LEGALLY BLONDE's Matt Hunter Turns His Attention To THE FRIDAY FIVE

July 13
12:51 AM 2012

LEGALLY BLONDE's Matt Hunter Turns His Attention To THE FRIDAY FIVE

Inspired by's Friday Six, welcome to's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find on stages in the Volunteer State.

Today's spotlight falls upon Matthew Hayes Hunter, aka Matt Hunter, who is currently onstage in Legally Blonde the Musical at Woodbury's Arts Center of Cannon County.  The show only runs through Saturday night, so you better make it snappy if you want to catch his bravura performance. Coming up, he'll be performing at The First Night Honors on Sunday, September 2, at The Troutt Theatre at Belmont University, and in late September he'll be appearing in the MTSU Theatre production of Guys and Dolls.

So, gentle readers, press on…and find out more about the handsome and talented Matt Hunter (and go see him this weekend!)…

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? My first legit (yeah, I say "legit"...a lot!) theatrical experience was playing Dopey in a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I was in the sixth grade and was the oldest, tallest dwarf. I had two lines, one of them being the first time we all met Snow White. "It's nice to meet you White Snow...I mean, Snow White." I definitely stole the show (wink wink).

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? It kinda changes show-to-show, I'd say. But one show in particular had a few specific ones: While playing Corny Collins in Hairspray last summer, I became really close friends with the actress playing Tracy Turnblad. When places were called, she'd get preset in the bed on a revolve for "Good Morning Baltimore." I would always go up and kiss her on the cheek and tell her to "Break a leg!" Every show. Never missed it. Also preset on the revolve for that show were the actors playing Amber and Link and me, and we were spun around onto the stage for "The Nicest Kids in Town"...we would make silly faces at each other right until the second we started moving. Good times!

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? I was in a production that won Best Show at the Tennessee Theatre Association's Community Theatre Festival, and we traveled to Kentucky to compete at the Southeastern Theatre Conference. I was 18 years old at the time and a senior in high school. I couldn't have been more excited to go be immersed in theatre for a week. Of course, as soon as we got there, I got the worst cold of my life. I had a sore throat and could barely talk. I stayed in bed most of the trip while everyone else enjoyed the conference. In the show, Suicide in B-Flat, I played an anal-retentive detective and had to yell quite a bit. It hurt like hell, but I gave it all I had and got lots of compliments on the performance, despite feeling like my vocal folds had been run over by a truck!

What's your dream role? Oh gosh, you mean just one?! If I had to narrow it down to a few, I'd say Mark Cohen in Rent, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde, Bobby in Company, and Horton in Seussical-but the absolute top of my list is Huey Calhoun in Memphis!

Who's your theatrical crush? Christian Borle or Aaron Tveit...I wouldn't complain with either one! But I also have my eye on Katherine Sandoval Taylor...we've recently become best friends, for those who are unaware.


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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 - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.



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