La Bohème - San Francisco Previews
4-6 September 2002


Peter Lockyer
Former Broadway Marius. This picture was an experiment in sucking up by oblique references: “I was stuck in London with exams, I was so sorry to have missed you guys in SF! I was so looking forward to it! Can I have a picture with you?” It succeeded remarkably well.
But regardless of the opinion of Peter’s Marius, we are a big fan of his Act II costume in La Bohème. It would not be the same without both the pom-pom and the mustache!

Gilles Chiasson
You must understand that sometimes, I am not sane. There is no good reason for the massive crush/obsession/whathaveyou with Gilles. It stems from the desire to cast him as Guillaume in Martin Guerre. I have seriously had an obsession (but not in a scary way) since he was in The Scarlet Pimpernel, back in 1998.
I was not squealy. What was perhaps worse was that I was in “Oh my god, you are so brilliant, I finally got to see you in something, can I have a picture?” mode. He is so sweet. I was squealy on the ride home, however. Very much so.

Alfred Boe and Daniel Webb
Alfred and Wei are the adorable couple. They truly are. And Alfred is sweet and adorable offstage as well. Nice guy. I was so thrilled to have a British boy at the stage door again. Completely unfazed by stage door girlies, which makes me think Baz warned them.
Dan is hilarious onstage. I love his Colline so much. Beautiful coat aria, great facial expressions, excellent physical comedy. And after one review, if we knew him better, he’d be receiving a bottle of Drano as a present (don’t ask).

Ben Davis
The whole reason we were there to begin with. Ben. I’ve known Ben for a couple years and have been a fan since 1998. We were so afraid he would just be random ensemble boy, but I was going to go to SF just to see that, if that was what Ben was doing. Thankfully, Ben is the more brilliant of the two excellent Marcellos.
What can I say? I never expected an Act IV out of Ben. I never expected an Act IV out of Puccini, either, so fair enough. It was so wonderful to hear Ben sing for an extended period of time, and his acting was as detailed and heartfelt as I expected out of a 3NT veteran. And his falsetto was beautiful.

David Miller
The best of the three Rodolfos. David looks like Roger at the stage door, is actually rather soft spoken, and I have to say, made me want my own Rodolfo to take home. Contrary to appearances, he is a very professional actor, not just singer, with a voice to make you swoon.
He’s my preference as Rodolfo because he and Ekaterina simply have the look, and David has the best voice of the three. Ekaterina looks as if she stepped out of a 1950s film, and David is the classic romantic. Just thinking of his “Che vuol dire?” can set me sobbing, and I do not usually cry over these things.

Eugene Brancoveanu
Dear darling Eugene with his Eurotrashy accent! (and that is meant in a good way) I was terrified of scaring the boy, but I wanted to see what would happen (maybe I have an evil streak). I figured if I were to scare anyone, it would be Eugene. He is such a sweetheart! I want good things for Ben, yes, but it’s Eugene!
In all seriousness, Eugene is the brooding Marcello. Ben has a generally lighter interpretation. Brooding Marcello is not a bad thing at all. Brooding Marcello, when well done, is a good thing, and Eugene just took longer to work into the role than Ben did. Probably as a consequence of being an opera singer, while Ben is a musical theatre actor, and Baz’s direction is distinctly musical theatre.


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