An interview with Jill Sesso, playing Dominique in Lucky Stiff in Concert

Jill Sesso

How are rehearsals going for Lucky Stiff in Concert? What do you like most about the process?

Rehearsals are going great. Fast and furious and a lot of fun. Kind of like the 48 Hour musicals, I love that this process tests my ability to learn and retain a show in a very short amount of time.

What inspired you to want to be in Lucky Stiff in Concert?
I’ve been familiar with the show for a few years now, and when I heard TMTC was putting it up I knew I really wanted to be a part of it.

Where are you from?

I am from the northwest suburbs, Barrington and now I live in Chicago.

What was your favorite game as a child?

Scrabble…still is. Love it.

Why should people come see Lucky Stiff?

People should come see this show because it is hilarious and ridiculous and the cast is extremely talented.

What is your favorite color? Why?

Green. It puts me at peace. =)

Do you like dogs If so, what is your favorite kind?

I LOVE DOGS. I want one BADLY but am too busy to have one and treat it fairly. My favorite kind, and one day I WILL have a Blenheim-colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. If I’m lucky and have a yard, I will also have a Boxer and an English Bulldog. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

See Jill Sesso in Lucky Stiff in Concert Nov. 30-Dec. 9, 2012. For tickets call 847.579.4900 or visit http://www.themusictheatrecompany.org

An interview with Elizabeth Lanza, playing Annabel in Lucky Stiff in Concert

Elizabeth Lanza

How are rehearsals going for Lucky Stiff in Concert? What do you like most about the process?
Rehearsals are going great!  Its kind of a whirlwind putting the show together so quickly, I think the thing I like most about the process is the show itself.  I didn’t know the show that well before this, and I can’t stop laughing during rehearsals – I didn’t know how funny it was! 

What inspired you to want to be in Lucky Stiff in Concert?
I knew some of the music – specifically a song that my character, Annabel, sings called “Times Like This” – its been one of my favorite songs for years, and I wanted to get to be a part of the bigger picture!

Where are you from?
Wheaton, IL

What was your favorite game as a child?
Putting on 2 person productions of Disney musicals with my cousin in the living room… I still haven’t really grown out of this 🙂
Why should people come see Lucky Stiff?
BECAUSE ITS HILARIOUS! And I think its pretty perfectly cast… everyone in the show is spot on.
What is your favorite color? Why?
Pink. Its cliche I know, but its bright and happy, and I like that.
Do you like dogs? If so, what is your favorite kind?
I LOVE dogs – I grew up with miniature schnauzers, shout out to Rosie and Buttons. I also have a new love for the long haired Wheaton terrier – I think they look like real life muppets 🙂

An interview with Patrick Martin, cast member of Lucky Stiff

Fugitive Songs in Concert closed last Sunday. How do you feel?

A little turned around. It happened so fast! Rehearsal time was pretty limited for this one, so before I knew it we were in front of an audience. Then, before I knew it, we were done! With an ensemble this talented, you always want more time. It was a ton of fun.

Did you enjoy the run?

Big time. If I had my way my life would resemble this production a lot more, in that I would always be sitting among a group of talented cats with a bunch of different instruments, taking turns rocking out. What’s not to love?

What, if anything, did you learn?
I learned a lot about what it means to be part of a band. I’ve played in lots of ensembles before, but never one in which story telling was so important. It was a fun balancing act.
You begin rehearsals for Lucky Stiff in Concert on Monday. How do you feel?

Way jazzed. The piece is so different from something like Fugitive Songs, I’m awfully excited to dive into a good ol’ fashioned musical comedy, and to work with some close friends and make some new ones.

Where are you from?
I come from Marietta, Georgia. Yes, the one from J[ason] R[obert] B[rown]’s Parade.
Do you enjoy cold weather? Why or why not?

I don’t mind it. Complaining about the weather is one of the most pointless things a person can do. Best to just enjoy the snow while it’s pretty, before it turns to that unsightly brownish-grayish mush every Chicagoan is acquainted with.

Why should people come see Lucky Stiff?
First and foremost, to participate in storytelling. Secondly, to support budding professional theatre in Highland Park. Third, to marvel at some awesome voices and fantastic comic timing, which this show will be rife with.
What, if any, hair product do you use?

I’m not much for hair product, but I keep a container of CREW Forming Cream around in case my hair just isn’t cooperating that day.

What brand of jeans do you wear?

I’ve been rotating between Levi’s and Lucky Brand for a few years now. Creature of habit.

Shoes?

Everyday wear, Puma or Nike. Dress shoes, Cole Haan. Running shoes, New Balance.
See Patrick in Lucky Stiff in Concert at TMTC Nov 30-Dec 9, 2012. For tickets call 847.579.4900 or visit: http://www.themusictheatrecompany.org

An interview with Jim Beaudry, director of Lucky Stiff in Concert

You begin rehearsals for Lucky Stiff in Concert on Monday. How do you feel?

Can’t wait! The script and the cast are both wonderful.

What inspired you to want to direct Lucky Stiff in Concert?

Especially in Chicago, there’s a lot of pressure to do “important” or “edgy” or (Lord help us) “real” musicals.  Sometimes musicals are great when given the “real” treatment. But sometimes you just need to do a darn comedy! And Lucky Stiff is a great one!

Where are you from?

Cleveland, Ohio

Do you enjoy cold weather? Why or why not?

I really don’t. I loved skiing and sledding and snowstorms until I went to grad school in California, and it ruined winter for me. But it does give me a reason to buy more sweaters.

