Trinity Alum Ross Lekites is currently playing Erwin Bach in the Original Broadway Company of Tina, the Tina Turner Musical. He was recently seen in New York City Center’s production of Brigadoon (a show he did at Trinity his junior year) playing Charlie Dalrymple, alongside Kelli O’Hara and Patrick Wilson, and directed by Christopher Wheeldon. Other Broadway and National tour credits include Frozen (Original Broadway Cast), Kinky Boots, West Side Story (Tony), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph). He has worked regionally in shows such as Triangle (Theaterworks, San Francisco), Good News! (Goodspeed Opera House), South Pacific (Riverside Theatre Florida), West Side Story (Ogunquit Playhouse), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and many more. He has also worked on Broadway cast recordings including Brigadoon, Frozen, and the Off-Broadway hit musical Yank! He has been seen nationally and internationally starring in multiple concerts with The Boston Pops, Philly Pops, San Diego Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Bulgaria Symphony. He has worked with famed conductors such as Keith Lockhart, Rob Fisher, Patrick Vaccariello, Todd Ellison, and John Wilson. Most recently Ross starred as Tony in West Side Story with the John Wilson Orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall, presented live on BBC Radio. He has had some success in TV & film with Frozen 2, ABC’s Time After Time, and an independent film, Walking To Maryland.
Singing started at an early age for Ross, the acting came later. “I started singing at a very young age just in the car with my mom or singing along to Disney movies, and I never had an interest in theatre. In middle school I started in choir, which I also did all 4 years at Trinity. It wasn’t until my freshman year that I suddenly felt an attraction to the performing aspect of it. Trinity was doing Children of Eden and I said to myself, ‘This is what I want to do!’ At the time I was on the state championship ice hockey team and on the wrestling team. I made the choice to drop wrestling, and I did my best to stay with hockey until theatre took over completely.”
When Lekites started doing Trinity productions, the performing arts department was led by Trinity Hall-of-Famer Mr. Billy Bradford. “Billy is one of the most brilliant, patient men I have ever met. He taught us every aspect of the business, from front of house to backstage, and we learned the value of the entire company. I keep in touch with him to this day. My sophomore year I was cast in my first musical, Into The Woods. It is still my favorite show of all time, and I have some of my fondest memories from that show. I’m still in touch with some of that cast. James Pumphrey was another classmate who I shared the stage with. He is making a big name for himself in LA where he started a very popular YouTube channel called Donut Media.”
Lekites made the decision to pursue musical theater the summer after his junior year at Trinity. Even after speaking with Mr. Bradford about what a “hard road and difficult life” musical theater can be, he knew that’s what he wanted to do. “I have had to leave town on tours and regional jobs, leaving behind my wife and friends and family just to keep working. Now at this point in my career I have had success on Broadway which allows me to be home with my wife, and I am very fortunate for that. It’s something that I never take for granted.”
“Trinity always taught me the importance of brotherhood. Brotherhood stretches into family values, work relationships, and human decency. I have always tried to be a good friend, son, and husband, and I have tried to treat everyone the way I would want to be treated.”
The future continues to look bright for Lekites. “I am having a very good 2019 so far! I was in the original cast for Frozen on Broadway for all of 2018 and up until June of this year. I left the show to do a week of symphony concerts with the San Diego Symphony followed by a production of Kinky Boots at the St. Louis Municipal. I took two months off during the summer to travel to Italy and Cape Cod and to see family. Best decision I ever made! I started rehearsals for the new Tina Turner Broadway musical in August, and we are currently in performances. I have no idea what’s next for me, but I am very happy to be where I am in life!”