Barrett Conrad Foa (born September 18, 1977) is an American bari-tenor singer, dancer, and actor, with over a decade in Broadway theatre shows. He has played many leading characters in off-Broadway and regional theatre productions. He has appeared in multiple Broadway shows, including Mamma Mia! and as Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q. From 2009 to 2021, he portrayed Eric Beale on the military police procedural NCIS: Los Angeles.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, dancer|
Early life and educationEdit
Barrett Conrad Foa was born and raised in Manhattan, New York. He is the son of Conrad Foa, an international insurance broker, former musician and Army veteran, and mother Linda Rimanich, an executive, editor and author. Foa's parents are both Manhattan natives, community and civic activists, philanthropists, and organizers in the Democratic party.
Foa graduated from The Dalton School, a prestigious K-12 college preparatory school in New York City. His interest in musical theater developed during his high school years. He was involved with the arts—especially musical theater—as a hobby, “a fun, non-athletic, after-school activity that kept me busy and helped me get a little attention”. Foa's view of the performing arts expanded greatly when he attended Interlochen Center for the Arts—a Northern Michigan prestigious school for music, dance, writing, film, visual arts and theater—during his four summers of high school in the 1990s. According to Foa, his experience at Interlochen “instilled the passion and the drive that I feel toward my craft and my business. Finally, I was surrounded by people who were obsessed with something that no else back home even understood. I got excited and I got voracious. "Other weirdos like me!' I still carry that hunger inside me to this day.” Over many summers, he had featured parts in plays, musicals, and operettas. Among other skills, he learned to sing in an operatic style for the play "Lend Me a Tenor." As an alumnus, he set up the Barrett Foa Musical Theatre Scholarship to be given annually to a high school camper studying musical theatre.
Foa received his first paid job at the New London Barn Playhouse, a summer stock theatre in New Hampshire, after an audition at StrawHat Audition in 1995, which he thinks was “instrumental in moving his career forward”. He was playing an effeminate version of evil Mordred in Camelot. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (UMich), earning his bachelor in fine arts (BFA) in Musical Theatre in 1999. He kept doing summer stock through his college years and had earned his Equity card by the time he got his bachelor's degree. During his junior year, he studied acting and William Shakespeare for a semester at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. After graduating from college, he returned to New York City.
Barrett's older brother by four years, Justin, is the fifth generation owner and CEO of Foa & Son, an international insurance brokerage firm established in 1861; and is married to Christianity scholar and professor Candida Moss. Their mother, Linda, died of breast cancer in June 2016.
Barrett bought an “unconventional architectural” three-story, two bedrooms home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles in 2016, that was just built, for $1.4 million. He listed it for sale in September 2020 at $1.7 million. In May 2019, he bought another home, a newly rehabilitated 1950s single-story three bedroom ranch-style structure in the foothills above L.A.’s Beachwood Canyon for $2.09 million.
In addition to various workshops and readings, Foa donates his time and talents to community causes and non-profit theatre companies and organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Actors' Fund.
Foa has played many leading roles in plays and musicals off-Broadway, and in regional theatre. His regional credits include Sweet Charity, The Music Man, Camelot, Pirates! The Musical, The Lady in Question, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Fantasticks. His off-Broadway credits, as of February 2020[update], include Buyer & Cellar, The Drunken City, Godspell, and Tio Pepe (aka Somewhere).[a]
Foa got his break playing Jesus in the 2000 off-Broadway revival of the musical Godspell for the 30th anniversary. He is on the cast album as well. His Broadway theatre debut was in 2001 as a cast member in the original production of Mamma Mia!, a musical based on 22 pop songs of ABBA. After months with the show, Foa left to accept a three-month job at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, California, where he created the lead role in a musical called Kept with music by Henry Kreiger and lyrics by Bill Russell.
After playing Matt in The Fantasticks at The Muny in St. Louis, Foa was picked to play Claudio in a dual production of Much Ado About Nothing at Hartford Stage and the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. In 2003 Foa was in the Cupid and Psyche-inspired four person, Off-broadway show of the same name which was also an updated Greek mythology and comedy. He was also in the musical Camelot as the evil Mordred portrayed with a thick Scottish burr who is a punk bastard.
