Stories & Cast Interviews

Monday, March 14, 2016

Meet Gary Marachek as Sancho!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Jeffersonville, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University. I never realized as a child that I had a gift for singing but my relatives were always asking me to sing something at family gatherings and reunions. I thought every kid could sing. 

My high school drama teacher was probably the biggest influence & encouraged me to be in the school musicals. I worked with and learned comedy from the golden era of the greats: Bob Hope, Martha Raye, & Bob Newhart.

I first heard of Man of La Mancha in high school when my high school teacher came over to my house and played the soundtrack.This production will be the fifth time I've played the role of Sancho. I don't generally like movie musicals due to the total lack of audience participation and reaction which, after a song, leaves the viewer in a kind of a slump. It's very anticlimactic. However, "The Sound of Music" and "Cabaret" stand out as two of my all-time favorite movie musicals followed closely by "Chicago."

I'm not sure but I think La Mancha will be my sixth or seventh appearance here at WBT. I first appeared here on this stage in 1994 as the role of Del in City Of Angels. I was last seen here on this stage in Phantom. I played the role of Cholet, the owner of the Opera. What I enjoy most about working here at WBT is the high caliber of actors the theater is able to obtain and the consistent top-notch production values. 

As far as dream roles is concerned, I have already played my dream role eight times: John Adams in 1776. But it's always a joy to play villains too. They're better written and they're a lot more fun.

When I'm not on stage these days most of my time is spent planning my wedding with my fiancé which will take place one week after La Mancha closes. Yes! I'm getting married May 7th. It's going to be huge! The event of the year.  In fact, Steve Calleran, the house manager at here at WBT is going to be in the wedding party. He has been a friend of the family for decades.


Meet Antonia! Sarah Hanlon!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in East Bethany, New York, a small town between Buffalo and Rochester. It was a lovely place to grow up for someone who loves nature as much as I do.  My home is nestled in the woods a mile down the road from our closest neighbor.  We had a pond in our back yard where summer swimming frequently happened, in spite of the snapping turtles.   The town's location was also within an hour's drive to great theater in Buffalo and Rochester.  I really feel like I had the best of both worlds, between the big city and rural living.  I had a plethora of pets ranging from cats and dogs to horses, and a floppy eared  bunny named Gigi.  

Performing is something I always wanted to do.  I grew up in a family that loved theater and performing.  My Dad would sing Oklahoma while walking me to the bus stop in the morning.  I think my grandmother also influenced me greatly.  She was a beautiful ballerina. In her late teens, she ran away from home and joined the circus, becoming an elephant rider.  We still have pictures and pay stubs from her time with the Barnum and Bailey circus. I always imagined running away and joining the circus, just like her.  I'm sure my parents are grateful that this did not happen, and that there were plenty of performing opportunities within our small community to keep me occupied.   I also had an amazing mentor in school, Mrs. Nelli, my high school English & Theater teacher.  She exposed me to every facet of theater, set design, makeup, acting, singing, Shakespeare.  She helped me figure out who I am, and what I wanted to be.

As far as Stage Musicals being made into movie/tv musicals? I think it is great to bring the theater to the big and small screen.  It gives people who wouldn't normally want to or have the means to see a Broadway show the chance to see something magical.  What saddens me is that amazing stage performers are often overlooked during the casting process to favor a Hollywood name instead.  Part of what makes these shows so magical are the performers who live and breath these parts every day; who grew up with these stories, characters, and songs.  We should be creating the best performance possible and not be so focused on the marketing.

My last appearance here at WBT was in Show Boat and the role of Julie has been on my bucket list since I saw the tour when I was a teen.  I also love West Side Story, Next to Normal, Hair, Oliver, and Sweeney Todd ,  Man Of La Mancha.  

When not on stage, I love anything that allows me to express myself creatively.  I really love baking and I spend way too much time watching Food Network and You tube cooking shows, looking for new recipes.  I'm a fitness buff and enjoy weight training, yoga, and jogging.  I also volunteer whenever I can.  There's a local church that runs a soup kitchen that I'm proud and grateful to be a volunteer at.  I love traveling. I have been to every continent on this planet, and my next goal is to visit Ireland and Iceland.  

On my iPod? Right now I'm really into Elle King, but my all time favorite group is QueenFreddie Mercury is a golden god. Growing up, I took great amusement in torturing my brother with repeat listenings of Bicycle, by Queen.