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BWW Interview: Renowned Theatre Director GLENN CASALE Continues to Keep an Astoundingly Busy Schedule

Prolifically talented director Glenn Casale's pursuits in the LA theatre community are immeasurable and should not go unnoticed. He took time out from an ultra busy schedule to talk about his post as artistic director of Music Circus in Sacramento - which is presenting its last offering for the current season La Cage Aux Folles this week through Sunday August 24 - and also about a production of Beauty and the Beast which will open soon in Russia.

How long have you been artistic director with Music Circus in Sacramento?

Since 2009.

Is it a challenge to direct musicals in the round?

I have been directing here for 27 years. It is exciting to rediscover musicals in the round. It is a challenge, but a good one.

More so than on a regular stage?

It frees your creativity up. You are not bound by a proscenium arch.

Tell us about your production of Beauty and the Beast.

I have done Beauty and the Beast in 13 countries. All of the productions are in the the language of the country. One is closing in Paris, and we are building a new one in Moscow in October. My Little Mermaid just closed there. It is also playing in Japan. Beauty had been to Moscow for a two year run in 2009-10. They are bringing it back.

What is so special about Beauty and the Beast?Audiences just adore it. Is it because it appeals to the entire family, do you think?

It speaks to all generations. I think it is a passionate and timeless story. I feel it really speaks to today's audience. Like Les Mis, it is based on a great French Novel.

Talk a little about Peter Pan, which you have long?

Peter Pan was in my life for 15 years. It is also a story that we love to hear over and over. We all don't want to grow up. Cathy Rigby made the piece. She was a great actress and she became that boy.

How did directing musicals become your line of work? Did you start as a dancer or actor/singer/dancer in musicals?

I started as an actor. I wanted to be a TV actor when I moved to LA. I had an MFA in directing. A friend wrote a play and asked if I would direct it. Mark Harmon, George Clooney and Brian Cranston were actors in it.

Do you have a favorite show of all those you have mounted?

They all are special, but The Little Mermaid is one that I am very proud of.

Are you directing plays as well or is it strictly musicals at this point?

I love plays....I did Prisoner of Second Avenue with Jason Alexander two years ago. It is hard with my Music Circus job.

Tell us what else is on the horizon for the coming season anywhere 2014-2015.

I have been working on a couple of new musicals that are being developed. I am doing Mary Poppins for La Mirada in May In the fall of 2015 we are putting The Little Mermaid out on tour. Right now we are planning next years season at Music Circus.

Boy oh boy, you sure are one busy director. Can you give a little preview of what may be on at Music Circus in 2015? I know you talked a little about La Cage last year...and voila, it's up next this season!

We are looking at the survey now. The titles that people want are what we want to give them. Interesting titles....Some old favorites, a couple of new. We shall see.

Thanks for your time, Glenn.

Thank you for being such a support of the theater.

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