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Broadway Road Trip Series: Chester, CT with Jesse Swimm

We interviewed musical theatre actor Jesse Swimm to learn which of his favorite cast albums he would take on a road trip.

Jesse Swimm is the textbook definition of a triple threat. The actor/singer/dancer has graced Broadway stages and touring houses both here in the U.S. and internationally. His resume is impressive with roles in School of Rock (original Broadway cast) Mary Poppins, Grease, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line, and Guys and Dolls. 

Discover Chester with Jesse Swimm

With so much experience traveling the world, Swimm was a natural choice to help me plan a road trip set to a Broadway cast recording. 

When asked about his nearest and dearest roles, Swimm cited his time in the closing cast of Mary Poppins | WhereTraveler
Jesse Swimm and cast, Mary Poppins Broadway Company (Courtesy Jesse Swimm)

The Interview

Where: What city are you in these days?

Swimm: Currently, in New York City. Haven’t left since the pandemic started.

Where: What projects were you working on before the pandemic?

Swimm: I was part of the first reading of the Broadway-bound Karate Kid the Musical as Ali’s Dad/Mr. Coturri/Announcer. The show was directed by Amon Miyamoto (Pacific Overtures) with music and lyrics by Drew Gasparini (Night Shift). It was so awesome to be in a room with such incredible talent...Broadway star and legend Kate Baldwin plus some of the best from Aladdin, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen. Working on new material that was such a huge part of a generation of moviegoers was beyond thrilling. I’m truly excited to see where the project goes. It is incredible music and the 80’s feel is alive and well in the show.

Where: That’s so cool. Of all the shows you’ve been in, which roles are nearest and dearest to you?

Swimm: I was a cast member of the closing company of Mary Poppins on Broadway which was my Broadway debut in the ensemble and covering Bert. I was also an original company member of School of Rock on Broadway as a swing.

Where: You’ve been in the city since the pandemic started. I’m sure you’re ready for a road trip. Where would you go and what cast album would you listen to along the way?

Swimm: The Merritt Parkway on the way up to the Goodspeed Opera House near Hartford, Connecticut is always a favorite. The winding roads, the solitude, no semi-trucks. It’s very relaxing. Recently, I’ve been stuck on the Rock of Ages original cast album. Mostly because I was cast in a production to do the show. We are postponed until next summer now.

Where: What are your favorite songs on the album?

Swimm: “Here I Go Again” and “Oh Sherrie.”

Where: Would you sing along?

Swimm: Is the Pope Catholic?

Where: Where are you stopping along the way?

Swimm: I would love to stay at Mohonk Mountain House. In regards to a bar/restaurant, anywhere that has a great lobster roll and good beer. Here are a few top picks!

The Mohonk Mountain House, modeled after a Victorian castle, has been an iconic hotel and resort in the Hudson Valley since 1869 | WhereTraveler
Mount Mohonk House (©Dariusz Gryczka/shutterstock)

The Destinations

The Mohonk Mountain House, modeled after a Victorian castle, has been an iconic hotel and resort in the Hudson Valley since 1869. Mohonk reopened this summer with more stringent safety precautions to both overnight and day guests. Hike through the 85-mile trail network in the surrounding 40,000 acres of pristine forest or enjoy a day of golf out on the green. Visitors can rent a canoe on Mohonk lake or take a stroll through the Victorian gardens. The spa and farm-to-table restaurant on-site are providing limited service and, to make mealtime safer for all guests, room service is offered free of charge during dining hours.

The Brushmill by the Waterfall is the most scenic place to take Jesse Swimm’s advice and grab a lobster roll. The Brushmill serves classic yet elegant American cuisine in what was originally a grist and sawmill from the 1800s. Relax on the romantic outdoor patio overlooking a waterfall with a glass of wine. The house lobster roll is served hot and seasoned with sherry butter but there are several other house options for a lobster indulgence. There are lobster tail skewers, lobster bisque, or an entree of twin Maine lobster tails in a white wine and garlic butter sauce. They’re also serving decadent cuts of steak like prime rib in 16 and 28-ounce portions, a 16-ounce Delmonico with gorgonzola, and filet mignon in 4 and 8-ounce portions in a port wine demi-glace with caramelized onions.

The best place to grab a beer on Jesse’s road trip is at Little House Brewing Company. The outdoor beer garden is open Friday-Sunday and pick-up is available Wednesday-Sunday. The small yet mighty brewery has a menu full of lagers, ales, IPA’s (New England, Imperial, and American styles), and a cider made from local culinary apples fermented with wild strawberries and rhubarb. 

Check out Jesse's website or follow him on Instagram @jswimm1 (bonus: he regularly posts photos of his adorable dog, Sara).

The best place to grab a beer on Jesse’s road trip is at Little House Brewing Company. |  WhereTraveler
(Courtesy Little House Brewing Company)