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From Brooke in California:
Listening to both cast recordings of The Scarlet Pimpernel (Original and Encore) as well as having seen William Michals in a production (and then buying his personal cd) has led me to constantly ponder which cast members I most prefer for the leads. I wondered if you have a favorite cast or favorite cast members that you felt best depicted the characters you have created. Also, do you have a favorite character and/or a favorite song in the musical? Thank you!

I would just like the say my personal answers to my question. Of course Douglas Sills is the epitome of Percy. However the others are close ties. Of Christine Andreas and Rachel York, I can't decide between them because they are both such incredible singers, even though their voices are distinctly different. I never saw Carolee Carmello or Amy Bodnar or heard any of their personal recordings so I can't compare them. Chauvelin, my personal favorite character, is also incredibly hard to decide. Having seen William Michals do the part in person at Music Circus I tend to like him best for the part. Actually I rather idolize him. However I absolutely ADORE Rex Smith and Terrence Mann and I think they all sing the part so well. "Madame Guillotine," "Falcon in the Dive" and "Where's the Girl?" are among my favorite songs however I LOVE EVERY song. "Where's the Girl" is probably my absolute favorite -- not just in the musical but in the world! I think the line "I'll warm you, I'll rouse you" could not be more appropriate. I just thought I'd share my take with you. Thank you so much for reading this!



Thursday, 5 May 2005

Dear Brooke,

Wow- what a hard question.. Well, I'll start with the easier part, which is what my favorite songs are. My #1 is "Into the Fire," for many different reasons. I remember the day I finished writing it and the blaze I felt inside sitting at my desk, and then running in to my kids, saying, "I think I just wrote a great song!" and then I made them listen to me sing it (always a tortuous experience). I also remember (in an early, early workshop rehearsal for the show) looking at the guys singing the song and one of them had a tear rolling down his face as he sang and his head was held so high- I'll never forget that. And obviously I love that scene- the switch from the library to the ship with the song carrying them throughout. I guess it's also a personal little credo for myself- reminding myself to always take on the fire even when I'm afraid. (That was way too long an explanation- Now I'll just list:) #2= "Storybook" #3= "Believe" #4= "Falcon in the Dive" #5= Either "The Riddle" or "Where's the Girl?" / Okay- now for the hard part:

Douglas Sills- well, the fact that I love this man so much makes it hard for me to be objective. Douglas certainly was (and still is, should he ever choose to re-appear in the show) the definitive Percy- hysterically funny, a believable hero, handsome, etc. whilst still being a maverick- a truly unique actor. It is rare to find someone who can do hero/comedian so well, and add onto that his soaring singing voice and the fact that he could dance... You get the picture. Having said that, Ron Bohmer filled those huge shoes so well, didn't he? He was just terrific, as was Rob on the tour, and it's very telling that I get letters from all around the world extolling the virtues of many different actors playing the part of Percy. I feel so lucky that fate keeps popping great guys into this role. Marguerite? Carolee Carmello created the role, as she was the original Marguerite in all the workshops we did for SP- so I guess she'll always be my emotional favorite- she's such an amazing performer who can do it all, including being very funny. Christine was so French and lush, Rachel was so fiery and strong, both of them so beautiful. They were all 3 outstanding, and then we were lucky enough to get Amy Bodnar for the tour and she was wonderful, too. Chauvelin? I must say, William Michals was dark and terrific and I hear so much feedback about him. Terry, as the original and the one who became my close friend, is the Chauvelin I connect with the most. So sexy and funny- and before his entrances, always trying to drag me on stage with him and I'd start laughing like a 13 year old- he has that effect on women. He's a great guy and I bitterly resented it when people compared his Chauvelin to his "Les Miz" portrayal- ridiculous. His Chauvelin was so different- witty and dangerously sexual. Rex Smith? Terrific guy, astounding voice, did such a great job. And Marc Kudisch- again, wonderful break to get Marc who is a true B'way star and sexy and funny. I guess it's a wash. I loved all of them. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such fine actors in all versions of the show.

Brooke, thanks for writing and for all your kind words. - Nan
 
 

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