Brian Stokes Mitchell (who insists on being called “Stokes”) is an award winning Broadway actor, recording artist, film & television actor and voice over artist. He won a Best Actor Tony Award in 2000 for his role in Kiss Me, Kate. He lives in New York City and is heading to Cleveland this weekend to host Cleveland’s Gay Pride Parade & Festival, Saturday at Voinivich Park, and to perform with North Coast Men’s Chorus at PlayhouseSquare.
Stokes started playing the piano when he was 6, when given the opportunity to study acting in San Diego, he jumped at it. The rest, as they say, is history. As an adult he has been seen in Ragtime, Kiss Me, Kate, Carnival and played the lead role in the revival of Sweeney Todd for Stephen Sondheim’s 70th birthday celebration at Kennedy Center in 2002.
If you find yourself thinking, “That guy looks familiar!” it is likely from his two episode (so far) role on GLEE! He appeared alongside Jeff Goldblum as one half of Rachel’s Dads and said it was Lea Michele who picked him. I asked him how he landed the role, he said, “Lea, who plays Rachel on GLEE, she was the original little girl in Ragtime. So, I’ve known Lea since she was 7 or 8 years old.” He continues, “They’ve had these two Dads for her that they’ve been talking about since the pilot of the show, and when they finally wanted to put them into the show they asked Lea, ‘well who would ya like?’ and my name is who she asked for! Which was really great.”
I continued on to ask about his connection to Cleveland, favorite Broadway shows and dream roles. For the answers, check out the interview in it’s entirety below…