one might expect from a 27-year-old who never studied acting per se but who became a Broadway star six years ago as Melchior Gabor in Broadway’s Spring Awakening. His eyes rarely break contact as he chats about collaborating with Alfred Molinain John Logan‘s Red at the Mark Taper Forum. It is his first time working with Molina.

“I have never worked with anyone like him before,” Groff says, paying homage to the 59-year-old British actor who morphs seamlessly between such disparate film characters as Diego Rivera in Frida, Comte de Reynaud in Chocolat and the mad scientist, Doc Ock, in Spider Man 2.

“I can tell you I have never been in a rehearsal with him where at least several times a day I do not get chills. The hair on the back of my neck totally stands up. He’s such a incredible actor.” The experience, he says, has been moving and inspiring. It also parallels the play itself. In Red, his character, Ken, is tutored by the much older 20th-century Russian painter,Mark Rothko (born Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz, 1903-1970).

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