Stories & Cast Interviews

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Little Barber, David Cantor

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)


David Cantor (l) as the Barber in "The Golden Helmet of Mambrino"

I grew up in Pleasantville about 20 minutes north of Elmsford. My father was a musicologist, composer and performer, my mother an English teacher and then a librarian. Both performed locally. When I was about six years old, they even ran their own Gilbert & Sullivan touring company for a couple of years.

My last two years of high school were spent at Woodlands HS in Hartsdale. My theatre teacher there, Tony Howarth, became a great friend and mentor to me for many years.

I Used to listen frequently to the London cast recording of Man Of La Mancha,  which included all the dialogue. I Have loved the show for years but have never done it before. I Have seen three versions: Alan Jones as Quixote, Ed Ames as Quixote and the 3rd B'way revival with David Wasson as the Padre!

I Never saw the movie, but I listened ONCE to the record. That was plenty. (and by the way, the Jim Nabors recording of the show is pretty terrible too!). Some movie musicals capture the show well, but it's such a different medium that the compromises always bother people like me who care about the theatrical version.

This is my 11th show at WBT (or perhaps 10th? I can't remember) An on-going Equity theatre, commutable for NYC based actors, with producers who care about the show and about the actors--what's not to like?!

I love most shows from the Golden Age of musicals, many operettas as well, newer shows by such writers as Flaherty & Ahrens, Mark Shaiman, Alan Menken. My Dream role is the next one that pays!

When not on stage, I enjoy spending time with My wife Karen, daughter Rachel and son Adam, and  watching Jeopardy, old movies and cooking shows.

What's on my Iphone?  Pictures of my kids, of course!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Meet Don Quioxote, Paul Schoeffler

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)


I grew up in Canada. I was born in Montreal and at a very young age,  we moved to Toronto until the age of thirteen, when my dad, who was German, moved us all to England.

I attended a tutorial school in London to learn the English curriculum and managed to get into a public school called Pangbourne, which had been primarily a training school to send kids into the military or merchant marine.

After 5 years there, I moved to Brussels, Belgium where my family had by then moved.  I attended the University of Brussels to learn French. I also worked a lot with Belgian truck drivers which was an experience. My list of French epithets is long.

At 19,  I moved to California to attend school at UC Berkeley and then Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, before making my way to NYC in the mid 80's

I was in crisis about what to do with my life at 19, when I discovered acting at the 2-year college I was attending in California. I was behind the curve and worked extremely hard to hone my skills

I can't remember the first time I saw or heard Man Of La Mancha. I have seen the movie and they made a bit of a hash of it. I have done the role twice before. The first time I was a little overwhelmed but now not so much. Although I have a healthy respect for it's demands. It is definitely exhausting...but exhilarating!

This is my first time at WBT and I am having a terrific time. Every one has been extremely nice and hard working. And I live 15 minutes away so the commute is a perk!!

The reason I chose to go into music theatre was the experience of hearing the original musical 'Sweeney Todd'. It changed my life. Oddly, many of my peers had the same experience. I would love to have another try at that role. I did it when I was young and had no clue about what I was doing.

I love doing new work and working with new composers and writers. Originating something Rock of Ages definitely a fun experience.

When I am not on stage, I am very much a family guy. I have two kids who take up a lot of time and energy. I Love my wife. I teach privately and at times at institutions like NYU.

I am a work out nut. I love tennis and sports in general. I read a lot and am very much up on what is happening in the world.

I am working on a media training business with a partner in Los Angeles. I also do voice over work quite frequently and very recently did a one-hour National Geographic special.

I don't live on my hand -held device so can't say I have anything particularly outrageous to share. Love music. Got lots of pics of family and friends.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ian Knauer, The Knight Of The Mirrors sheds light!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 11:00:00 am Comments (0)


Ian Knauer as Dr. Carasco and as The Knight Of The Mirrors

I am from Toledo, Ohio - my mother is British and my father was American.  It seems there was always music in the house.  We were either listening to it or we were making it.  I sang from an early age as did my sister, brother and mother and we all played piano (some better than others!).  We all sang at church and then I started being asked to play parts in the musicals at church - which I loved.  Then when I was about 11 my church choir teacher suggested I audition for The Sound of Music at the Westgate Dinner Theatre - which was a professional Equity theatre right around the corner from my house.  I auditioned and out of around 500 kids,  I got the part of Kurt.  We played the show for about nine months - I loved it and felt so at home on the stage.  I think that is where my love for theatre really started.  

I also was lucky that my parents had season tickets to the theatre in town that had all of the national tours.  So I saw about five different Equity national tours a year starting when I was about five - it was amazing!

I think I saw the tour of Man of La Mancha when it came through Toledo but I have never done it.  I am excited to be doing it now and to really learn all about it and see it's affect on audiences.  I've never seen the movie but I do love movie musicals starting with all of the great ones from the '30's, '40's, and '50's.  Movie musicals now are very important because they can sometimes reach audiences that don't normally come to the theatre.  And I appreciate how the good ones always find a way to use the medium of film to tell a little bit more or a different angle to the musical.  I don't always like it better but I can appreciate what they do!

I have done Oklahoma!, And the World Goes 'Round, and Christmas Survival Guide at Westchester - a long time ago it seems.  I am looking forward to coming back and seeing what it is like now.  I remember it being like a family - backstage and in the house.  And the quality of the performers and shows is always very high.

My favorite shows are She Loves Me and On the Twentieth Century.  I've been fortunate to have done many shows that I've loved over the years and I'm looking forward to doing many more.  I'd love to play Scar one day and I'd really love to play Billy Flynn again - I loved playing that role!

When I'm not onstage I love spending time with friends and family - hopefully supporting whatever they are doing at the time.  Traveling is a big passion and I am thankful to be able to travel so much - with my work and for pleasure.  The last five years I spent living and working in London and traveling from there.  And before that I traveled and performed all over the world - and there is still so much to see and do!!

Meet The Good Padre ...Alan M-L Wager

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)

I'm from Orange County California, third generation Los Angeles native.  My Mother's family from Culver City, right outside the gate of MGM.

I Have always been a fan of music and started singing at 15, this led to choirs in High School and civic theatre.   

This is my fourth production of Man Of La Mancha as the Padre.  I DO know the movie but don't think highly of it, as it was cast with non-singers in singing roles.   Musicals into films is long as it's done well.

Favorite shows include Show Boat and Sweeney Todd, both of which I've done multiple times.  Wish someone would do Me & My Girl again...would love to repeat that one as well.

I am the co-founder of 22Q Entertainment, an Emmy nominated and award winning production company.  Our most recent production was a new play called Would You Still Love Me If...? starring Kathleen Turner at New World Stages.

Currently, on my Iphone/Pod is a bunch of musical recordings...some of which I'm on (including the new Disney Hunchback recording) and text messages from people I don't quite remember!