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Michael Rupert
Michael John Rupert

(1951-10-23) October 23, 1951 (age 72)
Occupation(s)Actor, singer, composer, director
Years active1968–present
SpouseWill Chafin
Awards1986 Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Michael John Rupert (born October 23, 1951, Denver, Colorado) is an American actor, singer, director and composer. In 1968, he made his Broadway debut in The Happy Time as Bibi Bonnard for which he received a Tony Award nomination and the Theater World Award. He originated the role of "Marvin" in the William Finn musicals March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland. Rupert has been the nominee and recipient of several Tony and Drama Desk awards.

Early life

At 16 years old, Rupert made his Broadway debut in 1968 in Kander and Ebb's The Happy Time as the young Bibi Bonnard.[1] His performance earned him the 1968 Theater World Award and his first Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Musical. At the 22nd Tony Awards, Rupert performed "The Happy Time" and "A Certain Girl" from The Happy Time alongside his castmates Robert Goulet and David Wayne.[2] He returned to California after The Happy Time, and appeared in local theater while in high school.[3] During this time he appeared in the Disney film The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and as Gery in the 1975 film adaptation of A Boy and His Dog.[4]



Rupert returned to Broadway in 1974 as a replacement in the role of Pippin.[5] [6][7] In 1981, he appeared on Broadway in Shakespeare's Cabaret.[5][6] He then originated the role of Marvin in two William Finn musicals, March of the Falsettos (1981) at the Off-Broadway Playwrights Horizons[8] and Falsettoland (1990), which initiated at Playwrights Horizons before moving to the Lucille Lortel Theater.[9] When March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland were performed together under the name Falsettos in 1992, Rupert once again played the role of Marvin, for which he received a nomination for the 1992 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.[10] In 1986 he appeared as Oscar in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity,[11] for which he won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.[12] In the 1988 musical Mail, Rupert not only originated the role of Alex, but composed the music as well.[7][13] He was a replacement in the role of Stine in City of Angels in 1989[6] and was in Ragtime as a replacement Tateh in 1999.[6]

In 2003, he performed with Betty Buckley, Christian Borle, Carolee Carmello and Keith Bryon Kirk in the Lincoln Center staging of William Finn's Elegies: A Song Cycle.[14] He originated the role of Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde (2007) on Broadway[15] and returned to the role on the National tour, starting in February 2010.[16][17] Rupert appeared as Kenneth Sharpe in the play 7th Monarch Off-Broadway at the Acorn Theater, opening in June 2012.[18][19] He appeared in the Broadway revival of On the Town as Judge Pitkin, which ran from October 2014 to September 2015.[20]

In regional theatre, he starred as Norbert in a workshop production of The Happy Elf, composed by Harry Connick, Jr. at Montgomery College's Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Rockville, Maryland in a co-production with Adventure Theatre, Washington, DC in November 2010.[21]

His television credits include guest roles on series such as My Three Sons, The Waltons, Marcus Welby, M.D. and its legal spin-off Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Another World, Emergency!, Cannon, Alice, The Partridge Family, Alias Smith and Jones, Hawkins, Cheers, Law & Order and New York Undercover.[7][16] Also he was in the MTV broadcast of Legally Blonde in 2007.[22]


In 1997, Rupert directed an Off-Broadway production of he The Lunch Anxieties by Larry Kunofsky at the Harold Clurman Theatre. He directed J. Arlington Meyrelles III's musical, The Stars In Your Eyes, in an Equity workshop production in 1998.[23] Rupert directed Thrill Me: Leopold & Loeb Story (2005) at the York Theatre.


Rupert composed the music, with book and lyrics by Jerry Colker, to the 1985 Off-Broadway music 3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down, which won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book and was nominated for Outstanding Music.[24] The score for Mail (1988) was also written by Rupert with Colker once again writing the book and lyrics. Rupert wrote the score to Strange Vacation (1998) and collaborated with Allan Heinberg.[23] He composed the score and co-wrote the book and lyrics with Matthew Riopelle for the musical Streets of America (2007).[25][26] On August 18, 2008 the number "Racing to the Moon" was released Footlight Label as a single featuring three different performances: one by Rupert, another by actor Sebastian Arcelus, and an instrumental version by the guitarist David Timmons. His debut single, "Racing to the Moon" was released on August 18, 2008 on the Footlight label.[26]

