Stories & Cast Interviews
Patti Wilcox ... Back for RENT!
Patti Wilcox, the Brilliant Director/Choreographer will return to WBT to direct RENT. WBT theatre-goers may remember her outstanding directorial efforts in our Productions of Little Shop Of Horrors and Aida.I grew up in Decatur, Illinois with my parents, one sister and two Brothers. I had a great Midwestern upbringing and a wonderfully supportive Family.
It was the works of Kidd, Robbins, Fosse and countless modern choreographers that made me want to choreograph. I love the way story can be told through movement.I started out as a Choreographer and Assistant Director for a show in NYC called BLUES IN THE NIGHT. Sheldon Epps, who is a Broadway Director and was the Conceiver and Director of that show, greatly influenced the Direction of my career.
I have not seen the Film version of RENT. But I had the great pleasure to be at Opening Night on Broadway (1996) And was Invited to closing night but I was, unfortunately, unable to attend. My approach to Directing this ground-breaking piece is to simply tell the story!
As a Dancer, My favorite show to dance was WEST SIDE STORY. As a Choreographer, I seem to love best whatever I am working on at the time. I would like to do KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN because the movement possibilities are just endless. And what I look forward to most would be to work on the piece that has yet to be written.
When not on Stage I enjoy being with my husband and two children. Traveling, Tennis, and we all just discovered ZIP-LINING!What's on my Ipod? I wouldn't even know where to begin... About EVERYTHING!
Peter Pan?? Shh...he's really a girl!!
I attended Maria Regina High School, graduated with honors from Westchester Community College and received a BFA from Purchase College Conservatory. My first year of college, I had decided I would become a pharmacist. I thought that was a strong/reliable choice. I got a job working in CVS in the pharmacy so that I would be ready. I had a meeting with my academic advisor and he took a final glance at the courses we had chosen and said: "I’ve got an idea, how about you try taking a theatre class." I was a little surprised. Then I thought, " hmmm, maybe as a hobby". I signed up for an acting class. The teacher put actors in pairs and gave out one scene for each couple to perform. I watched couple after couple get up and perform their scenes. The day came that it was my turn to perform my scene. I sat in a wheelchair, my character was handicapped and began the scene. Something changed the moment I sat in the chair, I began to feel. And I forgot who I was for a moment. When the scene was over the whole class stood up and applauded. When I could finally focus again, on something besides the character I was playing, I saw everyone standing there, clapping, and I began to cry. It was a wonderful moment. I have pursued the theatre since then…..
I’ve worked in the children’s entertainment business for the last 7 years. I’m a party planner/entertainer. It’s a great job for an actor. I’ll dress up as a Princess, Pirate or whatever character a child could possibly desire for their birthday. We play games with them, give out prizes, face paint, make balloon animals, etc. It’s a lot of fun working with children and they ARE the toughest audience. Also, it provides a person with some of the funniest stories you’ll ever hear in your life. The birthday party business is chock full of entertaining mishaps
Gary gabs! (in a dress!)
Gary Lynch is turning out a hilarious performance as Joe/Josephine in SUGAR! One you won't want to miss! I asked him to tell us a bit about his journey!
I grew up in Rhode Island, my Mom is an artist and my Dad was a teacher, athletic director, and coach, I started playing sports and acting at a young age...the two combined are what I feel represents who I am.....
My Mom got me involved in theatre at a young age to combat shyness...LOL, I was hooked after performing onstage, it was Home...I also didn't mind the multitudes of actresses....what a life! It's where I met my wife.
How does it feel to play the girls? It has its own persona, I try my best to be my version of a woman, I consider it an acting exercise..stretch the limits....and of course, I have a new found respect for the amount of time that goes into making an appearance...all that make up and uncomfortable heels...yikes!
I recently saw the Billy Wilder movie and realized I never saw the whole thing until now...I think the musical tries to capture the best of the film but could have had more of the film content in the stage show
What are my favorite shows? Yikes...I commit to everything I'm involved in.....I don't have a favorite...but Les Miz would be on the top of my list. My dream role is something I originate in a new show.....
You are my Sugar!
The fabulous Colleen Hawks, as Sugar Kane in SUGAR, "The Some Like It Hot" Musical!
I grew up in a little cowboy town in California's Central Valley called Oakdale. I started taking ballroom dance when I was in 2nd grade and competed in the LA Star ball when I was in 6th grade winning the junior's Waltz competition with my partner Michael Thompson (now Las Vegas choreographer Mic Thompson). My sister, Lenore, was a competitive ballroom dancer, and she was the one who got me started and always pushed me to try new things. I started taking tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, flute and piano in fourth grade, which I kept up with mostly through high school and college. My poor mom was stuck driving me from our little town to bigger areas always at least a half hour away almost every day of the week. I started taking voice lessons from Hildegard Shadbolt at the age of 16, which was the earliest she would take students and started college as an opera performance major as a coloratura soprano. Once I discovered the musical theatre BFA program, though, I was hooked and transferred over, as musical theatre was always my first love. I discovered it for the first time in fourth grade at Fallon House Theatre in historic Columbia, CA, where my mom took me to the whole season of summer stock. Back then the productions were put on by University of the Pacific. I can remember sitting in the audience and just feeling a burning desire in my heart to be up on that stage doing what they were doing.
I 've seen several of Marilyn Monroe's movies, including Some Like It Hot. The first time I was asked to impersonate her was for an American Variety show in Japan, where I was fortunate to be the lead singer opposite Hinton Battle, and also introduce the various scenes as "Marilyn." They had me do a running gag as Marilyn with a local Japanese comic who was trying to deliver an orange tree to someone in the audience. Every time he appeared the tree had grown, and as Marilyn, each time my Japanese got a little better, but still bad enough to provide some comedy with my errors.
I think the musical adaptation "Sugar" is really a fun show. I think having Spat's and his gang portrayed as tapping gangsters is brilliant and I think most of the music is extremely well written. My favorite is probably "Penniless Bums," which I find myself humming every so often. Some of the funniest lines in the movie were unfortunately left out of the stage version, although we have rectified that in some instances in our version here at Westchester. I also think it's such an iconic film that the main characters are obligated to give nods to the stars that made it famous. I believe audiences would be disappointed if they didn't get to see a hint of Marilyn in the role. Fortunately, the role is such a vulnerable, kind of messed up character -- to me -- it almost is Marilyn, so layering a little of her mannerisms with the honesty of what's happening to the character isn't all that hard a stretch. The most difficult thing is to keep it honest and not let her become a caricature. I have to say, this is made much easier by having such talented co-stars in Gary Lynch and Eric Santagata!
When not on stage I very much enjoy teaching. I am the musical theatre director for Rutgers' Summer Acting Camp and the choreographer for Bronx High School of Science Spring Musical each year. I co-wrote and directed my husband's one-man show Southern Man. voice out of my home. Other than that I'm a huge bookworm and can be caught in my spare moments reading fantasy fiction. Last but not least, I'm a little bit of a computer geek as evidenced by my website, which I had a fun time putting together and am constantly playing with. I do photo retouching, a little bit of oil painting and I have two cats who yes, have their own web page, also on my site! In fact, you can learn more about me on that darned website than you probably ever wanted to know!