Stories & Cast Interviews

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Meet Brian Dillon as Larry in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)

I was born and raised near Boston. I always say that to make it easy, but if someone says they know Massachusetts well, I tell them where I’m really from, which is Dracut. Then, when they don’t know where that is, I say it’s right next to Lowell, and they finally say “Ah okay!” Basically my whole family lives there, right down the street from the high school where I discovered my love for musical theater, amid other semi-dorky activities: being drum major in marching band, playing trumpet in orchestra and jazz band, show choir, National Honor Society, Leo Club, and actually the un-dorkiest of them, varsity baseball.      As LARRY (c) in our show.

My first inkling that I liked acting was when I joined my Jr. High production of Annie, Jr. because my friends were doing it. I got the part of Rooster. Senior year of high school I played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast (the six surrounding “silly girls” were taller than Gaston at the time) and I knew from the feeling I had on stage to the rumblings in town to “go see this kid” that I might want to pursue this for real. The director at the time, who would never fake-compliment anyone just to maintain affability, said to me, “You should think about this if you like it.” That was a really big deal to me.

I first heard of A Chorus Line in grade school when my best friend’s mother started playing the record when I was over for dinner one day; said friend rolled his eyes, but I secretly liked what I was hearing. Later, I saw the 2006 revival. At that time I’m not sure I understood the impact of the show, nor did I know how it would soon change my life. I toured with the show 3 months after college graduation under Baayork Lee’s direction as a swing (Wrong Arms Roy, understudy Mark, Al, and Mike). I then took over the part of Mike halfway through the tour.  I swung the show again at Riverside Theatre with Mitzi Hamilton as Tom Tucker and added Don to the understudy roles above. In this production at WBT, I’m Larry, Zach’s assistant. 



As ALAN                                                    As TOM                 As WRONG ARMS ROY


         As DON                 As MIKE                As MARK

I love the way this show looks at WBT, that the thrust stage makes the stories so inclusive and the dancing incredibly close. After doing Mamma Mia here last season, I knew this story would lend itself well to this space. What’s great about being here at WBT is that so many loved ones can come see it, and we New Yorkers are so close to home.

 I’ve only watched the opening sequence from the A Chorus Line movie and that’s as far as I got. They are DANCING in it, my goodness. Someday I need to see the whole thing. I think Chicago is the epitome of movie-musicals. I think it’s perfect. I also appreciate what the Live airing musicals on NBC and FOX are doing today, bringing musical theatre to more households. Grease, though not my favorite show, was such a great Live production on TV. 

Some favorite musicals of mine are Ragtime, Wicked, Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Next to Normal, Waitress, and Come From Away was fantastic. I’ve always been such a chorus boy and swing in my career, but some dream roles for me are Princeton from Avenue Q, Boq in Wicked, Seymour in Little Shop, Tulsa in Gypsy, Pinocchio in Shrek, and Cassie in a chorus line ;-)

When I’m not on stage during this particular show, I spend at least a day recovering from the week with some stretching, yoga, gym time, baths, or massage. Sometimes I take a shift or two in the service industry making all the party guests happy with Hors d’oeuvres. Auditions are always on-going. But my favorite past time is morning coffee while watching the Great British Baking Show (which I hope comes back soon with a new season!)

The music on my phone is lots of Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Celine, Rufus Wainwright, Jason Mraz, musicals, all today’s main pop gals, and some older amazing Motown playlists.