Brent DiRoma is a 2007 Seminole High School graduate who was nominated for a 2011 Helen Hayes Award for his work in the national tour of the Broadway hit Avenue Q. The nomination, which was for outstanding lead actor, nonresident production category, landed the 22-year-old in the same category as veteran actor Laurence Fishburne. Fishburne went on to receive the award Monday night in Washington. Before he moved to New York City, DiRoma built his resume performing with regional theaters around Tampa Bay, including West Coast Players, St. Petersburg Little Theater and Eckerd Theater Company. His favorite role in a musical so far? "Definitely Urinetown and Bobby Strong. That role with Eight O'Clock Theatre will always be a standout for me.'' We caught up with the actor by phone while he was home visiting family recently.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm not a very up-to-date reader. I seem to read a bunch of stuff that has been out for a long time. I don't keep up with new authors like I should. I'm reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Are you a fan of the other Hunger Games books and Suzanne Collins?
Actually, this is the first I've read. I have a friend who was reading it, and she told me to go backward. She told me it only gets better. It fills in a lot of dots, and Mockingjay drops you right in the middle of the story. I think (Collins) brings details out of characters and situations that not a lot of authors do anymore. She's got a romantic novelist feel and I find that super-interesting.
Would you recommend Perks of Being a Wallflower?
The teenager is the narrator, and I'm in the sixth or seventh chapter and realizing how the topics are incredible. It's accessible to everyone who has been a teenager.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer