“Facebook is torture! It’s like homework! I can’t stand it,” said the very funny Mario Cantone in an interview with Hamptons.com just days before his Memorial Day Weekend headlining visit to the Hamptons to kick off the summer. What about Twitter? “I’m much more of a voyeur,” he replied, “I look at what other people are saying and I have to strap my fingers down sometimes and not comment.” The Massachusetts native, who now lives in New York City, will be in the spotlight on Sunday, May 26, 2013, at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center for a fast-paced adults-only show that will have the audience roaring.
“I’m excited.” He explained about the trip to the theater in a part of the Hamptons he’s never visited before. “This is the first time it was offered and I grabbed it.” Then he deadpanned, “I’m old and I just sit around waiting for offers.” At 54, Cantone is hardly old. The successful actor began his career in the mid-1990s with “Love! Valour! Compassion!” on Broadway. “My first Broadway show character [Buzz] was my favorite. It was in 1996 and I replaced Nathan Lane in the show and it was the start of it all.”
What followed was a string of Broadway and off-Broadway shows until he hit the pop-culture mainstream on HBO’s “Sex and the City” starring alongside Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon. As Anthony Marentino, this acerbic gay wedding planner, he charmed fans on the series and in the two follow up movies. However his heart stayed with the bright lights of Broadway, “I love doing Broadway. I love theater. Financially, however, series are nice too. Doing a series, just like a play, you get very close to the cast-members and you miss them when it’s over. You really do. You don’t want it to be over. You just love the show.”
So comfortable in the bright lights of Broadway, you’d never guess that seemingly no-holds-barred Cantone is agoraphobic. “I don’t like crowds. I like to be home a lot. I’m a homebody. I am quite at home.” While at home he’s reading his way through a Frank Sinatra biography, “Frank: The Voice” by James Kaplan, while listening to R&B from the likes of Eric Benet, Maxwell, Michael McDonald, and Lousiana native Mark Broussard. When he’s not on stage or at home he guest hosts on “The View” alongside Barbara Walters and Joy Behar. “Get the press going,” he said when talk turned to the reported vacancies at the host table,”I might replace Barbara, I might replace Joy. Just kidding. They are so sweet and they continue to make me part of their vaginal family.”
Fans will love his one-man show in the Hamptons which blends stand-up with plenty of music. “I love all of the music stuff. I love the musical impressions. I love having my band with me. Any time we do a show I have a full piece band and I love that. There’s plenty of stand up but I love the music. It’s a lot of fun.” The show features a campy blend of Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Bruce Springsteen, and an original song, “Laugh Whore”.
“I am coming out for the weekend and am looking forward to it,” remarked Cantone enthusiastically as we wrapped our interview. “I cannot wait!”
Catch Mario Cantone at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Sunday, May 26, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. For tickets visit www.WHBPAC.org.