Robert Montano shares a wild autobiographical ride in his one-person play about the wears of childhood, family, racism, bulimia, and the misunderstood life of being a jockey. Nearly ravaged by addiction in order to stay “SMALL,” Montano ignites complex and universal themes of struggle and sacrifice to pursue a passionate dream, first to race horses and then to be a professional dancer. A Rocky story of the racetrack, SMALL is about a boy transforming into a man by following his heart… and his feet.”
A Premiere Stages and Kean Stage co-presentation.
SMALL had its world premiere at Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, NY
(Joe Brancato, Artistic Director and Andrew M. Horn, Executive Director)
SMALL photos by Dorice Arden Madronero
Robert Montano was raised in Hempstead, LI, close enough to Belmont Park Racetrack, where he had his first career as a professional racehorse jockey. However, by age 18, Mother Nature caught up to him and outgrew his silks. Smitten by the film Saturday Night Fever, Robert traded his jockey boots for ballet slippers and applied to Adelphi Universities’ dance department at age 20 without any prior training. He was accepted and offered a full scholarship. One week shy of graduating, he booked his first professional job in Cats.
His career took off, jumping from one show to the next, working with great directors and choreographers such as Hal Prince, Rob Marshall, and Jerome Robbins. He has also had the pleasure of working with the legendary Chita Rivera in Kiss Of The Spider Woman and her act, Chita Plus Two. He sang and danced with Peter Allen in Legs Diamond and starred as Ozzie in On The Town, directed by the innovative George C. Wolfe.
He has created roles for the Academy Award-nominated writer Jose Rivera in Cloud Tectonics, and References To Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot. Other roles include Lynn Nottage’s play Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine, Bess Wohl’s Barcelona, Tira Palmquist’s Two Degrees, Ken Lin’s Fallow, Richard Vetere’s One Shot One Kill, and Edwin Sanchez’s Diosa. At Actors Theatre Of Louisville, Robert was given the honor to portray Cal in the epic of East Of Eden, directed by Jon Jory, later to be invited back to exercise his Shakespeare in Comedy Of Errors. He has also played Ralph, opposite John C. Reilly, in Marty at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company.
In television: he’s guest starred in Showtime’s City On A Hill, Bull, Prodigal Son, Blue Bloods, NCIS: New Orleans, Elementary, Search Party, Sex In The City, CSI: Miami, Law & Order, and HBO’s film Undefeated, directed by John Leguizamo. Film: He appeared in Shame with Michael Fassbender, played opposite Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix in The Yards and partnered with Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago. Other notable work includes Center Stage, It Runs in The Family, and Passionada. www.robertmontano.com
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