Interview: Mason Alexander Park Celebrates Queer Music at Green Room 42

The June 14th show will feature some of Park's favorite queer songs in an intimate concert celebrating Pride month

By: Jun. 06, 2024
Interview: Mason Alexander Park Celebrates Queer Music at Green Room 42
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Fresh from their critically acclaimed performance as The Emcee in the West End production of CabaretMason Alexander Park (Netflix’s The Sandman, NBC’s Quantum Leap) is back at The Green Room 42. On June 14th at 9:30 pm, Park will play an intimate concert celebrating Pride month. After premiering their bombastic queer history show The Pansy Craze this year in London (which got its start at The Green Room 42), Park is stripping things back to sing acoustic versions of some of their favorite queer songs, with help from frequent collaborator and Hedwig and the Angry Inch co-star Sean Linquist. This is a rare opportunity to hear and see them live, like never before.

We spoke about the upcoming show, and what it's like returning to the cabaret stage after playing the Emcee.

How would you describe your upcoming solo show at The Green Room 42? 

I would describe June 14th’s show as a cozy living room set of songs I adore, accompanied by one of my dearest friends, Sean Linquist, on guitar. He’s a brilliant musician, and we both have always wanted to do a stripped-back set of acoustic songs since we first started doing concerts together after we finished the Hedwig and the Angry Inch Broadway National Tour.

You were just in Cabaret in London. How do you feel about getting ready to be performing as yourself again after completing that run? 

I think it used to always be easier for me to perform as a character rather than as myself. I’ve never thought that I’m nearly as interesting or complex as someone like the Emcee or Hedwig… but as I’ve gotten older, I have found more and more comfort in the simplicity of that. When you’re doing a show like Cabaret, there is so much exterior magic that helps remind you that you are one single part of the greater fabric of a piece, whereas an intimate concert doesn’t have other things to distract the audience or give you a break; their entire focus is on you. After I finished Cabaret, I took a little time off from performing live while I finished filming Quantum Leap, and then the producers at Underbelly in London and I reunited to bring my solo queer history concert, The Pansy Craze, to London for a short run. I think I definitely found a lot more confidence in showing up as myself because of that experience.

What drove you to put together this more pared down, acoustical show?

An acoustic set is something I’ve always wanted to do and have admired in other vocalists… I think being able to strip everything back and really rely on how you communicate the song aurally is such a skill. To be able to give the audience an experience of music that somehow still feels full and lush is super tricky, and when it works, I think it’s incredibly emotional and cathartic for all parties involved. You’re forced to listen to the words in a much more intimate way.

What are some of your all-time favorite works of queer musical theater? What was it like putting together the set list for this show?

Cabaret has always been at the top of my list of iconic queer theatre, as well as HedwigThe Rocky Horror ShowLa Cage, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Those are all shows that not only need revivals because of their relevancy, but I would truly drop anything to partake in. It’s been a lot of fun, but also a challenge trying to avoid pulling much content from the musical theatre canon into my shows. Maybe I should just do a night of iconic queer musicals so I don’t have to think about the ratio of musicals vs. non-musical theatre songs.

What have you been listening to lately?

I have a film coming out on July 12th called National Anthem, which was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had as a performer. We are starting the press portion of promoting the film right now, and I’ve been listening to a playlist that I created for my time on set quite a bit. We shot the movie in New Mexico, and it focuses on a group of queer ranchers, with mine sort of being the matriarch of the cast… so the playlist is incredibly soft and vast. There’s a lot of Angel Olsen, Dolly Parton, Laura Marling, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, Tracy Chapman, with dashes of artists that worked on the music for the film like Perfume Genius. My character gets a moment to sing a song I really adore in the film, which Sean and I have put into this upcoming show! I’m thinking of building a show around that playlist one day, if enough queer people see the film and spread it like wildfire. I think it’s a remarkable piece.

What's coming up next for you?

After the concert, I will stay a few more days in NYC to promote National Anthem and then fly back to London to finish the next season of The Sandman, a series I’ve been a part of for the last three years on Netflix. This season is shaping up so gorgeously, and I have a really great time with the family I’ve made on it, so I’m looking forward to getting back on set and wrapping up the last few bits we have left! Then hopefully I can get back on a stage. Cabaret really reminded me of how much I thrive off of live performance, and I miss it dearly. It scratched every itch I have as a performer, so I’m hoping I can keep checking more dream roles like The Emcee off my list this year.

Tickets to see Park's show at the Green Room 42 are available here.

Follow Park on Instagram @MasonAlexanderPark.


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