Foa has performed on Broadway hundreds of times over a ten-year span; in the mid-2000s as Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q, and then was offered the role of Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He was the first actor cast in Avenue Q who had not been a puppeteer first, “It was a bit of a scary experience going into a room full of puppeteers and saying: ‘I'm going to be your new lead.’ They put me into an intensive two-day course and I proved at the audition I could fit in with everyone else. I got to be the understudy for a year”. He took over a lead role in Avenue Q in 2005, and in 2006, a lead in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
He played his last performance as Frederic in Pirates! an updated version of The Pirates of Penzance, on July 8, 2007, at the Paper Mill Playhouse. He played Karel in The Lady In Question, a play by and starring Charles Busch from August 14 through September 2, 2007.
From March 13 to April 20, 2008, he played Eddie in The Drunken City at Playwrights Horizons. He also played Tu-Ping in a workshop presentation of The Nightingale with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater at the New York Theatre Workshop directed by James Lapine.
In May 2008, he played Jordy in a workshop of Giant, a new musical with music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa and book by Sybille Pearson, based on the Edna Ferber novel and the movie with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean.
He had established himself on Broadway, and then took some friends’ advice and moved to Los Angeles in the late 2000s to pursue television work. He soon picked up cameo and supporting roles in Numb3rs, The Closer, and HBO's Entourage.
From 2009 to 2021, Foa has portrayed Eric Beale, a computer, and technology “wizard” on the military police procedural show about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS: Los Angeles. It was the first spin-off of NCIS, at the time the second most popular show in the country. The show is a procedural crime drama, but coupled with a “kind of a workplace comedy going on”. He auditioned for an operational psychologist character but the producers wrote the Beale part for him instead. It was his first stable job in his life with a ten-months a year, 9-5p schedule. His recurring role in NCIS: Los Angeles was upgraded to a series regular in the middle of the first season after twelve episodes. In April 2011 his character, in a series first, switched from his station in the operations center—and his casual surf wear—to do field work including using a gun. In May 2021, after the season finale of NCIS: LA, Foa announced that he is letting go from the series after twelve seasons.
Foa continues to do live performing in addition to his television work, “I'm used to having a live connection with an audience on a stage, and also after the show. ... There's more of an immediate personal touch.” In January 2011, Foa headlined the musical stage show Sincerely, John Hughes, a tribute to the films and soundtracks of film director John Hughes. Foa is co-writer, producer and star of "For The Record: John Hughes," a live musical event featuring scenes and songs from the movies of the 1980s film director; it played multiple sold-out runs in LA and NYC.
In July 2013, Foa played Harold Hill, the lead in the musical The Music Man, staged by the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. From May to August 2014, Foa played the lead in Jonathan Tolins’ one-man off-Broadway comedy Buyer & Cellar about an actor who manages a basement mall in Barbra Streisand's home. Her Malibu home's basement has a mall of quaint shops, “purely for her own amusement” built to house her extensive collections.
For NCIS: Los Angeles’ seventh season (2015-6), Foa's character, usually seen at headquarters, is trained for field work, including weapons handling. In May 2016 Foa bought a three-story, two-bedroom contemporary home in Silver Lake for $1.35 million.
In early 2019, Foa did a guest-arc cameo on Will & Grace as Will's love interest—and fellow teacher. In May 2019 he bought a $2.1 million 1950s three-bedroom ranch-style home in the foothills above Beachwood Canyon.
In 2019 he was given a leave of absence from NCIS so he did not have to commute from St. Louis, Missouri where he was playing Prior Walter, the lead in Tony Kushner's two-act, seven-hour play Angels in America. In February 2020 Foa led a cabaret benefit night, “Barrett Foa Has Friends!”, for the LA-based PAWS which aids people with chronic diseases care for their pets.