Personal life

Rupert lives in New York City with his life partner, Will Chafin.[16]

Theater Credits

Year Production Role
1968 The Happy Time Bibi Bonnar (Original Broadway Cast)
1974 Pippin Pippin (replacement)
1981 Shakespeare's Cabaret Michael
March of the Falsettos Marvin (Original Cast)
1986 Sweet Charity Oscar (revival)
1988 Mail Alex
1989 City of Angels Stine (replacement)
1990 Falsettoland Marvin (Original Cast)
1992 Falsettos Marvin (Original Cast)
1999 Ragtime Tateh (replacement)
2003 Elegies: A Song Cycle Original Performer
2007 Legally Blonde Professor Callahan (Original Broadway Cast)
2012 7th Monarch Kenneth Sharpe
2014 On The Town Judge Pitkin (revival)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1968 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical The Happy Time Nominated
Theater World Award Theater World Award Won
1985 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music 3 Guys Naked From the Waist Down Nominated
1986 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Sweet Charity Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
1992 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Falsettos Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "The Happy Time Listing", accessed July 16, 2012 [dead link]
  2. ^ "1968". Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  3. ^ Pacheco, Patrick. "STAGE : The Tenor of His Career: With his starring role in 'Falsettos' on Broadway, Michael Rupert has moved to the top ranks of the musical comedy field". Archived 2014-03-14 at the Wayback Machine Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1992
  4. ^ Jones, L. Q. (1975-11-14), A Boy and His Dog (Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi), LQ/JAF, retrieved 2022-10-07
  5. ^ a b "Rupert Credits". Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine InternetBroadwayDatabase, accessed July 17, 2012
  6. ^ a b c d "Mike Rupert". Archived 2012-11-15 at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 17, 2012
  7. ^ a b c Holden, Stephen. "A Musical With A Bundle of Letters In Leading Roles". The New York Times, April 10, 1988
  8. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'March Of Falsettos, ' A Musical Find ". Archived 2016-11-07 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, April 10, 1981
  9. ^ Christiansen, Richard. " 'Falsettoland' Closes A Trilogy On A Skillful, Provocative Note". Archived 2013-05-15 at the Wayback Machine Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1990
  10. ^ "1992". Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  11. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'Sweet Charity,' A Bob Fosse Revival". Archived 2016-08-07 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, April 28, 1986
  12. ^ 1986 Tony Awards". Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 16, 2012
  13. ^ Rich, Frank. "Review/Theater;Epistles Set to Music, In Colker-Rupert 'Mail' ", The New York Times, April 15, 1988, Section C; p.3
  14. ^ Holden, Stephen."Theater Review; Departed Friends Vibrantly Recalled in Song". Archived 2012-08-06 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, March 28, 2003
  15. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary. " 'Legally Blonde' Ends San Francisco Run Feb. 24; Broadway Next" Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, February 24, 2007
  16. ^ a b c Cherkinian, Harry. "A Life in the Theater". Archived 2016-08-16 at the Wayback Machine, March 25, 2010
  17. ^ "Michael Rupert Returns to 'Legally Blonde' on Tour, February 10, 2010
  18. ^ "7th Monarch, a Curtainup review". Retrieved 2022-10-08.
  19. ^ (author unknown). ‘7th Monarch,’ by Jim Henry, at the Acorn Theater". Archived 2012-07-01 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, June 25, 2012
  20. ^ " 'On the Town' Broadway Revival" Archived 2016-08-12 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, accessed July 16, 2016
  21. ^ Jones, Kenneth (12 November 2010). "Michael Rupert Stars in East Coast Premiere of Harry Connick Jr.'s The Happy Elf, Starting Nov. 12". Playbill. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  22. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott. "MTV To Re-Air 'Legally Blonde' on Thanksgiving"., November 20, 2007
  23. ^ a b Lefkowitz, David. Novice "Director Michael Rupert To Share Anxieties & Romance"., November 26, 1997
  24. ^ Rich, Frank. "Theater: '3 Guys Naked,' A Musical". The New York Times, February 6, 1985
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Rupert's 'Streets of America' to Premiere at Pittsburgh Playhouse". Playbill, October 31, 2007
  26. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam. "Michael Rupert to Release Single "Racing to the Moon" Aug. 18"., August 6, 2008