JAMES BEAMAN PLAYS 'MICHAEL' IN "THE ROAD TO QATAR" AT THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY THROUGH FEBRUARY 27!
After an intensive three week rehearsal period and a week of previews, our zany little show opened at the York. During previews, the authors made many changes to the piece, including the cutting of two musical numbers and 14 minutes off our running time. The result is a leaner, faster paced sprint of a show! All of us in the cast are feeling much more in command of our performances, and having such fun working together. Truly, from the York staff, to the creative team, to the writers, to my fellow performers, I have to say this has been one of the most pleasurable and harmonious collaborations I have been a part of to date. And our audiences seem to agree, if their laughter and cheers are any indication!
The opening night crowd was graced by some of Broadway's leading lights and living legends. In attendance were: Chita Rivera, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Celeste Holm, Marni Nixon, Beth Fowler, Danny Burstein, Judy Blazer... you can imagine the thrill I had walking out on to the little York stage and seeing these famous faces smiling back at me. Every theatre performer with an ounce of ambition wants to strut their stuff on a New York stage and show their work to the industry and the discerning New York audience. I can't overestimate how much this opportunity means to me.
Our opening night was further enhanced by the presentation to each of us of a spectacular caricature by the new Hirschfeld, "Squigs," a gift from producer Paul Burchett. As soon as I have a digital version, I will post this delightful piece of art! We were also informed by the writers that, following our last performances at the York, we will record THE ROAD TO QATAR as an original cast album. This is another experience I have yet to enjoy, and I, and the rest of the company, are over the moon about the prospect of preserving the show in a cast recording. As we raised cocktails together and enjoyed falafel, hummus and other Middle Eastern treats at our opening night party at a local Lebanese restaurant, I think we all felt a real sense of occasion. It takes so much to create a new show, never mind getting it produced in New York-- I feel blessed indeed to be along for the ride. Catch us in the wonderfully intimate York Theatre now through February 27!!