Currently: In rehearsals for the Revelation Theater mounting of David
Wiltse's thriller Temporary Help, in which he plays a drifter who may or may
not be a serial killer. The production, co-starring Margaret Colin and
Robert Cuccioli, is scheduled to begin performances off-Broadway on November
12. Allen says: "At this point in rehearsal you always go: 'Oh my God! We
have so much to do!' You [wonder] how you are ever going to get there. Then
you always do."
Hometown: Long Beach, California. Allen, born Chad Lazzari, began his
career acting in regional musical theater productions. By the age of nine,
he landed the plum recurring role of autistic Tommy Westphall in the hit
television series St. Elsewhere--and from there his small screen career took
Teen King: With major roles in St. Elsewhere, Webster, Our House and
My Two Dads already under his belt and boyish good looks, Allen spent his
teens as a pin-up boy. "I was a teen magazine guy," he says. "They put your
face everywhere. And you read these articles about this guy who is really
wonderful and you wonder who it is they're talking about, because it doesn't
seem to resemble you at all. It's very bizarre."
Creative Outlet: Allen graduated to adult roles in 1993 when he
landed a prime part in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Though he loved working on
the show (he describes his time there as "six years of playing cowboy and
getting dirty"), it wasn't enough to fulfill him. He joined forces with
Young and the Restless star Heather Tom in 1995 to form Creative Outlet, a
non-profit Los Angeles-based theater company. "We were kind of sick of our
television lives, and we wanted to do some new theater," the actor explains.
"None of the companies we saw in L.A. were doing interesting things, so we
[decided to do] it ourselves. We've done some interesting stuff that kept us
active and kind of saved my soul as an actor between the big money gigs."
Get Him Some Help: Allen has appeared in Temporary Help twice before,
first at Seattle's ACT in 1999 and then at the Westport Country Playhouse
last year. "Obviously, I like the play," Allen states. "I've seen audiences
go through such bizarre experiences with it. There are very few pieces of
theater that I've seen people actively involved in like they are [with
this]. I don't think at any point you really have a handle on where the show
is going--you can never really get a grasp on the characters."
Temporary Move?: Allen still has a home in California, but the actor,
who is also on the Revelation Theater Artistic Advisory Board, may become a
permanent Gotham fixture. "I have been wanting to be in New York for a long
time but television has always kept me in L.A, so I am finally here, and I
am going to stay for at least a little while. There is a lot going on here
that I am ready to sink my teeth into."