BWW Interviews: THE BOYS IN THE BAND Cast Takes On The Friday Five On A Thursday

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BWW-Interviews-THE-BOYS-IN-THE-BAND-Cast-Takes-On-The-Friday-Five-On-A-Thursday-20010101

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to Nashville.BroadwayWorld.com's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state.

Yes, we have a calendar and we realize it's really Thursday, but what with Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band opening tonight at Murfreesboro's Out Front on Main, what better way to kick off the weekend than with some insight into the men playing the boys.

Director Richard W. Browder (who plays Bernard) directs a cast that includes Asa Ambrister, Patrick Goedicke, George W. Manus Jr., Thomas Prunier, Ryan Vogel, Zach Parker, Peter Depp (from the Sundance Channel's Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys) and Blair Thompson (who took to his dressing room and refused to answer our questions-well, not really, but it sounds more interesting than "he missed the deadline, apparently.")

Now, here's the scoop on the men from The Boys in the Band. After reading these interviews, call the theater and make some reservations to catch the show before its run ends on June 17. For further information and for reservations, call (615) 869-8617 or go towww.outfrontonmain.com.

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Asa Ambrister

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? Wearing a box and singing "I'm a Christmas Bell" for a church pageant when I was four.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Pacing backstage and driving everyone crazy.

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? When the leading lady showed up halfway through the performance, got into a physical altercation with the director backstage, then went onstage like nothing had happened.

What's your dream role? It would be very inspiring to work with Pedro Almodovar.

Who's your theatrical crush? To quote my character in The Boys in the Band, "I love 'em all." Everyone in the cast is magnificent.

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Ryan Vogel

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? My first acting role was George in Our Town when I was in the sixth grade. Loved it but got away from theater for a while and came back in college.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I don't have much of a pre-show ritual; I do have a post-show ritual. Somewhere along the line I was taught that if you are the last person to cross the stage as the building is being closed you are supposed to go center stage and bow, to thank the ghosts. Weird, I know, but I still do it.

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? I directed a show and was acting in it as well, and one of the actors had a panic attack. We thought he would get it together and go on, but he never did, so we wrote a major character out of a show as it was going on. Quite a challenge but a major accomplishment for a superb cast to pull it off, the audience didn't even realize that we made it through the stage without an entire character.

What's your dream role? I have always wanted to be emcee for Cabaret but seeing as my singing ability isn't where I'd like it to be i don't see me doing that one anytime soon.

Who's your theatrical crush?  I know he is no longer in Nashville but my theatrical crush would be Ben Reed.

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Peter Depp

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? When I was 10 years old I scored the non-leading role as Mr. Mushnik from Little Shop of Horrors for my summer camp production. My mom worked there and begged them to let me play any role. I'm not good at the singing or dancing part, so I got to play some old dude that runs a flower shop.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual?I started my pre-show ritual back in summer camp at 10 years old. It involved a bottle of merlot and a lot of magic. I usually spend three hours in front of a mirror trying to convince myself I can do this show. Then I turn on Eminem's "In the Moment," pull up my hoodie and rock out. After that I start punching my chest like Mark Wahlberg in the movie Fear. After all that I pass out for 15 seconds and I'm ready to perform. 

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?Right now, this play. The lead and I aren't on the best of terms because I kissed his best friend. We are bringing a lot of emotional baggage to the show.

What's your dream role?I would love to do comedy movies or be on a sitcom. But it would have to have a comedic element as well as add social value. Something similar to Modern Family. I want it to work on something that pushes for equality for gay rights.

Who's your theatrical crush?Channing Tatum is hot! And I want to snuggle him on the couch watching Private Ryan with my private ryan on his private ryan, privately. 

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Patrick Goedicke

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? My first taste of theater I played the crippled boy in The Piped Piper for a community theater in Casper, Wyoming.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? My favorite preshow ritual is reading the script.

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Everytime I am lucky enough to be cast, and we go up, I get really nervous, and have to tell myself the show must go on!

What's your dream role?My dream role is Teach in American Buffalo by David Mamet.

