Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 42 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 20, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 21
The duality of Robert Cuccioli
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
The duality of Robert Cuccioli

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

PAINT YOUR WAGON
5TH AVENUE THEATRE
June 2-25


Robert Cuccioli is an actor well versed in duality and versatility. He's performed split personality roles in two different musicals, as well as appearing in opera, and contemporary theatre. Next month Tony-nominated Robert Cuccioli returns to Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. This time in the (newly-revised) classic musical, Paint Your Wagon. The Seattle Gay News caught up with this leading man as he returns to the Emerald City.

Eric Andrews-Katz: Who were your earliest influences as a performer?

Robert Cuccioli: When I first started I was very much into opera. One of my earlier idols, so to speak, was Sherrill Milnes. As far as musical theatre goes, I very much pattern myself, and listen to, John Raitt, John Cullum, and Richard Kiley; all those were people I really followed and very much tried to emulate.

Andrews-Katz: What is your fondest memory working with the legendary Richard Harris in Camelot?

Cuccioli: I have a lot of them. Richard was pretty remarkable. He was mercurial to say the least, but he was a brilliant actor; and there are a couple of great ones. One was when we were in Canada, and it was our first stop in Ottawa. Canada was important to Richard, and I would watch him nightly from the wings - every performance. He was my training ground, and this particular night was extraordinary. I was sitting offstage waiting, and he left the stage, came around and sat next to me. He sat there looking straight ahead. I leaned over and said, 'Richard, you are friggin' amazing.' He just looked straight ahead and said, 'I know.' He knew, but he didn't know what he was doing that was different from [any other night]. He was really connected and it clicked in that night. There was another time, we were on the elevator, and I complimented his shirt. He looked at me and said, 'You want it?' and began taking it off. I laughed and said, 'No Richard, I don't want it. I was complimenting you,' but that was the kind of guy he was; he literally would give you the shirt off his back.

Andrews-Katz: Describe your audition for Jekyll & Hyde?

Cuccioli: The audition was a very long process. I was doing Les Misérable at the time, and actually was having lunch with my agent. A casting director came over and said that Jekyll & Hyde was casting and I should get over there. I got my agent to send over a copy of And the World Goes Round (recording of the Kander & Ebb revue I was in) and send them my version of Kiss of the Spider Woman. Frank [Wildhorn] never got that recording. Later on I got an audition for it, and nobody showed up for the audition. The only people there were Frank and myself. The producer (Frank Young) had missed his plane, and so did the director, Greg Boyd. I sang for [Wildhorn] and he kept me there for another 45 minutes. We sight-read the entire score of Jekyll & Hyde. I sang through it, and he said 'terrific.' Three months went by and I didn't hear anything. Finally, I get a message to come back in, this time Greg and Frank [Young] are there along with [Wildhorn]. I auditioned and did the scenes and songs. They said 'Great, we'll be in touch.' Three months go by and I am on vacation. They call me to come in and do another work session. I told them I couldn't because I was in California, and that I had already auditioned twice. I flew back from vacation on a Sunday and on Monday I got a call that I got the job.

Andrews-Katz: Aside from a hair tie, how did you emphasize the separate personas of Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde?

Cuccioli: I always envisioned Jekyll as a man of great intellect and a great heart. So, he would stand more erect, and lead with his chest. Hyde is pure animal and sexual instinct. His body weight would be much lower to the ground, as if his balls weighed 100 lbs. His physicality was completely different. I made Jekyll right handed and Hyde left-handed. I got that from the novella, because there is a certain passage where [a character] is reading a letter from Jekyll and says that it is his handwriting, but the writing had a backwards slant. I know a lot of left-handed people that do the same thing.

Andrews-Katz: You were in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. In all reality how hazardous was it working on that show?

Cuccioli: I had a blast! I had a great time. Mind you, I replaced Patrick Paige, so I was not there during the 'Nightmare Period.' That was when they went through six months of tech issues, their 'faux opening' and then Julie Taymor's replacement ... I wasn't there during that part at all. When I arrived it was incredibly warm and embracing. The crew was great and I had a great time!

Andrews-Katz: There are many rumors about Lone Star Love. In your opinion what was the problem?

Cuccioli: They are not rumors; they are true! There was no problem with the show itself. The show was witty. The music was wonderful. The cast was funny, and loving and extraordinary. The problem was Randy Quaid and his wife, Edie. They were literally insane. They pretty much single-handedly destroyed a beautiful piece. And I have no problem with putting all that on the two of them. Everything else was done right; the cast, the 5th Avenue, the director ... it was all the two people that should not have been involved with the production. We never had a chance to work on it. Randy refused to let us.

