BWW Interviews: Actor Eric McCormack Talks About New Cabaret Show with Joan Ryan at Catalina
Eric McCormack is best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of Will Truman in NBC's hit sitcom Will and Grace and for his latest TNT crime drama Perception. He has also appeared on Broadway and is an avid musician. On June 1 he will join Joan Ryan in her new show On the Edge at Catalina Jazz Club. In our chat he talks about Joan Ryan, the show and his musical career.
Many folks do not realize that Eric McCormack can sing. Did music come first in your professional development? If not, how important was it to you?
I did my first musical in 4th grade, as Huck Finn. By 11th grade I was starring in Godspell and Pippin and pretending to be "Che" in Evita in my bedroom. Singing has always been a huge part of me.
What are your musical tastes?
Schizophrenic, to say the least. When I was 16, I'd ping pong between AC/DC and Barry Manilow without any sense of irony. If we're karaoke-ing, I'm as likely to do Aerosmith as I am Sweeney Todd.
Do you have a favorite singer? Composer? Broadway show?
How much time ya got? Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Billy Joel, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry, Burton Cummings, Elvis Costello; they're the singers I emulate to this day. Show-wise, I love Little Shop and Big River, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening. And I'm still waiting for that Frank n' Furter offer... if they don't give it to Neil Patrick Harris first.
Well, they did, but I'd still love to see you do that. What are you performing on June 1? If a surprise, just a tease...
I always take advantage of opportunities like this to do songs on my Bucket List. As soon as Joan called, I said, "Let's do "Suddenly Seymour"!" I'll never get to play the role, but I love that song. Joanie wanted me to do something solo, too. Last fall, I did a musical show of my own in LA called The Concert I Never Gave (except for, like, 2000 times in my bedroom), is a sadly accurate title. It was a really fun evening of songs I've always wanted to do and stories from the last 15 crazy years of my life. The last song in the show is one Burton Cummings made famous (in Canada, at least) called "Dream of a Child", which is as good a song as I've ever heard about growing up and making your dreams come true. I'm doing that one for Joanie's audience.
What is your association to Joan Ryan?
Our kids go to the same school, and we met singing at a couple of the fundraisers. She's an amazing performer and I can't wait to see this fancy award-winning show of hers!