Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bye Bye Birdie

Although this hardly seems to be "news" to anyone, I can finally announce that I will indeed be a part of the upcoming revival of Bye Bye Birdie. I will be playing Hugo Peabody.

Playbill Article

I've known about my involvement in the production since late January. I was also a part of the workshop done in September 2007.

I am really excited about this show. Hugo is a blast to play. I had so much fun when we did the workshop. He is completely neurotic and insecure, but also full of heart and sincerity. It will be interesting to re-explore the role in this revival. The show has never been revived since the 1960 production and there are a lot of possibilities for making this a fresh and bold return. We have an incredible creative team on board including the show's original lyricist, Lee Adams, and original composer, Charles Strouse. It is an honor to work with the both of them.

The show will be going up in the brand-new Henry Miller Theatre! Which I'm also very excited about! Not only is the theatre completely renovated and beautiful, but it is also Broadway's first "Green" theatre. We can entertain and be environmentally friendly all at once. :)

I think the not-for-profit aspect of Roundabout shows make their productions even more collaborative and interesting. It's less about commercialism and politics and more about a group of people, who have a love for a show, coming together and having fun. We have a great cast. The immensely talented, Allie Trimm will be playing Kim. For once, I'm grateful I look like Bambi. (A nickname of mine from LAMDA)

Another serious draw to the project for me was the fact that Bill Irwin will be playing the role of Mr. MacAfee. Bill is a personal hero of mine. From the first time I saw him clowning around on the Cosby show when I was a kid, to his breathtaking performance in Waiting for Godot (which I saw last week), I've always looked up to him. It was wonderful working with him during the workshop. His Mr. MacAfee is brilliant. I cannot believe I get to share the stage with him.

See you all in September when the show's previews begin.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Last week, on my birthday, I was treated to tickets to the revival of Hair. I was extremely excited because, in terms of scores, Hair may be my all-time favorite. Every song is joyful and completely riveting. Seeing this music live should make you want to jump out of you seat and scream!

Thankfully, the exceptional Broadway revival playing at the Hirschfeld does just that. There's so much that I could say...but it has all already been said by the production's well-deserved rave reviews.

Hair may not be for everyone. The story line and structure isn't as solid as a typical musical. The strength of the musical lies in music and the characters that intimately share their world with the audience every night. It's a look into the lives of these exuberant freethinkers.

Everyone in this current revival cast has fully-fleshed out the lives of their colorful roles, standing out at one point or another. Whether it is Allison Case's contagious joy, Kacie Sheik's soulful and fresh voice, Sasha Allen's power, or the commanding performances from Will Swenson and Gavin Creel, something up on that stage will move you. This show is the definition of an ensemble piece.

Claude is by far one of my biggest dream roles. I was so moved and thrilled with Gavin Creel's performance. Since the first time I saw him in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," I have shared the sentiment that Gavin has one of the greatest musical theatre voices ever. It's effortless.

It was probably one of the most inspiring nights of theatre I've had in a long time. Seeing my peers...the people that I admire the most, completely in sync and bursting with emotion.

Again, I'm a complete nerd over this show to begin with. I'm a bit biased. That being said, this is a masterful production of the musical. It doesn't just deliver the show's timeless messages and undying originality, but is also an explosive celebration of the show's influential and beloved material. This show TRULY changed musical theatre.

So, I say check it out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Right now I am enjoying the sweet tunes of Paolo Nutini's new single "Candy."

I love this artist so much. I really look up to him and sound he creates. The fact that he's my age is just crazy to me.

Check out the music video on his website or on youtube.

Or here.

Sorry it's so small. These new widescreen youtube videos aren't kind to blogs.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Whether you were once involved with high school theatre back in the day...or you are involved with it now. You will find this funny.

Thanks to my incredible high school drama teacher, Britt Block, for the tip.

Friday, May 08, 2009

True Blood

When I was a kid, I was hooked on fiction and adventure movies. I was a huge Star Wars geek and I loved movies like Labyrinth, The Never Ending Story, and others. Not because I wanted to be them, or live in their world. Simply because I was always floored by the amount of creativity behind the work. My father is a creative art director. He makes a living off of that kind of stuff. I remember sitting on the couch with him when I was about 10 years old, watching Star Wars, when he turned to me and said, "Isn't that amazing Matty? That all this can come out of someone's mind. Isn't it incredible what people can create and think of"

Since then, I'm the guy in the theatre who says "That's incredible!" and makes noises like, "," way too much. Thanks, Dad.

I have inherited my father's fascination to an even greater degree. Nothing excites me more than when people are truly inventive and creative. Sometimes, it can be as simple as taking an old idea and expanding on it.

Lately I have been catching up on a lot of television that I wasn't able to watch so frequently when I was in the show. I know we now live with the wonders of the DVR, but I can barely even remember to set the damn thing. Even when I do, Time Warner is so terrible it screws it up half the time. Yes, Time Warner, I hate you. You do not deserve my money every month.

Any way, I have gotten hooked on HBO's True Blood...Which is now playing on HB02 until the new season starts. I wanted to be completely caught up. Although I watched several episodes this past year, I missed a great deal of them as well.

I gotta say, I love this show. Now, some people may hate it. It's a lot to take on and a pretty ballsy show. It has gotten me hooked in the same way Jim Henson and George Lucas did back in the day. The creators really don't hold back. If you aren't a fantasy/fiction type, it may be the dopiest thing you've ever seen. I, however, love it. It's extremely entertaining and I'm fascinated by how well the actors take on even the cheesiest of material. The show is set in Louisiana, in a world where vampires have come "out of the coffin" (har har) and are trying to co-exist with humans. It's a simple, perhaps silly plot, that stretches out into an extremely complex world. The show is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a book series written by Charlaine Harris. It was a very smart choice to turn the show into a series, rather than a film. There is simply too much story to tell.

While often goofy, gory, and downright ridiculous at times, the show is well crafted and thoughtful. It's just fun. I'd say it's just dumb-fun, but it's not always dumb. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by how smart and creative can be. It has political, social, and moral insight that I would never have expected from a vampire show. Plus, it's created by Alan Ball, who created another favorite of mine, "Six Feet Under." Even, when the show is (completely) over-the-top, it's as if the show's creators are just saying "Isn't this fun?!"

So watch it if it sounds like it may be your cup of tea.

I am looking forward to a fun couple of months ahead of me until I am swept up into work in the fall. I plan to do some traveling back west and maybe even abroad. I haven't been to London since I graduated LAMDA and I've been meaning to use my frequent flyer miles!

I will also be working on a new work at this years National Music Theater Conference at The O'Neill in CT. I am told by everyone that it's like doing a reading and going away to summer camp all at the same time. Sounds good! There are some great actors involved and I am thrilled to have learned that Deborah Abramson (Original Assistant MD of Spring Awakening) will be the musical director of the project. Deborah is an incredible gal and has done so much for me.

Until then, I have to jump into a cab to go to lunch downtown. Which means I have to sit through another painful viewing of Regis and Kelly explaining, "Cabs are so much more fun than they used to be, Right Rege!?" on the taxi TV.


By the way, comments are back up. Inappropriate ones will be deleted...Duh.