They don’t sing a single note in Arena Stage’s production of the Jones and Schmidt musical The Fantasticks and they don’t perform any of the eye-popping illusions, so how did they steal the show? Joel Markowitz schmoozed with Lawrence O’Dwyer and Jesse Terrill, who are both hysterical as old actor Henry and his partner Mortimer.
“We represent a seedy, more realistic view of the world than any of the other characters. We have a little bit of history, and we did places. We have a little bit of danger and edge with the comedy. We are something new that comes into the play at certain points.” Larry explained.
Larry, who had never thought of playing Henry before, was asked to perform the role of Henry, replacing actor Terrence Currier, just 2 1/2 days before opening night.
Larry has enjoyed a long theatrical career – from playing Louis Pasteur as a kid, performing in Off-Broadway shows, and winning awards for “playing insanity”. Although Baltimore audiences see him often in straight roles, he has also performed in many musicals: from touring as Little Chap in Stop the World- I Want to Get Off, and many performances as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, to being the judge in Sweeney Todd.
Why does Larry enjoy performing in the show? “I love the Everyman quality of it. It’s a story everyone knows about…You go away feeling good”. Jesse: “It’s a simple story, but highly theatrical. It’s a great imaginative play that will get the kids thinking, and it’s a great way for kids to get into the theatre.”
Arena Stage’s production of The Fantasticks plays at The Lincoln Theatre, through January 10, 2010.
For details, directions and tickets, click here.