Stories & Cast Interviews
Introducing Tony Lawson
I grew up in Delaware Ohio, 20 miles north of Columbus. A small main-street USA type town that I loved. Ohio Weslyan University is there in town so I had the advantage of watching college-scale plays and musical shows from an early age. I was able to be cast in several shows there as a 10-year-old and THAT started my steady work in live theatre.
Not only did the plays I watched as a kid influence me, but also the great TV shows and comedy movies of the 60s and 70s. I had great english teachers who would put-on scenes and plays to spark our love for that type of thing. The touring shows that came thru Columbus also had a big impact.
I've seen the movie version of Can-Can before, but never the stage version. I can't think of ANYONE who's tried to produce this show within the last 10 to 15 years. I'm about to discover why, sweet or sour.
My favorite shows are the ones that changed my life. Like spending 5 years doing BEAUTY AND THE BEAST out on the road. Or singing the huge score of LES MISERABLES. I'll always have a special spot in my heart for BARNUM since we had such a great cast/production at the WBT. My dream role would be Don Quixote in MAN of LA MANCHA. I played it once in college - one day I'll do it 'just right'.
I love dinner theatres. The relaxed settings, comfortable audiences and the closeness can't be beat. The WBT is the best at what it does! I hope it goes on and on.
I have teenage sons who keep me guessing at each turn. We have fun whenever we share an adventure. I have a beautiful wife, actress Krista Severeid, with whom I share most of my off-stage time. We tackle many projects for family, church and new friends.
My Ipod songs are for walking/jogging workouts. Mostly radio hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
A chat with The Barbershop Quartet in The Music Man at WBT!
L to R: Martin Bonventre, Brian Conklin, FaTaye, Jimmy Tate in The Music Man
Where are you guys from?
Martin Bonventre- Bronxville, NY
Brian Conklin- Tappan, NY
FaTaye-Dobbs Ferry, NY
Jimmy Tate- White Plains, NY
What was the First Play you were in?
Brian- When I was ten years old I did Amahl And The Night Visitors in Pearl River
FaTaye - Sky Masterson in Guys And Dolls.
Martin- A Midsummer Night's Dream .. in the chorus.
Jimmy- Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Rye Country Day School in 1979.
Do you sing in the shower?
FaTaye- Everyone sings in the shower - some sound good, some sound bad... but we all do it.
Martin- Before auditions, I use it to warm up.
Brian- I do vocal exercises in the shower!
Jimmy- I sometimes sing in the shower, but prefer the car.
Are you guys as close off the stage as your characters are on it?
Martin- “The four of us had a lot of extra rehearsals and we have a very strong brotherhood. “
The rest of the guys: Agreed!!!!
What's on your Ipod?
Martin- Led Zeppelin, classic rock, metal.
Brian- Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald when they’re on the same album!
Jimmy- Ed Sheeran.
What is your favorite scene in the show?
Fatye- The number "Shipoopi!"
Brian- " Ice Cream Sincere" sice it's when The barbershop quartet first sing together.
Martin- "Lida Rose" … because of the blocking.... and how much we practiced the blocking!
Jimmy- The Quartets’ “Sincere”
Scott / Harold: Deja Vu?
Victoria Wins Wows!
Growing up, I was primarily a classically trained singer with the thought of becoming an opera singer. I began taking a college course as a Junior in high school with the Michigan born opera singer Elizabeth Parcells, who was a huge force of warm encouragement in my life, as well as my primary voice teacher Kaye Rittinger.
While the opera world intrigued me, I had always been mesmerized by musicals, specifically the old standards such as "The Music Man". My first encounter with this beautiful show really was the turning point that started me down this path. As a young girl I was taken on a field trip to see the musical currently playing at the local high school. Now, I had seen professional theatre before, but watching these kids that were not too much older than I, putting on "The Music Man", made me realize with a great deal of excitement that it was something within my reach - I was capable of doing that in a few years, and I absolutely had to play Marian Paroo at some point in my life. Playing this strong complex woman can now be checked off my list of dream roles!
Another example of a dream role is Cunegonde in "Candide"...you'll basically find any role played by the phenomenal Barbara Cook on that list. In fact, a picture of me with the original Marian graces my mirror space in the dressing room.