Stories & Cast Interviews

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Meet David Elder as Zach in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

 I am from and grew up in Houston, TX. My father was a car body man and my mother a beautician. We lived check to check, they had 3 kids. I taught myself to tumble when I was 8 yrs old. My father also put a tennis racquet in my hand when I was 8. Until I was a Sophomore in High School, I believed that I was going to become a professional tennis player. My father was the best tennis player in TX his senior year of High School. We moved to the 'country' my sophomore year of HS and my new school did not have a tennis team. My dreams were dashed and I was taken down the hall to the Choir Room! I had previously sung every year in the choir since kindergarten and always enjoyed it and found singing came naturally to me! So, thus began the thought process of combining my self-taught tumbling with my singing talents. I basically vowed that I will try a career in the Arts until it doesn't work. I went to college for Voice Performance and haven't looked back since. My family was always supportive of my choices to follow this career path!!!

My first 'real' memory of performing was when my elementary class attended a morning performance of Oliver at Theater under the Stars (TUTS) downtown. I will never forget hearing the young man sing "Where is Love". I thought how could such a young inexperienced kid handle the pressure of being up there and sing that song SO beautifully!!! I truly believe my dream was born that day! The sensation that perhaps one day I could affect someone the way he had touched me. Self-observation was what I mainly used to detect what my natural talents and interests were. 

I first heard A Chorus Line when I was in High School, and we saw it on my school trip to NYC my senior year (1984). I have done the show one other time at Stages St Louis (6 years ago) and I played Zach that time as well. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to play it again and I am having a blast! 

It's my first time working at WBT, but I love the thrust stage. I think it offers many fresh and new options you don't have in most proscenium houses. I would love to see them add some pre-show fab entertainment. Not sure what but it could be- perhaps a grand piano rolled on stage and someone plays throughout dinner, which would also allow for an actor to come out and sing a song here and there with an accompanist. Perhaps a comedian could do 45 minutes. Maybe a light show or dinner dancing on the stage. Sorry, thinking out loud!!! I love it there and I want to see them succeed!

I have seen the movie. It wasn't my favorite. Though I can always find good in most things.What do you think of stage musicals being made into films? I actually don't mind creative people turning stage musicals into film, but it's so risky. Rarely do they succeed to the level of the actual live experience. I thought Chicago, the movie, succeeded quite well.

I adore playing Don Lockwood in Singing...Rain, Bobby Childs in Crazy For You, and Bert in Mary Poppins!!! I also just played Bob Wallace in White Christmas for the first time and it could possibly be my new favorite! I have played Phil Davis, Bob's sidekick 7 times!!!! Once a song and dance man, always a song and dance man! I would still like to play Billy Flynn in Chicago, however, I don't know if its a dream role. I am trying to focus on roles these days that don't rely so heavily on my dance abilities. 

I am an avid gardener. I have a home upstate in Roscoe, NY. 4 acres with a stream and a pond and lots of perennials!!!

I am currently collecting plans and arranging for a full renovation of my house. It is truly what I call my healing place!!! In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I live, our Coop is known to possess the most beautiful interior gardens as well as the front of building gardens. I currently serve on the Towers Garden Committee and simply love nurturing and making things look cared for and beautiful so that everyone can enjoy its splendor. 

I am very boring music wise. I need tunes that help lighten the stresses of living in the city. Mostly, standards like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble', Harry Connick Jr., Easy listening Jazz. Music that I can still talk over but love hearing in the background. Happy Hour stuff!!! Upstate I listen to country mostly.

       

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Meet Tim Fuchs.. A singular sensation as Al in A Chorus Line.

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Ithaca NY. Technically the small town of Freeville between Ithaca and Cortland. I grew up on a farm with horses and many other animals. My family owned 20 acres of land which was a part of 80 acres of family land. My sister and I grew up riding horses, training dogs, hiking, camping, playing music, playing sports as both my parents are physical educators. I did everything and anything physically active; skateboarding, playing organized sports and eventually taking dance classes starting in high school. Which then led to my more formal training in musical theater. 

The Montessori school I attended for the first 15 years of my life did a musical every year. My mother was one of two women who directed and choreographed the musicals. So naturally, as soon as I could be in the musicals (which was 1st grade) I auditioned. I was in every musical subsequently until middle school when you could no longer be in the musicals. The rest is now history.
  