Who's your theatrical crush? My theatrical crush is Patti D'Arbanville.

 

BWW-Interviews-THE-BOYS-IN-THE-BAND-Cast-Takes-On-The-Friday-Five-On-A-Thursday-20010101

Zach Parker

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? When I was in seventh grade, our class went to see some production of Dracula at TPAC. I didn't care for it much.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I always stretch a pretty good bit, it calms my nerves. Go over my lines and blocking and-but never to the obsessive point-or I will forget them. Hug everyone in the cast and say "Break a Leg."

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Oh, that dreaded question. There are two that come to mind. The first I don't talk about and refer to as "The Terrible Awful" and that one happened during Jeffrey and then there is the lighter of the two that happened during In The Boom Boom Room. I'll tell you the latter. At one point in one of my scenes, I had to do a bellyflop onto my costar [Megan Blevin's] bed. I did it as usual, right as I hit the matress, I farted.

What's your dream role? I don't really know yet. I'm still very young, so there is plenty of time for me to figure that out. 

Who's your theatrical crush? Aaron Tveit

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George W. Manus Jr.

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? Growing up in Cannon County, I was fortunate to train and perform at the Arts Center, as well as be exposed to this art form at an early age. Daryl Deason was gracious enough to get many of us involved with forensics as we didn't have a drama program at our high school. This afforded us many opportunities to travel, perform and be exposed to the newest most daring pieces at the time.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Finding a quiet space to get into character and collect my thoughts and lines. Then smoke about a pack of cigarettes and drink three or more Coca-Colas. How's that for healthy?

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Damn, do you want the whole list or the top ten? I suppose that awkward moment when it's your turn to speak and the line escapes you and you panic for a split second. I had several of these moments in Jeffrey. Thank goodness they were only in my mind and not obvious to the audience.

What's your dream role? Maybe if the movie Longtime Companion were a stage play-but then again, that was, to quote a LeAnne Womack song, "twenty years and two husbands ago."

 Who's your theatrical crush? If I name names here it's bound to be trouble. There have been many over the years. I find I am more attracted to abilities and talent than physical beauty. Lately, I've been very impressed with Blair Thompson-who happens to possess all the aforementioned qualifications and not hard on the eyes either.

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Thomas Prunier

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? The first time I was on stage was at four-years-old in the Boston Theater production of Nutcracker. I was a toy under the tree.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Reminding myself that I get to be onstage. I always stop, center myself, and say just go for it!

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? The first time I got booed! I wanted to run but I wanted to prove him wrong too. I finished my set and would go back anytime.

What's your dream role? Anything where I could be comedic, sing and dance. My dream role would have been to have one scene from Will and Grace with Karen Walker!

Who's your theatrical crush? Hugh Jackman for the boys and Kristen Chenoweth for the girls!

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Richard Browder

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? In 1986 I was one of the first 25 students chosen to participate of Tennessee'sGovernors School of Theatrical Arts. I was in the "musical version" of Spoon River Anthology, directed by Rhonda Wallace. I played Reverend Wiley.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I walk through my blocking on the set and go over my lines. I check my props.Pray! I stretch and do some kind of vocal warm-up. I also perform the "IHope I Get It" dance from A Chorus Line!

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? I was working summer stock at a theater company that shall remain nameless. Iwas playing the role of the "Negro" in the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint…It was an outside theatre and I was in the middle of my song "Feeling Good." Thesong lyrics begin with "Birds flying high." In the song I, "the negro," was supposedto climb a pole that represented the "Game." Anyway, one night I begin to sing mysong and I look up at what I thought was a bird and thought "this is good-use it!"It was a bat! The bat crashes on to the stage moving like a rat with wings causingme to run off stage in the middle of this song….in front of a live audience. They stopthe show to calm me down. But I did not go back on, but the show did. So that goesto show you that "one negro on a pole does not make a show."

What's your dream role? Any role in The Scottsboro Boys!

Who's your theatrical crush? A tie between Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman

 

Photos by Jessica Storvik/MayFlower Photography

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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