Signature Theatre has adapted the mega-musical Show Boat for its Max Theatre using a cast of 25 actors (the original production had a cast of 70+ actors), and popular Washington character actor Harry Winter, who plays Cap’n Andy, talks about how they did it.
“Captain Andy has it all. He’s an impresario. He’s got the smiley face and the frowney face – all in one show… He pops in at the most important times, and keeps the action moving”.
On working with co-star Kimberly Schraf, who plays his wife Parthy, “ Kimberly knows that in the original book, Cap’n Andy falls off the ship and dies, and she has to take over.” So Schraf creates a woman capable of being the Queen of the Mississippi ” rather being an uptight New Englander, who sits back and judge everyone.”
On working with Director Eric Schaeffer, “He just lets us roll with a role. We surprise each other… We surprise him and lead in different directions, and he’ll come back with a suggestion saying, “Cut that back, or that’s too much, or we need a whole lot more…”
Why should theatre goers come to see Show Boat? “The humanity in the show is worth seeing, especially at the holiday season. You’ll see a lot of love from a lot of different people radiating off the stage.”
Show Boat plays through January 17th, 2010 at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, in Arlington, VA. For Details, Directions and Tickets, click here.
To listen to Joel talk with Harry Winter about playing Benjamin Franklin in Olney Theatre Center’s production of 1776, click here.