THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- PHALARIS BULL's David Schweizer
Welcome to THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with your favorite Broadway stars. Want to know what hooked them to a career in the theater? Their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Read on!
In this week's edition, we caught up with David Schweizer, director of PHALARIS BULL: SOLVING THE RIDDLE OF THE GREAT BIG WORLD, currently playing at the Beckett Theatre.
DAVID SCHWEIZER, Director, Phalaris's Bull: Solving The Riddle of the Great Big World
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
CAMELOT starring an utterly MAGNIFICENT Richard Burton in his thirty-five year old MANLY PRIME. I was, what, maybe ten years old? And when he made his first entrance leaping out of a white glittery tree and hit the stage and began to INTONE in that VOICE, I could hardly BREATHE, seriously. Could it be that a little gay boy was making a very important BIG DISCOVERY?
What is your most unique pre-rehearsal or pre-show ritual?
Right before rehearsals now I always make some kind of snack to take with me to work in case I lose STEAM. And making the food kind of FOCUSES me. When I first came to NYC and was directing for Joe Papp in the 70's I met all kinds of great older showfolks like CAROL CHANNING who carried their "special foods" around in crazy little containers and I thought, that's INSANE! Now I am one of them...
What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?
Oh gosh, it was a DOOZY. I had directed a very theatrical, VAUDEVILLE production of "BOYS FROM SYRACUSE" at a regional theater starring the luminous MANU NARAYAN and he got deathly sick right before a big BENEFIT PERFORMANCE and without even thinking about it that much, I went in front of the crowd and showed them his PICTURE and said, "Look at this beautiful man and think of HIM when you hear ME" and then I went back and SPOKE his LINES and SANG HIS SONGS over a mic from the back while the characters onstage PRETENDED to see him. It actually kinda WORKED! CRAZY! But at least the SHOW WENT ON!
What is the one play you want to direct before you die?
CAMELOT! No, I have grown up a WEE BIT since then. There are two, really: Tennessee Williams' CAMINO REAL which I ADORE for its sweeping, terrifying DREAMSCAPE and which I have done a lot with students but never gotten a chance for the BIG TREATMENT. And Wally Shawn's little known, insidious masterwork, THE HOTEL PLAY which requires one hundred people. Perfect for BROADWAY, right?
Who is your Broadway crush?
Okay, predictably the adorable ROBERT FAIRCHILD of An American in Paris who flies through the air with such balletic grace and yet MANLINESS too! And an equal opportunity female crush on KEIRA KNIGHTLEY in THERESE RAQUIN whose bizarre, "buttoned up" presence is so intense and perversely HOT!
Where can people follow you online?
My GRINDR ACCOUNT! Just kidding, I am afraid that I only have FACEBOOK going on these days, but I am DELIGHTED by your interest!