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BWW Interview: Mark William Returns to The Green Room 42 on Saturday, September 25

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BroadwayWorld caught up with Mark William just days before the big event.

BWW Interview: Mark William Returns to The Green Room 42 on Saturday, September 25 Mark William will return to The Green Room 42 for the first time since the pandemic with his show Back With A Beat on Saturday September 25th at 7:00pm. BroadwayWorld caught up with Mark William just days before the big event.


First of all, how excited are you to be returning to The Green Room 42 with your show, Back With A Beat?

Well, I'm very excited. It's been a long time, a year-and-a-half, since I've been at The Green Room and I feel like that's my home club because I've performed there so often. It's exciting to be back, to have my audience back in the room, and just to be on stage again performing with all my buddies in the band, including my brilliant musical director and arranger Clint Edwards, just getting back to doing what I love.

Because this will be your first time performing again in front of a New York audience, right?

Yeah, the last time was March 6th, 2020, so it's been quite a while. Very excited to be back on a New York stage.

Can you give us any hints of what the show will consist of?

You're gonna have some of our favorites from my past repertoire, along with a few new things that Clint and I have cooked up. Some classic Broadway stuff and a surprise or two. Also, I'm a part of a new musical that I've been writing with friends and you may get a little preview of that.

Ok, so we're very intrigued now about this brand-new musical you just mentioned. Can you tell us a little more?

Well, it's based on the writings of Oscar Wilde. My friend Andrew Morrissey and I have been writing the music and lyrics and my manager, Preston Ridge, is spearheading everything. It's gonna be a full book musical. It's called A Wilde Affair and I'm gonna play one of Wilde's most iconic characters.

So, we may get a sneak peak of a number or so from this A Wilde Affair at The Green Room?

Yes.

So, when did you start performing live again?

I was in Ohio for 14 months. I didn't do any professional singing while I was there. I kept my chops up singing for church and stuff like that. But my first time back on a professional stage was in July. We went up to Maine, to the Deertrees Theatre and I did my original act, Come Croon With Me, up there on their beautiful stage. It's a legendary theatre. It has a roof, but it's open air, so it was fun to do that and they've already asked me back for next year. Hoping that works out.

How magical was that? Isn't Deertrees Theatre what they based the motion picture of White Christmas on?

Yeah, if you go out the back of the stage you come to this big barn door that slides open in the back and we were told that was the inspiration for that magical scene in White Christmas where they open the back of the stage up and the snow is falling and everything. It was very cool. I would love to see it with the snow falling in the magic of Winter.

How incredible was it finally performing again in front of a live audience in Maine, in that beautiful setting?

It felt really good. You know, Maine is gorgeous. I felt lucky that we got to spend a few days up there. The audiences that came out were just thrilled to be back in a theatre, to hear great music, and to see a fun performance. People drove from not only all over the state, but all over the country to come see it, so it was very cool. I just got back recently from my second time performing live again. We went out to Michael Feinstein's gorgeous new club. It's Feinstein's at Hotel Carmichael in Carmel, Indiana and it was a fabulous experience. It was my first time doing my show at a Feinstein's club and I would love to keep doing that. Thankfully, it looks like I'm going to. It was a great experience. We had nearly sold-out houses both nights and had some of the big wigs from the hotel and the area come by and promise that the next time they were gonna buy up the whole room. So I really enjoyed it and look forward to heading back, hopefully in the Spring.

So, you've been asked back?

Yes, my manager and production manager, Daniel, are currently scheduling a Spring tour for me.

What are some of your plans for the near future?

Well, like I said, we've got this new musical happening. We've just done a table read of that and we're planning to get it on a New York stage in 2022. So we'll be doing the finishing touches to get it ready. If you come to The Green Room on the 25th, you just might find out who I'm playing in the show. I recently filmed a five-part commercial spot for a new app that is set to air at some point all over social media, so look out for me doing a little tribute to Dick Van Dyke in my commercial. That was a lot of fun too. We shot all over New York City on location. It was my first time carrying a project like that and that was really exciting.

BWW Interview: Mark William Returns to The Green Room 42 on Saturday, September 25 It must feel really great just to be performing live again and doing things live, in front of people.

Yeah, just to be back working with other people again. During the pandemic I did a little video series with my mom. I was staying with her in Ohio, so we decided to do a weekly video of "Mark and Mom". She's a pianist, so we would choose a song or a medley each week and create a little video to share with my friends and my fans. It was a lot of fun, but it's so nice to be back in my professional world, playing with people again and working on all these different projects. Just seeing things on the move again.

Didn't you film a TV special while you were home too?

A gentleman that I had worked with before I moved out to New York is part of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, but he's also an archivist and a big fan of classic Tin Pan Alley music. For the Ted Lewis Museum, he put together a new media presentation of all Tin Pan Alley songs. He knew that I was a song-and-dance-man. I had worked for him before as a performer and a choreographer, so he asked me to fill that role. I recreated some historical routines of famous songs from that era, as well as doing a little bit of my own choreography to supplement, and had a really good time. The name of it is Gilded Age Gaieties and it's available on YouTube. It felt like a classic TV special and the amazing part was that we filmed it at a historical opera house in Hayesville, Ohio. If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't know it was there, because you walk up and there's a little sign in front, but it's just a little door in what looks like store fronts. But you walk up this big set of stairs and there's this gorgeous, classic theatre. They still have all these original drops and set pieces back there and there are signatures all over the dressing room walls from all the people who've played there for the past century. There's just a cool air about that place and it was a treat to be able to add my name to the list of who has played that stage.

Felt like going back to a whole other time, right?

Absolutely. I've also recently filmed part of A New Television pilot, which I'm very excited about. I'm the lead character and we've got some interest from a couple major platforms, so I'm looking forward to finishing the filming and hopefully seeing that move forward along with whatever else comes my way.

Who do you play in this pilot?

I play a young man who is about to be ordained as a Catholic priest, but he has a little issue because he's struggling with some personal life issues and with his sexuality, which is obviously a difficult subject with the Catholic Church at this point in time. It's a fascinating beginning to a story and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

This is perfect for the Ryan Murphy camp, isn't it?

Yes, it is. Sexuality and religion. It has the potential to capture the kind of cult audience that his stuff attracts.

So, what are you looking forward to the most with returning on September 25th?

I think just being back in my home club with so many of my audience who I haven't seen in a year and a half. They're so supportive of me and what I do, and it'll be so nice to be back in the room with them, sharing the music that we all love, and just doing our thing again.


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