Okay everyone, this is all out of order but here we go. This was supposed to be the first news and PRISCILLA was going to be the big news that you heard second but everyone has taken so long to work everything out. So here we go. In case any of you were wondering what I was going to be doing between SPELLING BEE and PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, this is it.
I’ll be going back to Winnipeg for the summer. For the first time in 19 years, I’ll be doing Rainbow Stage again. For those of you who don’t know what Rainbow Stage is, it’s one of the only open air theatres left in North America (not open air companies but an actual theatre built where the walls are open but there is a roof). I believe it’s one of only 2 in Canada – don’t be hatin’ me for that if I’m wrong because I may totally be wrong but it’s one of very few anyway. I think the only other one is Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) in Vancouver. I did my very first professional show at Rainbow Stage: SWEET CHARITY. I still have a very soft spot in my heart for that show. That was in 1988 – God help me. I then did PETER PAN, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, ANYTHING GOES, SAY IT WITH MUSIC (a review created by the late, great Alan Lund), CINDERELLA and WIZARD OF OZ. I have very fond memories of my time there. I got to watch rehearsals with amazing “professional” actors doing their thing. I would go to rehearsals when I wasn’t called just to watch them put numbers together and work on scenes, I was mesmerized. I just wanted to learn and understand. Many great summers.
What will I be doing you ask?????? Well here we go: the shows.
Yes, that’s right, the first show is RENT. It’s been just over 10 years ago that I did the Canadian premiere and then the 2nd U.S. National Tour of RENT and here I am coming full circle. But what’s cool is it feels really right to be neatly closing that circle before I begin the next phase of my life. When I did the show in Canada, I played Paul and understudied Angel. Then I when I went on the U.S. tour, I played Steve and understudied Angel. Now that it’s 10 years later, I’m a little long in the tooth and a little too built to pull off an Angel, but I’m just in the right place for . . . . (drum roll) . . . . TOM COLLINS (Angel’s lover). I didn’t think I’d ever come back to this show and never thought of Collins but when the offer came, I thought. . . hmmmm, yeah, I totally have a Collins in me right now. And what’s even better is the director is Jeremy Kushnier. Many of you may recognize him as the lead on the original Broadway production of FOOTLOOSE. Or from the tour of AIDA. He’s all famous and a Broadway star now. But I’ve known Jeremy since he was a kid, well, we were both kids (I was a little older) and we did the original Canadian production of RENT together and we went on to play Roger in RENT on Broadway. So it will be so cool to revisit this with him since we have such history with the show and with each other.
The second show????
Yep, that’s right. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Now, once again, though I look pretty freakin’ good (or so I’m told and I hope people aren’t lying to me) I’m a little long-in-the-tooth to play Joseph. I’ll be playing Simeon – the second oldest brother who sings the French number “Those Canaan Days”. Now are you ready for this, speaking of coming full circle? You know how I just told you I did Rent just over 10 years ago? Well, I did Simeon in JOSEPH just under 10 years ago, right after OUTRAGEOUS, at Theater Aquarius in Hamilton. So again, the universe is helping me neatly close some doors and move forward by revisiting these shows.
Any of you who are in Winnipeg or will be around, here is the website in case you are thinking of getting tickets.
What’s really great is there are so many other things that will be great about being in Winnipeg for the summer. My best friend, Krista, lives there with her wonderful husband and their beautiful son, Miles. The Winnipeg Fringe Festival will be on in July and I haven’t been home for that in ages and it’s one of the best in Canada. My family is there and it’ll be nice to have some quality time with my mom and dad in weather that doesn’t turn my genitals into icicles. In fact, even though I won’t be there until the actual day, I can still celebrate the fact that this Sept. 9 is my parent’s 50th Anniversary. Holy Doodle, y’all. I don’t know anything I’d want to do for 50 years. So I applaud them. It’s great that I can be there to do something with/for them surrounding that. So it’s all good. And I’ll basically go right from that into rehearsals for PRISCILLA. I love back to back work. Woohoo. I’ll really be treasuring the two weeks off I get after SPELLING BEE ends at the end of this week.
And that’s the news. I know it’s taken so long, no one gives a scoot at this point but for those of you still interested, there it is.