I don't know if there was any real "Aha!" moment when I knew that performing was going to be my main career. Quite frankly, I still question if performing is what I'm going to pursue for the rest of my life. There have definitely been people in my life who have influenced me a great deal; all of my teachers throughout high school and college. But I would say one of the main influences on my performing career isn't a single person or entity, but my collective experiences since I first started performing. I have been very fortunate to have worked every summer and every year since high school and I have worked with some amazing people, and I have learned so much from every single person. That is what has been so influential in my career so far. Always knowing that I have something to learn and somewhere to grow.

I have done A Chorus Line before. It was one of my first professional summer stock shows. I was twenty-one and it was awesome to be working, didn't have too many responsibilities. Plus it was amazing to get to dance the original choreography and to know that I was a part of this large legacy that is A Chorus Line.

Cut to now, doing same show, many years later, and playing a different part, the musical has such a different meaning in my life now than it did back then. The themes of questioning your life as a dancer, and what would you do if you couldn't dance anymore are much closer subjects to my heart than they were when I was twenty-one. This is a story that connects to every single time in your performing career. And I'm sure the next time I do it, there will be more things that I find out about myself and more ways in which I grow.

I have never seen the movie in full of A Chorus Line, only bits, and pieces. I have some reservations when people decide to make movie adaptations of musicals, and visa-versa. The only thing I will say because I could write for a long time about this subject is that if the true essence of the musical or film that is being adapted to the other medium stays honest and true to what the original creators envisioned, then adaptations work. If the goal is to adapt a specific story from one medium to another, you have to make sure that you're telling the same story. Too many times do we see adaptations from one medium to another fall short of expectations. It's not an easy thing to do. Again I haven't seen the movie, but I think it would be difficult to achieve and duplicate the same live-stage experience of A Chorus Line in a cinematic setting.

Some of my favorite shows are HAIR, Next To Normal, Hamilton, Legally Blonde, Wedding Singer, Sweeny Todd, really too many to say. I don't have a dream role per-say, I'd like to originate a role someday.

When I'm in between jobs, I am a photographer and a videographer shooting mostly dance photography and dance videos and that branches out to a lot of different categories.I write music with my writing partner and we're working on writing and producing a jazz album. Mostly jazz standard type music. Our overall goal is to write music and songs that can eventually be used in a film which we are also writing.

Speaking of music, I have a very eclectic library on my Spotify account. Anything from standard jazz, to pop-punk of the early 2000's (which is my jam!) Chet Baker, Tom Misch, Chick Corea, Seth McFarlane (yes from family Guy) Snarky Puppy, Vulfpeck, Radiohead....(the list goes on...) are my standard mix of artists that I listen to frequently.

I'm usually a very busy guy, but when I do get a day off, there's nothing better than staying in bed with a bag of Cape Cod Kettle Chips, french onion dip, a can of Arizona green tea, maybe some super sharp cheddar cheese and crackers, and watching the Office.

 
Tim as Al (In Green tkts shirt)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Joseph Cullinane is Greg in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in a town called Westwood, a suburb 20 minutes outside of Boston. I am 1 of 6 kids and now the proud uncle of 9 incredible nieces and nephews. My family loves to be surrounded by children. 

I saw a local production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and knew that I wanted to perform when everyone began dancing to “I have a golden ticket”. My sisters also took dance lessons and I used to look forward to watching their recital every year. 

My first experience with A Chorus Line was performing and choreographing a teen production while I was in high school. At the time I didn’t know any of the original choreography, and I can still remember a lot of the ridiculous dances I made up. 

This is my 5th show at WBT. The best part of working here is all the incredible friends I’ve made. I’m still very close with many cast members from my first show here, The Sound of Music. The backstage crew is fantastic and has truly made me feel so at home at WBT. The baked potato and penne ala vodka are also pretty stellar.

I have seen the film version of A Chorus Line once. I remember I faked being sick so I could stay home from school to watch it. I watched the female dance solo in the opening about 5 times in a row. I couldn’t get enough of her! While it’s a great film, I don’t think anything can quite compare to seeing A Chorus Line live in the theatre. Watching dancers do the opening combination is so thrilling. When they charge at you in the first phrase it can really take your breath away. To go through the entire show and then get to see the Finale is so moving for me still. 

