This Week on Broadway for November 26, 2023: Chip Zien


Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk with Chip Zien.

“This Week on Broadway” has been coming to you every week since 2009. It is the longest-running running Broadway and theatrical podcast with hundreds of shows giving thousands of reviews and interviews.

Subscribe to BroadwayRadio in Apple Podcasts by CLICKING HERE.

Support BroadwayRadio on Patreon:

Patreon listeners get This Week on Broadway first, on Sunday afternoon before it is released to the general public on Sunday evening.


Peter Filichia | [email protected] | Facebook
PETER FILICHIA is a playwright, journalist, and historian with a number of books. His new book, Brain Teasers for Broadway Geniuses, is now available wherever finer books are sold. Peter also has columns at 
Masterworks BroadwayBroadway Select, and many other places.

Michael Portantiere | [email protected] | Facebook
MICHAEL PORTANTIERE is a theater reviewer and essayist. He is the founder and editor of He is also a theatrical photographer whose photos have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications. You can see his photography work at

Matt Tamanini | [email protected] | Twitter | Instagram
MATT TAMANINI is a theatre, entertainment, and sports journalist who has been covering theatre for more than a decade. He is the news editor for
TheStreamable, the co-managing editor for Land-Grant Holy Land, and is a host and producer for multiple shows on BroadwayRadio.

James Marino | [email protected] | Twitter | Facebook

Note: This week we had listeners join us while recording. These listeners are Patreon members who support BroadwayRadio. If you would like to join us in the future, become a supporter at


Guest: Chip Zien

Harmony – Chip Zien Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Chip Zien: IBDB | IMDB

Chip Zien is thrilled to have played RABBI (Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations) in the long-awaited New York (Off-Broadway) premier of HARMONY by Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow and excited to be moving uptown. Just prior, he was seen as the bombastic Mr. Stopnick in The Roundabout’s acclaimed production of CAROLINE OR CHANGE. He created the central role of the Baker in Sondheim/Lapine’s award-winning INTO THE WOODS and created the role of Mendel in William Finn’s highly decorated FALSETTOS. He was seen on B’way in IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, preceded by THE BIG KNIFE, The Roundabout’s THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE, THE COUNTRY GIRL directed by Mike Nichols ‘and as Thenardier in the revival of Les Miserables. He also appeared in Tommy Tune’s GRAND HOTEL playing Otto Kringelein, the memorable dancing bookkeeper. Other Broadway credits include The Boys From Syracuse, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, ALL OVER TOWN directed by Dustin Hoffman, THE SUICIDE with Derek Jacobi. Mr. Zien began his long association with William Finn in the New York premier of IN TROUSERS, the first Marvin musical, at Playwrights Horizons playing Marvin and appeared thereafter in the original productions of MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS and FALSETTOLAND. He also starred in the La Jolla reworking of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (L.A. Drama-Logue Award).

Off-Broadway, Mr. Zien has been equally comfortable in plays and musicals. Among his many credits: THE 27th MAN and the Delacorte’s revival of INTO THE WOODS for the Public Theater. ANONYMOUS, Peter Parnell’s AN IMAGINARY LIFE, Wendy Wasserstein’s ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (Drama Desk Nomination), Michael Weller’s SPLIT and MOONCHILDREN, Lanford Wilson’s HOT L BALTIMORE (both in NY and LA’s Mark Taper Forum), Allan Ginsburg’s KADDISH, as well as Finn’s A NEW BRAIN (Drama Desk Nomination), DIAMONDS, the Ashman/Menken REAL LIFE FUNNIES, and the hit revue TUSCALOOSA’S CALLING ME, etc.

TV, Mr. Zien appeared on the final season of House of Cards. He received excellent notices for his recurring role on HBO’s THE NIGHT OF. He has been a series regular on THE CAROLINE RHEA SHOW, ALMOST PERFECT (CBS), NOW AND AGAIN (CBS), DEADLINE (NBC), SHELL GAME (CBS), LOVE, SIDNEY (NBC), and REGGIE (ABC). Through the years Mr. Zien guested on over 60 popular shows, as well as numerous pilots.

On film, his most recent featured role was in SIMCHAS AND SORROWS now on the festival circuit. He played the Chief Executive to the President of the United States in THE SIEGE, a rather shady attorney in Brian De Palma’s SNAKE EYES and was even the voice of the infamous HOWARD THE DUCK. Also: ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE UNDEAD, UNITED 93, BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS, DOROTHY PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, GRACE QUIGLEY with Katherine Hepburn, SO FINE, HELLO AGAIN, HOUSE OF GOD, and THE ROSE.

Mr. Zien has also turned his attention to writing. His musical, THE HISTORY OF WAR was selected and presented at The New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF). His one-man show DEATH IN ASHTABULA and a musical revue TRAVELS WITH MY DISCONTENT showcasing the music of Deborah Abramson were both developed and performed at The Barrington Stage.

Additionally, Mr. Zien has performed his solo cabaret and concert act at 54 Below and his CD, SERIOUSLY UPBEAT, recorded live, is available on the web. Mr. Zien attended the University of Pennsylvania. His wife, Susan Pilarre, is a former soloist with the NYC Ballet and currently teaches at the School of American Ballet. They are the proud parents of two wonderful daughters and three grandchildren.

Harmony @ Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Harmony at La Jolla


Peter’s Brainteasers:

He had the eleven o’clock number – a solo – in a Tony-winning musical. Some years later, he appeared in a film version of a different Tony-winning musical, but in this movie, he didn’t sing a note. He later appeared many, many times in the leading role of yet another Tony-winning musical, not on Broadway, no, but on many a national tour. Who is he?

Michael’s Musical Moments


Music Opener:

Overture from HARMONY

Music Closer:

Threnody from HARMONY

Support BroadwayRadio on Patreon:

Patreon listeners get “This Week on Broadway” on Sunday afternoon before it is released to the general public on Sunday evening.

Explicit: No

Contact Info:

Email addresses: See above in bios

BroadwayRadio Phone / Voicemail: +1-888-285-4666

BroadwayRadio: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the episode name.


Patreon | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | iHeart Radio | TuneIn | Pandora | Google Play > YouTube Music

…and anywhere that you can listen to finer podcasts.

Comments are closed.