Meet The unscrupulous, Mr. Hastings, Daniel Marcus

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

Daniel Marcus (l) with Spencer Plachy(as Peter Cratchit) and Justin Scott Brown(as Tim).

I grew up in Menlo Park in California which is next to Palo Alto where Stanford University is. My upbringing? My dad was an attorney in San Francisco and being the youngest of 5 in the baby boom era, mom had her hands full with us.  I have a sister who's married with grown children and has lived on Kibbutz Eilon up on the Lebanese border for 38 years. My oldest brother, Greil Marcus,  is a very well known author,  he's a hugely esteemed guy. One brother is no more but was my hero and cheering squad for my becoming an actor through high-school. He was in all the plays and musicals in high school and majored in theatre and then decided to become a lawyer. Bill Marcus. And the other brother Steve is retired and lives near Santa Rosa in California. 

What Influenced me to pursue Acting?  "Patience" by Gilbert and Sullivan. I was 7 when my parents took me to see an amateur production and that did it. I spent the next 7 years coming home after school and listening to one of the operas by them twice through. This loosened up when Bill (see mentor brother above) suggested we watch something called the Tonys (only the 2nd year of their national telecast). In the midst of the scenes from plays (they did real scenes then like 10 minutes long) "1776" did "Momma Look Sharp" (this is 1969) and the electricity of what was a clear reference to Vietnam when shows like the Smothers Brothers were being censored made me want to find out more about this Broadway thing.

I was (along with Kevin Ligon) in the 1997-8 Broadway revival and if you'd told the 13-year-old me that the next time congress convened on Broadway I'd be one of them I wouldn't have believed you.   

Another coincidence ala "1776". Regarding Gilbert and Sullivan-fate put me in Joe Papp's "Pirates of Penzance" (where Kevin Kline became a star) when it moved to Broadway. My first NY job.

Directors who have made a difference in my life? That would be David Cromer, Charles Nelson Reilly, John Rando (I was the original Officer Barrel in "Urinetown") and Hal Prince. Other big directors have been Trevor Nunn, Des McAnuff, Joe Mantello. Lots of biggies. 

Great Teachers: Larry Moss, Austin Pendleton, Richard Edelman. Did I mention Larry Moss?

I am the "Tim and Scrooge" dinosaur. Nick Corley and I had done many shows together as actors; ALWAYS teamed as a pair and he called and asked me to do this when it part of a  NY festival but I was unable. However, the next time around for a reading, I was and I've been Hastings for the last 9 years of the life of this show.  From the only other full production in Queens in 2006, through readings, demos and even concerts. George Lee Andrews joined the "Tim and Scrooge" rep company a few years later than I and we are the actors who've been involved the longest. However, I have him beat a mile. 

"Company" is my favorite show with number two (which varies) always a distant second. I don't mean the 'revisals' of the show-I mean the original; Hal Prince's production which I saw 5 times. 

My Dream role: in a musical: Tony in "Most Happy Fella". In Gilbert and Sullivan: Jack Point in "Yeoman of the Guard". In a play? I'm not sure I'll say but it's one of the great roles in American theatre and in 2 years I'll be the same age as the character. Terrifying. 

When not on stage, I enjoy reading. Playing with my kitties. Enduring the abuse of my 16-year-old son (part of the job). Playing the piano most of all,  I'm kind of a whizbang, somewhat concert level guy, who started studying at 5 and I've never stopped playing. My favorite composer? Here's a hint: Gershwin is my son's middle name. 

What's on my Ipod?  "HAMILTON". What else?


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