ENTERTAINMENT

Bellport native Joe Forbrich's career keeps expanding

Linda Leuzzi
Posted 6/4/20

Remember Joe Forbrich, the Bellport High School and Playcrafters grad who was an understudy in the 2013 play, “Lucky Guy,” about journalist and Bellporter Mike McAlary?

That hit …

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ENTERTAINMENT

Bellport native Joe Forbrich's career keeps expanding

Posted

Remember Joe Forbrich, the Bellport High School and Playcrafters grad who was an understudy in the 2013 play, “Lucky Guy,” about journalist and Bellporter Mike McAlary?

That hit launched him into five other Broadway plays as recently as “The Minutes,” written by Tracy Letts (“August: Osage County”), about the inner workings of a city council meeting in a small town. Two days before it was to open at The Cort Theatre, the pandemic shutdown hit.

“The producers are holding out to reopen,” he said.

But barring that glitch, Forbrich has been busy overall. You can catch him on TV in episodes of “Blue Bloods” (Det. Joe Cormack), “Law and Order,” and “30 Rock” among others, and he was recently The Milkman character in the AMC 10-part series “Dispatches from Elsewhere,” with Sally Field and Jason Segel, its creator, producer and star. He commuted to Philadelphia via Amtrak, where the series was shot, for that one.

“I also pitched a series; it was about my uncle, who was a detective investigating crimes in Florida against the elderly, called ‘Rubicek.’ It’s still out there,” he said. Portion of a TV pilot was shot with Chris McDonald.

“Tom Hanks has been really supportive and complimentary,” he said.

That’s superstar Tom Hanks, who played McAlary in “Lucky Guy” and who Forbrich counts as a friend and is in touch with regularly.

Forbrich was working on a carpentry project at his two-bedroom cabin, 45 minutes from the town of Woodstock in the Catskills, when he spoke to the Advance. He’ll be returning to Bellport soon, where his mom lives and he keeps his boat. He and his wife also live in an Upper East Side apartment, within walking distance to Broadway.

“The whole acting paradigm is shifting,” he said of this strange time. “So I’ve been creating my own content. I have several three-minute YouTube videos, ‘How I Spent My Corona Vacation.’” The segments are life-affirming and funny, and include Forbrich’s discovery of a rat in his apartment’s basement (he caught it and let it go), and even finding a turtle there that he transferred to a terrarium home he built before eventually releasing it in Central Park. His second YouTube video shows Forbrich riding his bike, then walking around Manhattan, including Central Park, discussing the acting life he balances with his carpentry skills as he builds cabinets for his friend, Deb Popel, who is singing in the background.

He discussed the play he was in rehearsals for two months in the video.

“The producers are holding out to reopen,” he said of “The Minutes.” “They’re taking a big risk. From what I hear the landlords are still demanding rent, but our producer, Jeffrey Richards, is still spending money.”

There is also the possibility of another season of “Dispatches from Elsewhere.”

“The main characters play a game that changes their lives for the better,” he said of the premise. “It was one of the best jobs I had because I got to know the people; it was a lot like theater. Sally Field was so sweet and nice. The last episode aired a month ago and there may be a second season. It’s about four people leading ordinary lives who answer an ad, ‘Do you need more meaning in your life?’ and it leads to a scavenger hunt. They take chances and their lives grow. It’s a sweet show.”

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