Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA - Closing Night, 22 February 2009
My people! After years of “stalking” the Third National Tour, I grew accustomed to knowing my cast very well, indeed. Signature is the closest thing to the tour family I’ve had outside of the Broadway Revival (half of which, at least, was composed of my tour family), and I still see most of these people on a fairly regular basis. I love that Eric Schaeffer used DC locals for the most part, and this has really been “my cast” in so many ways. Adore them all.
Greg was my first Valjean back in 1998, god help us all. (ok, technically, he was my second Valjean, but I have no evidence of the first and I wasn’t a fangirl at the time. I was hardcore by the time I saw Greg three years later.) It was a real treat to get to see him again, and he was everything I remembered. I hope he’ll come back to Signature some day to work on another show.
Andrew first came to Signature the previous year as Andy in Glory Days, and he kind of has that fratboy personality. Yet his Marius was absolutely gorgeous, heart-rending, thoroughly adorable and believable. He made such a wonderful pairing with Stephanie Waters’ Cosette. I may well never see him in a romantic lead again, but it was revelatory.
I first saw Felicia in tick, tick, Boom! at MetroStage, and she's so tiny and gorgeous and fierce. Her Eponine was dead-on perfect, just the right sort of creepy to be creepy and still break your heart. The way she was always looking around for Marius and mooning over him was exactly what a stage Eponine should be.
Originally found Chris in 1776 at Olney, singing the hell out of "Molasses to Rum" even though his wig was pretty awful. His Enjolras wig was pretty awful, too, but his interpretation was fantastic. In real life he’s short, bald, and yes, that goatee does not exactly scream “Enjolras”, but he had so much charisma onstage, I would follow him anywhere. And he showed us how the blood pack works when he gets shot (yes, Eric made sure there was blood, because Eric is awesome). Chris has definitely become something of a friend.
James was the book writer on Glory Days, a very talented young man who is actually younger than I am. First saw him when he was still in school, playing Rochester in the University of Maryland’s production of Jane Eyre; he turned up at Signature for the first time about a year later in the ensemble of Saving Aimee. The embarrassing goatee here was because he was playing Babet. James is one of the sweetest guys in the world, and I consider myself very lucky to have seen him go on as Frank Shepard in Merrily We Roll Along because he brought the right sort of youth and baggage to the roll (what with Glory Days).
Tracy Lynn Olivera
Tracy was our gorgeous Fantine. I’ve been a fan since I saw her as Mary in Merrily We Roll Along, and she’s just so much fun. It was so nice to see her in the sort of role she’s brilliant at by rarely gets a chance to play because it’s so much easier to typecast her as the mother or the comic relief (and she is hilarious).
Matty is one of my best actorfriends, and it’s really thanks to LM that I finally went over and spoke to him. He’s a composer as well as an actor, and I’ve been a fan of his music since Nevermore premiered back in the Garage (Signature’s old theatre space). Someone told us that he was going on as Thénardier, so we went over and asked when, and introduced ourselves properly, and I’ve been friends with Matty ever since. One of the sweetest guys in the world, and dead talented, and I see him more than anyone else because he plays the piano in the lobby before shows and will chat while working *g*. His Thénardier was pretty good, too, but I love Matty most for his composing.
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