Why should people come see Lucky Stiff?

It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think people will be surprised at how strong the writing is. The songs are great, and the book matches them. The cast is a dream come true for this material. And we have some tricks up our sleeves, too!

What, if any, hair product do you use?

I use Tea Tree Shaping Cream (because I’m allergic to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Laureth Sulfate, so I need these organic things or it’s not pretty. PSA: Who thought putting tick repellents in our hair products was a good idea!?)

What brand of jeans do you wear?

Whatever was on sale at the Urban Outfitters Surplus Store on Clark and Fullerton.

Shoes?

Cole Haan

Come see Lucky Stiff in Concert at TMTC November 30-December 9. For Tickets call 847.579.4900 or visit: http://www.themusictheatrecompany.org

An Interview with Alan Schmuckler, musician and performer in Fugitive Songs in Concert

Fugitive Songs opens tonight. How do you feel?

Pretty chill. Part of the fun of this concert is how much we’ve put together in such a short time. Tonight we get to jump in with an audience and see what happens.

THE 411…

Where are you from?

Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

Where are you answering these questions from?

A front row seat at the theater, during a ten-minute break. Which is technically over, so I should go.

How did you begin your involvement with TMTC?

I’ve known Founding Artistic Director Jessica Redish since our college days at Northwestern. She’s been kind enough to keep asking me back and I’ve been lucky enough to be available.

TELL US ABOUT FUGITIVE SONGS

What drew you to Fugitive Songs?

The impulse to become a fugitive from your own life — to pack up and bolt — is very engaging, and not cut and dry. I love experiencing the journeys of these characters. It’s also very fulfilling to be onstage singing and playing piano at the same time. Can’t get enough of that.

FUN FACTS:
Where would you travel if you could? (Or, have you already been there?)

Thailand. Japan. Amsterdam. Greenland. Vienna. Israel, again. The Grand Canyon. Portland. Alaska. Hawaii. Tuscany. Greece. Edinburgh. Dublin. I could keep going.

How long would you stay?

Until I wanted to come home.

What’s next?

Writing music, music directing, and piano/conducting About Face Theatre’s new holiday musical WE THREE LIZAS, going up November-December at the Steppenwolf Garage.

Did you ever have a pet? If so, what kind?

Hermit crabs, snakes, iguanas. I had even more allergies as a kid than I do now.

Do you want one? If so, what kind?

Oh, a big, woofy, superintelligent dog.
Check out Alan playing and singing Fugitive Songs in Concert Nov 2-11 at The Music Theatre Company. http://www.themusictheatrecompany.org

An Interview with Andrew Mueller – performer and musician in Fugitive Songs in Concert

THE 411…

Where do you hail from?

I originally hail from Evanston, IL.

What have we seen you in most recently?

The last show I was in was a new show called Some Lovers at the Old Globe I’m San Diego, but the last show anyone in Chicago saw me in probably would’ve been For The Boys at the Marriott Theatre last fall/winter.

How did you get connected with The Music Theatre Company?

I initially got embroiled in the delicious soup that is TMTC when I auditioned for Merrily We Roll Along. What a great group of folks that show was. [Editor’s note: He performed as Tyler and went on as Charlie Kringas for the last week of the run.]
TELL US ABOUT FUGITIVE SONGS….

What, if anything, interested you about Fugitive Songs and inspired you to join the cast?

It’s unlike anything else I’ve done before. I’ve played guitar in shows before, but this feels more like a cohesive band and concert, without sacrificing any of the narrative or character. Theoretically, it actually enhances those things. So many of the songs are really just monologues; the audience is going to go along with you telling them a story, why not sweeten the deal and play them a song, too?

In what ways do you relate to the songs you sing?

My character is, I think, suddenly realizing that he’s living a life he doesn’t recognize and doesn’t exceptionally like, that sort of “I’m only doing this this until I can support myself and do what I really want.” Then he realizes he didn’t know what he wanted to begin with. I think it’s a common lost 20-something plight. One lyric, specifically, in the song “Shine,” gets me every time: “I’m quite concerned that the fuel that keeps us going / are just fears that won’t subside once we’ve arrived.” But at the same time he’s listing all these misgivings from this crushingly low place, the song’s all about hope. It’s all about how there WILL be a time when we’ll all get the opportunity to make things right.

I just totally ranted. I really dig that song.

What do you hope the audience will take away from the evening?

I hope the audiences will take away that when they’re feeling lost or unsure, when they just want to run away from their problems, they are HUGELY not alone. I think there are enough varied stories and characters for most people to relate to on some level. I just hope, for their sakes, it’s not the one about their crazy friend holding up a gas station.

FUN FACTS:

What’s your favorite sandwich at Subway? (Include toppings.)

I’ve recently been enjoying the falafel on flatbread. I get everything there with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, a little mayo, red wine vinegar, and seasoning. The falafel gets cucumber sauce. I’ve never been able to get behind olives on anything. I’m obviously still not an adult.

Do you get chips and a drink with it?

Sometimes I get chips and a drink. Mostly I’m an unaccompanied footlong sort of guy.

Cookie?

I just recently discovered the cookies. They try and make you buy three with that deal, though. I don’t need three cookies, and you know it, Subway. I thought you were pretending to be healthy.

See Andrew play various instruments and sing in Fugitive Songs in Concert Nov 2-11 at The Music Theatre Company. http://www.themusictheatrecompany.org