I am embarking on one of the great roles in all of musical theatre, that of Herbie in GYPSY! And it has less singing than any musical lead I have ever played. I have had two rehearsals and have already taken more notes than I usually do because the script is so good and the opportunities are there to do terrific work. Boy, do I have my work cut out for me!
Herbie is not much like me on the surface, and already I can feel the subtle urgings of our director and musical director to get me to be all those things that are opposite of Walter: less, smaller, contained, still, quiet, mousy. Yes, on the surface, I am more like Rose than Herbie (and my Rose is more like Herbie than Rose), but then, that's why it's called acting! I am looking at all the clues Arthur Laurents has left in the script (and this is one of the best scripts I've ever had the pleasure to work on), and really working on my back story. He reminds me of my maternal grandfather, who suffered through his marriage to my grandmother for many, many years--quiet on the outside but boy oh boy, if he decided to let loose, look out.
But first I have to finish the run of CURTAINS, which closes with five more sold-out performances this weekend.