Stephen was recently interviewed in Marc Harshbarger's blog, Deep Dish. Click here to read the interview.
Stephen Wallem was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, hometown of superstar Susan Saint James. He attended the CAPA School (Creative and Performing Arts) and received his early performing experience from countless children's and community theater extravaganzas, most without nudity.
He moved to Chicago in 1986 and made his professional Chicago debut as a 6'3" alien in The Rocky Horror Show at the Organic Theater. Other credits include Bartell D'Arcy in James Joyce's The Dead (Court), Into the Woods (Rapunzel's Prince, second national tour), At Wit's End (Northlight), Lizard Music (Lifeline), Sunday in the Park with George and The Mystery of Irma Vep (New American Theatre),…And We Fall in Love (Unity '94 Cultural Festival, NY), Alice in Wonderland (Drury Lane Children's Theater) and Birdbath (Chicago Actors Project.)
Stephen portrayed Judas/Padre in Court Theatre's acclaimed production of Man of La Mancha (After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance, Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Ensemble) and reprised his performance in February 2007 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT.
Honored to be a member of the Plaid family since 1994, Stephen has accrued nearly 2500 performances as both Jinx and Sparky in various companies of Forever Plaid including Chicago (Royal George Cabaret), Las Vegas, (Flamingo Hilton and Gold Coast Hotel), Denver Center for Performing Arts, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Peninsula Players, Theatre at the Center, and the first national tour. In 2005, he was Jinx in the holiday sequel, Plaid Tidings at Drury Lane Water Tower.
As a cabaret entertainer, he has appeared in Chicago at the original Gentry on Rush, Davenports, Carr's, Gentry on Halsted, Stars, and in Manhattan at Steve McGraw's. He was a featured soloist for the Sondheim in the Park festival at Millennium Park. His one-man show Off the Wallem garnered him the After Dark Award for Outstanding Cabaret Artist and was voted one of the Top Five productions of 1993 by both New City and Gay Chicago Magazine. Along with Beckie Menzie, he co-hosts the After Dark Awards ceremony each year. He has been honored to perform at benefits for AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Stop AIDS Chicago, Season of Concern, The Bonaventure House, The Center on Halsted, Hearts and Voices NY, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, March on Washington 93, AIDS Care Network, Northern Illinois Hospice, Animal Care League, Court Theatre, and Chicago Academy for the Arts.
Celebrities flock to Stephen like famous mice to cheese. Among other wigs and activities, he spent the winter of 2004 pushing Richard Chamberlain around in a sleigh in the national tour of Scrooge the Musical. For the Ravinia Music Festival, he appeared with Tony-winners Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Michael Cerveris and George Hearn in A Little Night Music, Passion and Sunday in the Park with George, and the workshop of Doll with David Hyde Pierce, Judith Blazer and Mary Testa (all directed by Lonny Price). For the Auditorium Theatre's Ovations! series, he was seen with Bea Arthur and Fred Willard in Strike Up the Band, and in Call Me Madam with Joanne Worley and Malcolm Gets.
Stephen is also a playwright, composer, and director. Along with longtime collaborator Danny Musha, he is the author of Something on My Mind, produced by Ben Vereen for Good Vibes and the musical Frozen River, which work-shopped at Lamb's Theater in Manhattan. He co-directed Is There Life After High School? at Chicago Academy for the Arts, and wrote and directed Crisis at Broadway High starring Sharif Atkins of "ER". Wallem and Musha's ballad "Another New Place" was recorded by cabaret duo Beckie Menzie and Tom Michael for their latest CD, Better Two-gether (click here to purchase).
Stephen originated the role of Arvid in the Broadway workshop of Kristina, written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (Chess, Mamma Mia!, ABBA).
He currently lives in New York City and appears in a recurring role on the Showtime series Nurse Jackie starring Edie Falco.