|THERE are more than 16,000 actors in the Naked City - and seemingly all of them have appeared on TV's "Law & Order."|
Well, not quite all.
We refer you to one Christopher Sieber, the erstwhile Sir Dennis Galahad and Black Knight of "Spamalot," whose Playbill bio, bristling with references to off-Broadway plays and TV soaps, concludes, "Mr. Sieber has not appeared on Law & Order."
That was 21/2 years ago - and his record remains gloriously unchanged.
"It's true, it's completely true," says the 37-year-old actor, just back from the show's London production, which he helped open with Tim Curry, the original King Arthur from "Spamalot."
"I'm not bitching and moaning about it, and I'm not hard up for work. But if you look at Playbills, every New York actor has done 'Law & Order,' 'SVU,' or those other letters. Some actors have done all three."
Not that Sieber - who was nominated for a Tony for his triple-threat role in "Spamalot" - hasn't tried.
By his own estimate, he's auditioned for "L&O" about 10 times - sometimes in front of Dick Wolf, the show's creator and producer (who's been quoted as saying that the show's "bible" is "the front page of the New York Post," but that's another story).
"I once went in for a guy who murdered somebody and was getting away with it," Sieber recalls.
"And then there was an airport incident where the baggage handlers were stealing stuff, and I went up for one of the baggage handlers.
"I actually asked Dick Wolf once, 'Are you gonna hire me this time?' And he laughed and said, 'Maybe.'"
Wolf couldn't be reached for comment. But he's clearly proud of the ink his franchised fiefdom is getting on Broadway.
"The reality is," he has said, "if you go to the theater in New York, if someone doesn't have 'Law & Order' on their Playbill biography, they either just got off the bus or they're really bad actors."
Happily, Sieber isn't bitter.
"The scripts are fantastic," he says. "They're really deep and full of amazing stuff to work with, so it's actually nice to audition for it. It would be nice to get the job ...
"Sometimes, it's funny when you see the show and see who they actually went with - it makes me smile, thinking I wasn't even close to what they were looking for."
In the meantime, he still has a workable punch line, several auditions for new TV pilots - and he's yet to rule out a shot at his personal Holy Grail.
"If I have to change the bio down the road, I have no problem with that," he says.
"I'll just have to find a new joke."