Every audition season is different. Last season, I was run off my feet with auditions and callbacks, and blessed with the enviable task of juggling multiple offers, deciding which great parts I wanted to play...which generally translated as: how many of these offers could I accept that wouldn't overlap with each other? The summer season is all too short, and it can be a real challenge to line up work, and maximize the opportunities to perform; the kind of problem all of us actors wish for!
I faced such a dilemma this season as I tried to stay on with a brief remounting of the superb production of Peter and the Starcatcher that I was in last fall at Pioneer Theatre Company. We were given a chance to reunite for one week of performances at the Victoria Theatre in Dayton, OH, taking over dates that had been abandoned by the national tour of the show which closed before being able to fulfill them. Alas, it proved a real battle to reserve these dates in June and still find work that would sustain me through the summer season. And so, I won't be joining my fellow starcatchers in Dayton, and I will miss making magic with them again. If you are in the Dayton area, run, don't walk, to the Victoria Theatre to experience this splendid production!
My summer will be spent in the roaring 20's world of Nice Work If You Can Get It to the tunes of George and Ira Gershwin. This rollicking musical comedy played on Broadway with stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara, and is a reworking of an early Gershwin musical called Oh, Kay!. I will be playing Cookie McGee, a bootlegger who disguises himself as a butler in order to hide 400 cases of hooch in a swanky mansion. The role was created by Michael McGrath, who won the Tony Award for his performance.
Nice Work If You Can Get It will be a co-production of The Gateway in lovely Bellport, NY and Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, one of my favorite summer spots, where I appeared previously in Buddy (also a co-production with Gateway) and as Albin in La Cage Aux Folles. I will also have the pleasure and privilege of playing opposite Sally Struthers, who has become the first lady of Ogunquit Playhouse, and a real audience favorite. I am excited to work with this veteran comedienne! The show will be directed by Larry Raben, and choreographed by Peggy Hickey, whose work can be seen in the Tony winning Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide To Love and Murder.
The Gateway dates are June 10-June 27, and at Ogunquit Playhouse July 22-August 15.