I love MGM style musicals with lots of tap dancing. I’d love to play Phil Davis in White Christmas or Bobby Child in Crazy For You. I’ve also wanted to play Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors ever since I saw the movie with Rick Moranis. 

I love to read. I love all genres but mostly teen science fiction like the Hunger Games and Maze Runner. The Giver is my favorite book of all time. I also love to cook and subsequently…eat. When Connie says “dance around in my kitchen and enjoy getting fat,” Greg thinks she is crazy, but Joey completely agrees! 

I have 5 Kelly Clarkson albums and never get sick of them (especially her Christmas album regardless of it’s Christmas or not). JENNIFER HUDSON, Owl City and Maroon 5. When I want to dance…Katy Perry

 Joseph (center, in striped sweater)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Meet Logan Mortier as Bobby in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was always passionate about music. I started singing in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir since the age of nine and found my love for performing there. Through the children’s choir, I was able to be in the children’s chorus in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat National Tour Cast when it came to Indianapolis as well as having the opportunity to be in the children’s chorus for Carmen at Clowes Memorial Hall. The choir also gave me the opportunity to go on tour in Italy and England. 

From there I went on to playing flute in my middle school band. My instrument took me all the way through high school and I still enjoy picking it up from time to time. It produced my love for music theory and composition and lead me to get my Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre when I went to college at Florida State University. 

I didn’t find my passion for theatre until I came to high school. I took the highest level theatre class and became involved in many of the plays and musicals. I always enjoy being busy but high school took it to a whole new level. I participated in all honors courses, concert and show choir, band, orchestra, the musicals and plays, and tried to make time for a little bit of tennis. 

My parents have always been proud of me and supported my decision to overwhelm myself in this manner. They were at every performance cheering me on and I don’t know where I’d be without their love and support. It also helped that I had a twin brother in all those classes with me. It’s certainly awesome to have a built-in best friend. When I decided I wanted to be a stage actor, it was more of a feeling than an event. Every time I hear a stage manager say, “places,” or I hear the first moment of the overture I get this rush of nerves and joy. How amazing is it that I get to play dress up and pretend to be someone else? I get to tell stories, make people laugh, make people cry, and educate others through the magic of live theatre. It’s that moment right before the show starts that always gets me and hopefully always does. 

I first heard of A Chorus Line when I was just graduating high school. There is a high school level theatre company that auditions students from the Indianapolis area to apart of their productions. I heard about it, auditioned, and took my first step to the line as Alan Deluca. I was 18 years old at the time. This production at WBT will be my fourth time performing in this show and I discover something new about it every time. I love that it tells our story. It is such a truthful, fun, and exciting piece of theatre. 

I am aware of the movie adaption of A Chorus Line. There are some movie musicals that have made a beautiful transition from the stage to the screen, I don’t believe that A Chorus Line was one of them. I love that musicals are making their way to something more mainstream. In my opinion, there are so many factors that go into a transition like this. Who are the actors? Who is the director? What has to change so that it works on screen? The stage and film are two very different mediums. I say keep making movies out of musicals as long as careful thought and preparation goes into casting and cinematography. 

My favorite shows... I’d have to say Sweeney Todd is probably my absolute favorite. I love the concept of a horror musical. Not only is it haunting but it’s beautifully composed. The thematic detail is gorgeous and the characters are so crazed and intriguing. That said I’d love to be apart of that production one day as any role really. Of course, A Chorus Line is one of my favorite shows as well. Other favorites include Lippa’s The Wild Party, Cabaret, The Color Purple, and Ragtime. I do love a little darkness and drama. I’m playing one of my dream roles now! I’ve wanted to be Bobby on the line since I found out what A Chorus Line was. My other dream roles include Anthony and maybe one day Sweeney in Sweeney Todd, Burrs in Lippa’s Wild Party, Emcee or Cliff in Cabaret, and Younger Brother or someday Tateh in Ragtime. 

When I’m not on stage, I love the aerial arts. In this past year, I’ve started taking silks and rope classes and it’s become a new passion. I love to cook, play video games, and arrange music. I’ve even begun composing a bit. 

As far as music I listen to... I have a variety. I’m a huge fan of folk music and pop music. My favorite musicians are Lucas Jack, Ryn Weaver, Pink, and Lady Gaga. I like music that really creates a deep reaction in me. Typically something that hypes me up or really calms me down.