|2007||Six Degrees||Dylan||Episode: "Get a Room"|
|2008||Prop 8: The Musical||California Gays and The People That Love Them||Short Film|
|2009||Schoolhouse Rock!||Vocals||01 Episode|
|2009||Numbers||Andrew Gibbons||Episode: "First Law"|
|The Closer||Travis Myers||Episode: "Walking Back the Cat"|
|NCIS||Eric Beale||2 pilot episodes: "Legend"|
|2009–2021||NCIS: Los Angeles||Main cast|
|2009, 2010||Entourage||Matt Wolpert||2 episodes|
|2011||Submissions Only||Gil Bure||Web series; episode: "Yore So Bad"|
|2013||My Synthesized Life||Craig Carter||Web series; 2 episodes|
|2019||Will & Grace||Paul||Guest role|
- Harvey, Kerry (April 3, 2019). "NCIS: Los Angeles stars find love after nine years". Stuff. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Portantiere, Michael (March 31, 2003). "The Men of Camelot". TheaterMania. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Sewell, Amanda (July 9, 2020). "From puppeteering to dancing in flippers, Barrett Foa has many special skills". Interlochen Public Radio. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Matt Webb Mitovich (May 24, 2021). "Barrett Foa Reflects on His NCIS: LA Run and Finale Sendoff: 'I Love That I Got to Have One Family for So Long'". Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- David, Mark (May 30, 2019). "'NCIS' Star Barrett Foa Picks Up Beachwood Canyon Home". Variety. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "President's Club". Interlochen Center for the Arts. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
- "Linda Foa, Manhattan Design Industry Luminary, Died on June 17, 2016 – officeinsight". Office Insight. June 19, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Fathers Know Best: A Real-Talk Roundtable on Fatherhood". InsideHook. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
- Maloney, Carolyn B. (January 6, 2011). "Congressional Record Extensions of Remarks Articles". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
- Brockman, Craig (February 22, 2004). "Barrett Foa - from Dalton to Avenue Q". Broadway World. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Barrett Foa - NCIS: Los Angeles Cast Member, retrieved 2020-07-22
- Carlin, Marilou (August 6, 2014). "Securely Talented". Michigan Muse. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Actor and Camp Alumnus Barrett Foa Establishes Camp Scholarship". Interlochen Center for the Arts. February 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Serba, John (August 6, 2017). "All these famous people attended the same small Northern Michigan arts camp". M-Live. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Wood, Mark Dundas (December 29, 2010). "60 Seconds to Impress". Backstage. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Foa, Barrett (February 21, 2019). "Barrett Foa on Instagram: "Tonight I will guest star on one of my favorite shows of all time. Tonight I will kiss a man on national broadcast television and not be…"". Instagram. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
Tonight I will kiss a man on national broadcast television and not be embarrassed or scared or ashamed in a way that my younger, dumber, more inner-homophobic self would have been. Tonight I am an out, proud gay man playing an out, proud gay man.
- "Candida Moss, Justin Foa". The New York Times. 2018-04-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
- David, Mark (2020-09-18). "Barrett Foa Lists Silver Lake Architectural". Variety. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
- "Actor and Camp Alumnus Barrett Foa Establishes Camp Scholarship". Interlochen Center for the Arts. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
- "Barrett Foa Has Friends! Comes To Catalina Jazz Club In Hollywood". Broadway World. February 8, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Best, Kenneth (July 12, 2013). "'NCIS: LA' Star Leads 'The Music Man' in Nutmeg Summer Series". UConn Today. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Ausiello, Michael (December 10, 2018). "NCIS: LA's Barrett Foa Is Teacher's Pet on Will & Grace — 2019 FIRST LOOK". TVLine. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Dongines, Arvin (August 18, 2015). "'NCIS: LA' Cast News, Update: Barrett Foa's Eric Beale to Start Training With A Weapon in Season 7". Christian Post. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Bierly, Mandi (April 12, 2011). "'NCIS: Los Angeles': Barrett Foa talks Eric's first undercover mission". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Pedersen, Erik (May 24, 2021). "'NCIS: Los Angeles': Barrett Foa talks Eric's first undercover mission". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
- Cassell, Amber (January 29, 2011). "Show at Barre's Sincerely, John Hughes, starring Barrett Foa". Broadway World. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Barrett Foa Begins Performances in Off-Broadway's Buyer & Cellar". Theater Mania. May 28, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Barrett Foa keeps busy amid 'NCIS: LA' hiatus | The Spokesman-Review". The Spokesman Review. May 24, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Shukert, Rachel (May 30, 2014). "Barbra Streisand's Private Mall Gets a New Shopkeeper in 'Buyer and Cellar'". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "'NCIS: Los Angeles' actor Barrett Foa snags a modern home in Silver Lake". Los Angeles Times. May 12, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Joest, Mick (November 24, 2019). "Barrett Foa's Break From NCIS: LA Made Him Love Eric Beale Even More". CinemaBlend. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Hetrick, Adam (July 11, 2019). "Barrett Foa and Meredith Baxter to Star in Angels in America at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis". Playbill. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
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