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Michael Rupert
Michael John Rupert

(1951-10-23) October 23, 1951 (age 70)
OccupationActor, 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. Rupert originated the role of "Marvin" in the William Finn musicals March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland.

Early life

Rupert made his Broadway debut in 1968 in Kander and Ebb's The Happy Time as the young Bibi Bonnard, which earned him his first Tony Award nomination, for Featured Actor in a Musical.[1] He returned to California after The Happy Time, and appeared in local theater while in high school.[2]


In 1974, Rupert returned to Broadway as a replacement in the role of Pippin.[3] [4][5] In 1981, he appeared on Broadway in Shakespeare's Cabaret.[3][4] He then originated the role of Marvin in two William Finn musicals, March of the Falsettos (1981) at the Off-Broadway Playwrights Horizons[6] and Falsettoland (1991, initially at Playwrights Horizons).[7] In 1986 he appeared as Oscar in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity,[8] for which he won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.[9] He played Alex in the musical Mail, which ran on Broadway between March and May 1988 and for which he composed the music with book and lyrics by Jerry Colker.[5][10] He was a replacement in the role of Stine in City of Angels in 1991,[4] played Marvin again in Falsettos in 1992,[2] and was in Ragtime as a replacement Tateh.[4] 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.[11] He originated the role of Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde (2007) on Broadway[12] and on the National tour, starting in February 2010.[13][14] He appeared in the play 7th Monarch Off-Broadway at the Acorn Theater, opening in June 2012.[15] He appeared in the Broadway revival of On the Town as Judge Pitkin, which ran from October 2014 to September 2015.[16]

In regional theatre, he starred 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.[17]

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.[5][13] He was in the Legally Blonde video which was broadcast on MTV in 2007.[18]

In addition to acting, Rupert has directed several plays and musicals. In 1997 he directed The Lunch Anxieties by Larry Kunofsky Off-Broadway and a musical, The Stars In Your Eyes by J. Arlington Meyrelles III in 1998 in an Equity workshop production.[19] Rupert is also a composer. He wrote the score to Strange Vacation[19] and Mail. He composed the music for the musical Streets of America and also co-wrote the book and lyrics with Matthew Riopelle. The musical was presented at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in 2007.[20][21] He wrote the music, with book and lyrics by Jerry Colker to the musical 3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down, which ran Off-Broadway in February through June 1985.[22] The musical won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book. His debut single, "Racing to the Moon" was released on August 18, 2008 on the Footlight label.[21]

Rupert lives in New York City with his life partner, Will Chafin.[13]


  1. ^ "The Happy Time Listing"., accessed July 16, 2012[dead link]
  2. ^ a b 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
  3. ^ a b "Rupert Credits". Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine InternetBroadwayDatabase, accessed July 17, 2012
  4. ^ a b c d "Mike Rupert". Archived 2012-11-15 at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 17, 2012
  5. ^ a b c Holden, Stephen. "A Musical With A Bundle of Letters In Leading Roles". The New York Times, April 10, 1988
  6. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'March Of Falsettos, ' A Musical Find ". Archived 2016-11-07 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, April 10, 1981
  7. ^ Christiansen, Richard. " 'Falsettoland' Closes A Trilogy On A Skillful, Provocative Note". Archived 2013-05-15 at the Wayback Machine Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1990
  8. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'Sweet Charity,' A Bob Fosse Revival". Archived 2016-08-07 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, April 28, 1986
  9. ^ 1986 Tony Awards". Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 16, 2012
  10. ^ Rich, Frank. "Review/Theater;Epistles Set to Music, In Colker-Rupert 'Mail' ", The New York Times, April 15, 1988, Section C; p.3
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary. " 'Legally Blonde' Ends San Francisco Run Feb. 24; Broadway Next" Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, February 24, 2007
  13. ^ a b c Cherkinian, Harry. "A Life in the Theater". Archived 2016-08-16 at the Wayback Machine, March 25, 2010
  14. ^ "Michael Rupert Returns to 'Legally Blonde' on Tour, February 10, 2010
  15. ^ (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
  16. ^ " 'On the Town' Broadway Revival" Archived 2016-08-12 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, accessed July 16, 2016
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Michael Rupert Stars in East Coast Premiere of Harry Connick Jr.'s 'The Happy Elf', Starting Nov. 12". Archived 2010-11-15 at the Wayback Machine, November 12, 2010
  18. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott. "MTV To Re-Air 'Legally Blonde' on Thanksgiving"., November 20, 2007
  19. ^ a b Lefkowitz, David. Novice "Director Michael Rupert To Share Anxieties & Romance"., November 26, 1997
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Rupert's 'Streets of America' to Premiere at Pittsburgh Playhouse". Playbill, October 31, 2007
  21. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam. "Michael Rupert to Release Single "Racing to the Moon" Aug. 18"., August 6, 2008
  22. ^ Rich, Frank. "Theater: '3 Guys Naked,' A Musical". The New York Times, February 6, 1985