Interview: William Thomas Evans of BAZ-A MUSICAL TOUR DE FORCE at The Palazzo Theatre at The Venetian Las Vegas
BAZ-A Musical Tour de Force continues to attract crowds as one of most fun and vibrant shows on the Las Vegas Strip. This highly acclaimed production is performed at The Palazzo Theatre at The Venetian six times a week, Thursday through Tuesday at 8:00 pm and at 9:00 pm on Fridays. This summer, the energetic and talented cast is about to celebrate the show's second anniversary.
Set in a modern and intimate cabaret, BAZ-A Musical Tour de Force is a celebration, a mash-up of music and moments from the greatest love stories imagined by famed director Baz Luhrmann. Inspired by his most romantic films, including Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and The Great Gatsby, the show has captivated audiences with soul-stirring music and stunning performances from an ensemble cast of vocalists, actors, and dancers.
William Thomas Evans came directly to "BAZ" from a year-long run in the off-Broadway production of "The Fantasticks," in which he played Hucklebee. Prior to that he was on the national tour of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in 2014-2015 where he played Jacob/Pothiphar. He was Senator Lamar Farcus on Amazon's first series "Alpha House" starring John Goodman for two seasons. Evans was in the original Broadway companies of "Camelot" (1993 revival starring Robert Goulet), "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (versions 1 and 2), occasionally plating the title role (cast albums), and "A Tale of Two Cities," in which he played the Attorney General (cast album). He has performed as Santa Claus for more than a million and a half people across the country in the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular."
What was your earliest interest in the performing arts?
My Mom would say my earliest interest in the arts would be when she took me to see a national tour of Annie and when we left the theatre I had her buy the Annie t-shirt, the souvenir program, the cast recording - I loved everything about the experience. I did my first musical in college, Godspell and then I was really hooked, coupled with listening to Les Miserable for the first time...and I fell in love.
Tell us about someone who has inspired your career?
The first person who inspired me was Robert Goulet. We did the Broadway revival as well as a national tour together. His command of the stage I will never forget.
From Broadway to Las Vegas! What have been some of the differences, or similarities of performing in NYC and Vegas? I've had friends star in shows in Vegas and I've always wanted to come to here to perform. I come from the world of musical theatre, straight plays, and TV. I never thought I would be cast in a pop/rock musical playing a character like Maestro. The entertainment community here in Vegas is so supportive and I'm grateful Vegas shares that trait with NYC.
Tell us a little about your role as Maestro in BAZ. My role of Maestro is part narrator, part ringleader and also Harold Zidler from Moulin Rouge, Lord Capulet from Romeo + Juliet, and Nick Carraway from Great Gatsby. He weaves in between all three storylines and is the glue that kind of binds these stories together. I love playing this character. I love interacting with the audience
We know that BAZ has been a very popular show. Why do you think it has generated so much buzz? I think Baz is so popular because it is so different from traditional musical theatre. It is different from anything that is on the strip. It is different from any show that I have done in my 27 years of being an actor. It's kind of a nonstop live music video. The music, singing and dancing is immersive and exciting. The way it weaves the three stores of Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby, and Romeo + Juliet through the soundtracks of these movies, is thrilling and different on such an unexpected level.
What would you like potential audiences to know about the show? Just because you might not know the movies or the music, you will still enjoy the show because the level of talent we have is unlike anything I've been a part of. The cast vocals in the show are unparalleled and I could listen to each one sing every night (and I do)! Hearing all these talented voices nightly continues to surprise and amaze me. The original Daisy, Joanna Jones is the best pop vocal I've heard live and each subsequent Daisy we had had also been at that level of talent. I've been in four original Broadway shows and I think there's a belief you need to go to NYC to hear voices like we have in our show. I'm also a huge reality TV fan, so to have the opportunity to do a show with people from So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with The Stars is incredible. Having an actual ballroom couple featured in BAZ takes dancing and choreography to an elevated level. You could hate musicals and still love this show because the dancing is so spectacular.
Anything else, absolutely anything you want BWW readers to know.
The most wonderful thing that I have discovered about being in Las Vegas is the community here. After the shooting, the way that this community rose up and supported each other with such strength and love...I will never forget that. It was so inspiring. It was beautiful.
BAZ-A Musical Tour de Force is being performed at The Palazzo Theatre at The Venetian Las Vegas through April 2019. Tickets and Packages can be purchased at any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo or by calling 702.414.9000 or 866.641.7469 or by visiting https://www.venetian.com/entertainment/baz.html. Information regarding Group Tickets or Experiences for 10 or more guests please call 702.414.1685 or email email@example.com.
For more information on The Venetian, visit: https://www.venetian.com/.
For more information on The Palazzo, visit: https://www.palazzo.com/.
Follow BAZ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: #bazpalazzo.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of BAZ