Meet Mark Lazar who Plays Nat in AH, WILDERNESS! at East Lynne Theater Company

Meet Mark Lazar who Plays Nat in AH, WILDERNESS! at East Lynne Theater CompanyThe award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company's production of Eugene O'Neill' "Ah, Wilderness!" continues to delight audiences. This large-cast comedy from 1933 originally starred George M. Cohan in the role of Nat Miller, and Will Rogers played the role on the road the following year. Nat is the editor of a newspaper in a Connecticut town in 1906, with a devoted wife and several children going through different phases of "growing pains." Mark Lazar, who was in ELTC's "Zorro!," is portraying this iconic role.

When asked about the play and the character, Mark said, "The role of Nat Miller in "Ah, Wilderness!" is widely considered to be one of the 'roles-of-a-lifetime.' It most certainly is for me, and I am simply ecstatic to be doing it. In preparation for the audition, each time I read the play, I fell more and more in love with it. And as I was preparing for rehearsals to begin, with each page I memorized, I continued to fall more and more in love with this lovely piece of theater. And this 'love affair' continues with each performance."

Mark has had the good fortune to be connected to several professional regional theaters for almost forty years. Ironically, his first role as an Acting Major in The Theatre Department of The University of Wisconsin, was in "A Cry for Players," about a young Will Shakespeare who joins an itinerant acting troupe traveling through Stratford.

Mark explained, "I have never had the burning desire 'make the move' to New York or Hollywood. I've always felt I'd rather be DOING the work. And not LOOKING for the work."

Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin he was a founding member, and ten-year veteran of The Madison Repertory Theatre. A director was brought in to direct a show who later became the Artistic Director of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, who then asked Mark to work for one season in North Carolina. Mark stayed for ten years. AbiGail Adams, the Artistic Director of People's Light & Theatre Company, in Malvern, PA, was hired to direct a production at NCSF. She asked Mark to be in "Measure for Measure" at her company, and then other plays followed. He's been a company member at People's Light for eighteen years, performing in several shows each season. Soon after "Ah, Wilderness!" closes, he starts rehearsals for it's 18th annual Holiday Panto. This year, based on "Aladdin," Mark Will once more be portraying "The Dame."

Mark elaborated: "It is not Female Impersonation. It is not Drag. It's one of the many conventions of Pantomime: it is A Guy In A Dress, in an attempt at 'broad' comedy - so to speak. A 'Panto' or Pantomime is a popular Christmas time entertainment in Great Britain. It's a boisterous, musical, slap-stick Music Hall send-up of a standard fairy tale - but re-written incorporating current events and trends. Several years ago, People's Light even sent me to England to do some research."

There's not much time left to see Mark and the rest of the cast in this comedy about family and "a first kiss." "Ah, Wilderness!" runs four nights a week, Wednesdays through Saturdays, at 8:00 p.m. at the historic First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, through September 2 only.

Tickets are $32; $27 for seniors; $17 for students and those in the military (active, retired, or a veteran.) Age 12 and under are free. For more information and to make a reservation, call 609-884-5898 or go online to www.eastlynnetheater.org.

Mainstage productions and educational outreach programs would not be possible without season sponsors Curran Investment Management, Aleathea's Restaurant, The Henry Sawyer Inn and The Washington Inn; The NJ Dept. of State, Division of Travel & Tourism; NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the generosity of many patrons. The Show Sponsor for "Ah, Wilderness!" is La Mer Beachfront Inn.

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