BWW Interview: Aaron C. Rutherford of FRIENDS! THE MUSICAL PARODY Says It Is Wacky And Zany Fun!
Many of you are familiar with the popular 90's sitcom Friends, involving six friends that live in the same building in New York City. Though the show has been incredibly popular since its original air date in 1994, its popularity has only increased among a new generation of viewers who fall in love with the sitcom more and more each day. Fans of Friends and fans of parody comedies can see FRIENDS! The Musical Parody at the City Theatre in Detroit from February 6th through the 10th. BroadwayWorld Detroit had the opportunity to interview Aaron C. Rutherford, who plays Chandler Bing in the national tour of FRIENDS! The Musical Parody. He calls this production a wacky and zany show that audiences will love!
BroadwayWorld Detroit: Can you give our readers a brief background of yourself and then your theatre career as an introduction?
Aaron C. Rutherford: I'm a Michigan Native who grew up in the Saginaw area. I went to high school in Bay City and graduated with my BFA in Musical Theater from Western Michigan University in December of 2017. This is my first national tour, but I have done some regional stuff throughout the Midwest. I moved to New York in September of 2018 and have been doing some work out there.
BWW Detroit: How would you describe FRIENDS! The Musical Parody in your own words?
Aaron C. Rutherford: It's a very loving lampoon of the sitcom. It is very funny, but at the heart is goes back to all the good memories that everybody has of the show. We tackle the whole show in about two hours. It's a whirlwind and its wacky. It's not the sitcom itself reiterated, but audience members have said it is very nostalgic to watch.
BWW Detroit: Do you have a favorite moment, line, "and/or" song in FRIENDS! The Musical Parody?
Aaron C. Rutherford: I don't want to give too much away, but I have a number in Act Two that tends to be a crowd stopping moment. It's my favorite part of the show. The Chandler track is really fun. I get to play something like nine characters in total since we are tackling all ten seasons of the show.
BWW Detroit: What makes the production of FRIENDS! The Musical Parody special?
Aaron C. Rutherford: It's emotional for us. I'm new to the show and have only been on for a few weeks now, but during the curtain call we will tear up a bit because we are performing with our friends. It's also cool to see audience members wearing Central Perk gear or Ross and Rachel shirts. Everybody feels like a friend in the audience.
BWW Detroit: If given the chance to see something else or FRIENDS! The Musical Parody why should people come see your show?
Aaron C. Rutherford: Its zany and wacky. All the people in the show are incredibly wacky. You don't go more than 30 seconds without peeing yourself laughing.
BWW Detroit: How would you describe your character, Chandler Bing?
Aaron C. Rutherford: He was a character I didn't relate with at first, until I realized he is constantly wise cracking and figuring out a way to be a step ahead of the game. He is probably the smartest one of the group. Although he has a sort of Harvard air to him, he is also very sarcastic. He is the most self-aware of how ridiculous all the characters are.
BWW Detroit: Do you do any special preparation to play the role of Chandler Bing?
Aaron C. Rutherford: I grew up with Friends on. I've watched every YouTube compilation of Chandler there is in order to figure out who he is. Our director tasked us with finding ten different vocal mannerisms and ten different physical mannerisms and figure out the association of what the characters are doing and why through these mannerisms.
BWW Detroit: Do you see any similarities between Chandler Bing and yourself?
Aaron C. Rutherford: I think I'm more of a Phoebe. Chandler is always trying to make everybody laugh, and that's how I relate with him. I am always trying very hard to make people laugh but it doesn't usually make sense.
BWW Detroit: Do you have special pre-show or post-show rituals that you do?
Aaron C. Rutherford: I like to say a little prayer before I go on. I like to thank the universe for the opportunity to perform with people that I really care about. I love the opportunity to make people laugh. Post show is usually a mad dash to get all your costumes organized.
BWW Detroit: What is your favorite episode of Friends?
Aaron C. Rutherford: The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath.
BWW Detroit: Do you have some of the same idiosyncrasies and oddities of Chandler onstage?
Aaron C. Rutherford: I do his frown a lot. When something silly is happening, my face doesn't hide that something silly is happening.
BWW Detroit: What will Friends fans specifically enjoy about the show?
Aaron C. Rutherford: We manage to get so much into so little time. There are lots of appearances by so many different characters. It is a nostalgic lookback at the 90's. Though it doesn't have a moral, the lesson at the end is that your friends are going to always be there for you.
BWW Detroit: Do you have a personal social media contacts you want listed for the readers?
Aaron C. Rutherford:
Twitter and Instagram: @aaroncrthrfrd.
FRIENDS! The Musical Parody will play the City Theatre for five performances at 7:30 p.m. starting Wednesday, February 6 through Sunday, February 10. Tickets ($30 general admission) are on sale now and can be purchased at 313Presents.com, Little Caesars Arena XFINITY box office and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (313) 471-3099. Please note, the show is recommended for ages 13 and up due to adult humor and language.
Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Visit http://friendsparodyontour.com/ for more information and the latest tour dates.
*Show information courtesy of 313 Presents.