Robert Gonzales Jr.

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Biography

A Texan born and raised, Robert moved from College Station, Texas to New York City in November 2002 to pursue his acting career. Since that time, he has been very fortunate to have been performing almost non-stop.  Robert is a singer trained in opera, legit and musical theatre.  He is also an accomplished choreographer with several credits in New York City, New Jersey and Texas; and also has credits as a director, assistant director and musical director.

In August 2005, Robert was asked to join Millennium Talent Group (MTG) and stepped into their Off-Broadway production of Fools in Love, a reimagining of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with 50s and 60s doo wop music, as an understudy. He also appeared in the production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as a Doo Wopper.  At the beginning of 2006, he was asked to take the role of Puck and played that role until December 2006 when the show closed.  Also, during the run, Robert performed every male role, at least once, in Fools in Love.

In April 2006, Robert created the role of Caliban for MTG's Off-Broadway production of Tempest Tossed Fools, a reimagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest with original music.  He was the only person ever to appear as Caliban during the run of the play, which ran until December 2006 when the show closed.  During the run, he performed the roles of Puck and Caliban in rep for 6 months.

Robert has also originated roles in five new plays and two new musicals written by Barbara Kahn that were performed at Theater for the New City.  The first show, 1918: A House Divided (2007), had him acting, singing and creating art, as the character Jamie, while playing his violin as part of the "cast orchestra."  The song "Last to Die", written by Allison Tartalia, was a song most memorable for the audience and never left a dry eye at the conclusion.  The second show, Ghosts of 14th Street (2008), Ms. Kahn wrote the part of Danny Cortez with Robert in mind to play the role.  He also choreographed the tap dance number incorporated into the play.  The third show, Walking from Rumania (2009), had Robert portraying Ion Stoichkov, a gypsy who tells stories and plays the violin.  The fourth show, Birds on Fire (2011), was based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.  He played the Guide, which consisted of multiple roles woven into the story, and was the choreographer and musical director for the show.  The fifth show, Unreachable Eden (2012), a follow-up to Ms. Kahn's play The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams, had Robert represented in multiple areas:  Co-Director, Musical Director, Choreographer and performing the lead role of Rudy Martinez.  For the next shows, Crossing Paths in Washington Square (2013) and Women of the Wind (2015), Robert continued as co-director, choreographer and performing the lead roles of Alonzo Santini and Eddie Prinz (respectively).

In October 2008, Robert performed the role of Fakir in a concert production of The Secret Garden, where the writer of the music, Lucy Simon, attended one of the performances.  In an email sent to Robert after the performance, Ms. Simon said, "You were wonderful.  Your voice is excellent, and you hit those high notes perfectly." 

Beginning the summer of 2009, Robert was asked to choreograph/teach at the prestigious Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts camp in the Catskill Mountains.  He also had the honor of being an assistant choreographer with Stagedoor Manor for the finale of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2009.

During 2010, Robert performed more frequently in plays than the usual musical he's normally involved.  He began by tackling the Ben Jonson work Epicene, or the Silent Woman which had not been produced in New York City since the 1970s.  The show was a critical success and Robert received much praise for his portrayal of Morose.  Next, he began work on the NYC premiere of Dead White Males: A Year of Teaching in the Trenches by William Missouri Downs.  The play is a dark comedy that speaks about the educational system in America, something everyone is focusing on at the moment.  

In 2011, Robert started off the year by working more off-stage than on-stage.  He took jobs as a director, assistant director, musical director and choreographer.  During the Spring, Robert performed in his fourth production of the Attic Jr. series, creating the role of "Chris" in Wonders, Inc., a new children's musical based on the book of the same name. Towards the end of summer, Robert was asked to join the cast of Guess Who? Multimedia's production of Benny the Baboon.  Benny... is an original musical that focuses on the plight of the Chacma baboons who share the surburban landscape of Cape Town, South Africa.  It was being produced as an NYC premiere after an initial staged reading in LA.  In September, Robert directed a 1937 melodrama called Curses, The Villian is Foiled! as part of the Stevens One Act Festival.  In October, he directed and choregraphed a remount of The Theater Company's production of The Rocky Horror Show, which he choreographed at the beginning of the year.  In November, he began work on his fifth new musical work by Barbara Kahn.

In 2012, Robert began the year working as a director, musical director, choreographer and performer.  In March, he reprised his role as "Travis" in the Attic Jr. series production of The Athlete, Princess, Pirate, Fairy, Welder, Deep-Sea Diver Club.  In June, he will begin work as a member of True False Theatre's 2012 underSTUDY Residency Program which, over the course of a year, the director and actors will re-imagine Shakespeare's Hamlet by experimenting with the language and staging of the play as an ensemble.  In October, Robert performed in the witty and sarcastic musical Tomfoolery by Tom Lehrer and choreographed, once again, The Theater Company's production of The Rocky Horror Show.  In December, he began work on his sixth new work by Barbara Kahn.

In 2013, Robert joined the ensemble cast of I Hope They Serve Beer on Broadway by Tucker Max.   He was part of the original cast and performed the play Off-Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway. In October, Robert performed in Smokey Joe's Cafe in the same theater where he performed the same production 10 years earlier. 

In 2014, Robert performed in a regional revival of The World Goes 'Round by Kander and Ebb and began work on his seventh new work by Barbara Kahn.