"I love Anthony but we're kind of like Oscar and Felix," TV's neat-and-messy odd couple, Will says. "He lives in what he calls 'organized chaos.' I think the word 'organized' is debatable."
"No, no, um, that would be, um, God bless, no!" Will stammers. "I live in Manhattan. Anthony lives in Queens. The East River is our middleman — and we like it like that."
In a later conversation, Anthony hears the story: "That's lovely for him to say, especially around Easter," he deadpans with a mock sigh for good measure. "This is how he usually works. He tries to throw me under the bus."
Brotherly kidding aside, the Nunziatas are taking a serious stab at a musical career with their double act, which they will present during the final weekend of Mad Cow Theatre's 9th annual Orlando Cabaret Festival, three weeks of performances that begin tonight.
So far, so good: They've performed with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Colorado Pops Orchestra and Cape Cod Pops Orchestra. They've been on TV, on "Good Morning America" and "Rachael Ray." They took part in "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert," celebrating composer Stephen Sondheim's 80th, and their touring schedule has included a weeklong engagement at noted New York cabaret venue Feinstein's.
Not bad for the 27-year-old brothers from suburban New York who started out as children re-enacting scenes from Disney's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," a 1971 Angela Lansbury film.
"I was Angela Lansbury," sighs Will, decades later. "That was Anthony's casting decision."
"Nothing is ever forced," Anthony weighs in. "It was meant to be." Then he laughs: "Tough luck, Angela!"
As children, the brothers realized that bonding over tunes from "The Little Mermaid" and Ol' Blue Eyes standards wasn't necessarily common behavior.
"Before we could speak, we were instinctively harmonizing," Will says. "Even now, I'll look at Anthony and say, 'That's a little freaky.'"
But their mutual love of cabaret-type music made them closer.
"The kids in the playground were talking about Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block. We were singing Frank Sinatra and Mario Lanza," Anthony says. "There's something odd about that … so we had each other."
They weren't completely written off as music nerds, Anthony says, because they were also athletic. The two were cross-country runners and two-time national champions in the junior doubles division of the American Platform Tennis Association.
Both brothers attended Boston College and were on their way to try out for the tennis team, as Will tells it, when they passed the college theater. Auditions were taking place for "Godspell," and the brothers decided to give it a try.
"Anthony was Jesus, I got Judas," Will recalls, and then echoes his brother's deadpan humor: "Our career began with me crucifying him. Our mom was proud."
The brothers credit their parents for supporting their endeavors and count on younger sister Annie — "She's the normal one," Will says — to be their most truthful critic.
Family influenced the types of songs they sing in their act.