If you follow me on social media, you gotta know by now: I AM PLAYING CAPTAIN HOOK. So geeky am I about it, I have been posting biweekly photos and profiles on Facebook of all the great actors who've played the character over the years. I am now blogging about it. But those friends of mine not irritated by the overkill will attest to two things: this is one of my dream parts--and I am only sharing my enthusiasm.
In an industry where material benefits are rare, and fame is for the lucky few, one thing we can pursue and sometimes land is our dream parts. The parts you want one crack at before you go. The parts that you spend years planning your glorious interpretations of. And of course, those parts are the same parts every other actor dreams of doing. The line forms to the left. So to get even one shot at a John Adams, a Thénardier, a Nathan Detroit.... well, you TAKE IT. And I have been blessed to do all of the roles listed, and more.
So yes, indeed, I am playing the dual role of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in the musical classic "Peter Pan" at North Shore Music Theatre in my hometown of Beverly, Massachusetts. This will be my fourth production for North Shore, and how I love the special energy and challenges of this in-the-round arena. And having my close family living a few miles from the theatre is pretty fantastic, too. So, there's a full circle story that's kind of magic about my doing this particular role at this particular theatre...
|George Rose as Hook with Sandy Duncan on Broadway|
As a kid, our school field trips would occasionally be to a show at North Shore. And in 1978, my twelve year old self saw "Peter Pan" with Tovah Feldshuh as Peter and the great George Rose as Hook. I remember seeing this show so vividly, but all I remember is Rose and how brilliant and shameless and colorful he was. Seeing him perform struck me like I was a tuning fork.
It was one of the moments I determined to be an actor! So to return to North Shore Music Theatre 40 years later to play Hook myself? Wow.
Captain Hook is the greatest of all stage villains (except perhaps Richard III) and he is everything you'd ever want to be to chew the scenery down with over the top zeal. He's vain, petty, ferocious, melodramatic, prone to operatic depths of melancholy, and the snarling, cackling embodiment of evil any ham actor could wish for--all wrapped up in velvet, ostrich plumes and black Charles I ringlets. I am tickled to pieces to get to play Hook and I know I am in for a workout. It's an epic role.
"Peter Pan" runs July 10-22 at North Shore Music Theatre, directed by Bob Richard. Bob has shared some of the designs and concepts for this production and I gotta tell you--it's gonna be spectacular.