Meet the World's Most Broadway-Savvy 6-Year-Old

With theater critics abuzz with Tony predictions, it can be hard not to join in, especially since it's getting so close to the big event Sunday night. But one critic in particular is having a really tough time deciding who—or which show—should take home the big award.

Meet Iain Loves Theatre, your new favorite 6-year-old theater enthusiast.

A little about Iain: He's from Arlington, VA, and his YouTube theater reviews are solid gold. Example A:

Iain's also a burgeoning reporter. He's interviewed Vanessa Hudgens, the kids from The King and I and Sting. (Yes, the Sting.) On Sunday night, Iain Loves Theatre will even be covering the Tony Awards' red carpet for Spoiler alert: Iain's tuxedo will have tails, because of course. "I really like the old-fashioned style," he told me earlier this week via FaceTime.

Here's my interview with Iain, who talks about his favorite musicals, shares his thoughts on the Tony nominees for Best Choreography and admits what really grinds his gears during a show.

Jenny Dalzell: What's the first show that really got you hooked on theater?

Iain Loves Theatre: That would be Hairspray. When I was 3 years old, my godfather directed the show and he got me tickets. We sat near the exit just in case, but I didn't need to leave. I loved it. So then I kept seeing more shows. And the first I saw on Broadway that got me hooked was Leap of Faith. That was amazing.

JD: Is there a particular dance style that works best for musicals?

ILT: There are a lot of styles that work for musicals and plays, but I think if you're only talking about musicals, probably tap and ballet would be the two best. I love tap dancing. It's really fun and happy—it just gets you moving and makes you want to snap!

JD: I think An American in Paris and On the Town might be the frontrunners for the Tony for Best Choreography. What did you like about them?

ILT: I liked how the dance in An American in Paris was very romantic. I also really liked the dancing in On the Town. I can't compare them. They both blow my mind. On the Town had great energetic dancing with flips and sailors and all these amazing things. I couldn't stop thinking about it after i saw it.

I also liked the dancing in The King and I because it showed different cultures. The Siamese characters put on a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin in the musical—it's a show within a show!—so you get to see a different kind of dancing and music, which is really great. And there's also a nice scene when Anna sings "Shall We Dance" that shows her culture and how she dances.

JD: How about the dancing in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Something Rotten!, which are also up for Best Choreography?

ILT: Well, The Curious Incident didn't have a lot of dancing, but Alex Sharp, who plays Christopher, really knew where to move onstage. His performance was so great. I'd love to see another show with him in it. And I loved the tap in Something Rotten!. If you're coming to NYC for the first time to see a show, Something Rotten! would be amazing, because it's funny and, well, I don't want to give it away! But there are a lot of surprises.

JD: Is there anything about seeing a show that really annoys you?

ILT: There's one thing I really don't like, but it's better to tell the story. I went to Rocky, which, by the way, was more than amazing. But in the theater, there were two ladies in front of me who were texting and taking pictures and videos during the show. That's prohibited! So at intermission, my grandma and I asked them to stop. They were very rude and they told the usher that I was misbehaving!

The same thing happened when I went to Finding Neverland. Everyone in the audience around me was texting! I don't even think they saw any of the show. I just wanted to scream. And Finding Neverland is so powerful. It makes you think about a lot of real things, and sometimes sad things, like dying. It also makes you just want to see more. It's another show that theater beginners should see.

Iain Loves Theatre's 2014 Halloween costume (Photo courtesy ILT's mom)

JD: Out of all the musicals ever, is there a part you'd love to play?

ILT: I love the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera. I was the Phantom for Halloween last year and I'm going to be him again. We had vampire cape and folded the neck down. Then all I had to do was get the mask and a hat. Next year I can wear my Tony tuxedo—the Phantom wears a tuxedo in the show, so I'll really look like him.

JD: Is Phantom of the Opera your favorite cast recording?

ILT: Well, I can't listen to Phantom at night. Like you might think, it kind of creeps me out. So I like to listen to it in the daytime—except for one song that I can listen to at night, "Music of the Night," because it's about the night. I also love the recordings of Man of La Mancha and Taboo.

JD: What's your favorite activity outside of theater?

ILT: Playing soccer with my dog, Coco. I like to kick the ball outside for him, and he always brings it back to me. I also take Tae Kwon Do. I'm a big collector of things, especially $2 bills. I'm also a part-time magician.

Iain with Chita Rivera (via Iain Loves Theatre)

JD: Who are you excited to see on the red carpet?

ILT: Miss Chita Rivera. I met her when I went to see The Visit, and she's so fantastic. I'm also hoping to see Matthew Morrison, who played J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland. He was more than fantastic. And I'll look like a miniature him: He wears a tuxedo with tails in the show, and my tuxedo for Sunday has tails, too.

I'm really hoping to see Kelli O'Hara. I've met her before and, oh my gosh, she's amazing. I'd also love to see Mr. Ken Watanabe, also from The King and I, Mr. Alex Sharp from Curious Incident and Ms. Kristin Chenoweth—I really want to meet her! I also can't wait to see the kids from King and I and Fun Home. They're amazing. I love kids who love musicals. Anyone who likes musicals is my kind of person!

Be sure to follow the Broadway and Tony Award adventures of Iain Loves Theater on Facebook and Twitter!

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search