Brent Kuenning and Steve Geyer
By Denny Patterson
Whether on the Broadway stage, touring around the world, or entertaining audiences on a cruise ship or in a casino, Brent Kuenning and Steve Geyer are two longtime friends and seasoned performers who formed the powerhouse duo called 2 of a Kind. Not only do they bring their combined experience of dance, vocal virtuosity, and comedic talent to the stage, but they also bring a high level of energy and fun. Kuenning’s luxuriant baritone voice combined with Geyer’s dazzling tenor creates a harmonic blend that will leave audiences wanting more. The stage is their natural habitat, so there is no lack of entertainment.
2 of a Kind is currently in discussions with several South Florida venues about their new show, Manilow: The Man, The Music, The Magic. They have performed in South Florida several times over the past 3-4 years and have been committed to giving back to the LGBTQ community. They have partnered several times with The Sanctuary producing benefits for local organizations like the Stonewall National Museum & Archives and the Pride Center. I had the pleasure of chatting more with Kuenning and Geyer about their friendship, partnership, and passion for performing.
Denny Patterson: Why don’t you start off by telling me how you two met and when you started performing together. How did 2 of a Kind come to be?
Steve Geyer: We were both living in New York City and breaking into the business. We met when we were performing in shows at side by side hotels in Atlantic City and our casts would hang out almost every night after the shows. When we got back to the city, Brent kept reintroducing himself to me every time we would meet, whether it be at a party, the gym, an audition, etc. As if we had never met before. It was a bit annoying [laughs]. We then both ended up being cast in a Christmas show, and when I saw him on the first day of rehearsal, I called my agent and told her to get me out of the gig. I can’t work with this guy. However, we ended up sharing a car together during the run of the show and bonded over our love of Christmas music and became best friends.
Brent Kuenning: Of course we did, who couldn’t love me? [laughs]. Shortly after that, we were sharing an apartment in Harlem and I had Steve listen to this great duet sung by Robbie Williams – the Brit singer, in his version of Me and Shadow. We learned and sang it and it soon hit us that this collaboration had the making of a great show.
DP: Fantastic! Now that you are best friends, what do you enjoy most about working with each other?
SG: Other than doing what you love with your best friend, knowing we can rely on each other’s strengths to make us both better performers.
BK: Always knowing you are working with a true professional and knowing they always have your back.
DP: With each performance, what do you look forward to the most?
SG: That moment when you can feel we are really in sync. So much so that in the silence of a breath in music you can feel that the audience is totally with us on the ride.
BK: Feeling the energy of the audience and how much fun they are having.
DP: Have you two always had a passion for music and performing?
SG: I started working as a young child so there was never a doubt in my mind that it was a part of me.
BK: For me, it was always a passion as my mother loved to sing. However, I never thought I would do it professionally until I had my first professional singing job when I was still in college. I then got the bug and was hooked.
DP: What would you say is the best part about performing?
SG: For me, it is knowing that it is the only place you truly feel like you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
BK: The pure joy it brings. Not only to myself, but also seeing the smiling faces in the audience that gives you a rush that you just cannot describe.
DP: What do you look for in a good audience?
SG: A crowd that appreciates the humor as well as the artistry and are open enough to go along for the ride no matter where we take them.
DP: How do you keep every performance fresh and exciting?
BK: As we go back to each show, there is always something we think we can improve upon. We look at what worked last time or if something is influenced by what we have recently done or seen. So, a slight change in choreography or harmony changes the whole feeling and keeps us on our toes.
DP: Do you have a performance that is most memorable to you?
BK: I guess that would be the first time we did our show for a live audience. You know, it always seems great to you in a rehearsal studio, but to see and feel how the audience reacts during that first night, we knew we had something special and they got it.
DP: Once you two first step out on stage, what’s going through your heads? What kind of emotions and feelings are there?
SG: There is always that fear of stepping onto a speeding train, but once you slip into a familiar harmony and start to execute some well-polished choreography, that all melts away and you know you are home.
BK: There are always a few butterflies, but that is expected, and I do love them. It gives me those good energetic nerves that get me excited every time. I seriously have never not been excited to get to perform with Steve.
DP: What do you two hope to accomplish within the next year?
BK: We started to collaborate with a new manager, Suzanne Sharp at Sharp Management, and we just launched a new website, www.BrentAndSteve.com. So, we are looking to reach a much wider audience outside the state lines and beyond. We are also looking to work with some cruise ship lines.
DP: That sounds amazing. So, what’s next for 2 of a Kind? Any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
BK: Other than the Manilow show, we have three other concerts. Our signature Crooners show, Sing, Swing, and Soul that features music from the greats like Bobby Darin and the Rat Pack. Our Broadway to Silver Screen show with music from Broadway shows that have become movie musicals and vice versa, and our Elvis Revisited show that gives a new take on the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s music catalog and some of the performers he inspired. So, that gives you an idea what to expect. We are also flying to Lincoln, Nebraska, my hometown, for a two-night gig at a venue called Screamer Dining and Cabaret. A buddy of mine named Kevin Witcher, who I performed with in college, opened this establishment a few years back and booked us. Steve and I are doing something new which we are excited about. It’s a combo show of our four different shows, and it’s called 2 of a Kind – The Box Set. So, the audience is getting a taste of our four very different shows in one. We are excited to debut this show.