Andrews-Katz: In 1992 you played the title role in Maury Yestin/Arthur Kopit musical Phantom. How would you compare it to the other pop-opera by the same name?

Cuccioli: It is superior. Andrew Lloyd Webber's has some really wonderful music, but the Maury Yestic/Arthur Kopit version really captured the heart of the piece. It made the Phantom more human, and much more of a touching story. I think the music is wonderful. At the time there were four different versions of Phantom - all at the same time. Lloyd Webber had the name, so the backing went to his production, and it went on to Broadway. The others have some wonderful and beautiful music.

Andrews-Katz: How would you describe your new CD, The Look Of Love?

Cuccioli: It's a look (or a journey rather) through my romantic life through the music standards. I found that in listening to them gave me a really good reason to do my debut solo album. I didn't want to go the traditional route of doing Broadway tunes. I wanted to do something that people didn't expect. The lyrics [of these songs] spoke to me. I recognized myself in that person singing. The songs started forming a storyline for me. This is my romantic life in music. I strung them together and the lyrics pretty much tell it all; it doesn't need dialogue in between. They are standards that people know, and I love incredible music.

Andrews-Katz: You are currently playing the lead in Paint Your Wagon. What is it about the classic that appeals to today's audience?

Cuccioli: The shows are classics for a reason. They are classic because they are stories that are constantly lived in daily life. People can relate to them. What's wonderful about this piece is, even though it is a Western, through the new book it has been contemporized so well, so that what these characters are dealing with on a day-to-day basis is something we can all recognize in today's world. Prejudice, racism and greed, how women are treated, male bonding ... all of this is in there. Grief. My character deals with grief and tries to find his way. I think it is a very universal and contemporary score, even though it takes place in the 1850s.

Andrews-Katz: This is allegedly a revised version of Paint Your Wagon. What has been changed?

Cuccioli: The music has been revised. It's the same music that everyone knows and loves (and everyone knows these songs): 'I Talk to the Trees,' 'Wand'rin' Star,' 'They Call the Wind Maria' ... it's been updated. The orchestrations are new and updated with sort of a blue-grass theme to them. It's a very refreshing look at this old chestnut, and people may know it, but they really don't know it. They are going to realize it is a completely new show.

Andrews-Katz: If you could play any role - regardless of any limitations - what role would it be and why?

Cuccioli: There's one musical that is incredibly close to my heart, and we talked about it earlier, Man of La Mancha. Don Quixote is ... La Mancha is one of the first musicals I bought the album to. The role is near and dear to me, and he is kind of like me to some extent. Not that I'm crazy, but Quixote is a guy that always believes in what is right, and doing what is right. That is also why I'm so connected to this character [in Paint Your Wagon], Ben Rumson. The Age of Chivalry is something I've grown up with; I felt I was born too late and that was my time ... medieval time and the age of these musicals such as La Mancha. If there were ever a revival, I would desperately love to do it. It's an incredible, perfect musical.

Robert Cuccioli has appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Jekyll & Hyde, and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. He has been nominated for the 1997 Drama Desk Award and the 1997 Tony Award for Best Actor for his title role(s) in Jekyll & Hyde. Paint Your Wagon opens at the 5th Avenue Theatre June 2 and runs through June 25. For more information and tickets, visit https://www.5thavenue.org/ or call the Box Office 206-625-1900.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Beyoncé slays at CenturyLink Field
------------------------------
2016 Seattle International Film Festival

An interview with Miles writer/director Nathan Aldoff

------------------------------
The duality of Robert Cuccioli
------------------------------
Sprawling 'The Brothers K' gives as much as it demands!
------------------------------
Alan Cumming, Bianca Del Rio and Sia announce Seattle performances
------------------------------
OUTBOUND: Fancation, anyone? Western & Southern Open is a must for tennis lovers
------------------------------
Martha Graham Dance Company celebrates 90th anniversary with fabulous program
------------------------------
Glorious music; terrible staging
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
SHAME on Seattle Pride!
------------------------------

------------------------------
Foster's satirical Monster a too coincidental Wall Street smackdown
------------------------------
Intimately emotional Viva a Cuba-set gem
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2016 - DigitalTeamWorks 2016

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News