Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Interview - Matt Cavenaugh

Soap heartthrob and Broadway star Matt Cavenaugh has done Urban Cowboy (photo below) and more recently Tony in the 2009 revival of West Side Story. He will costar in Reprise's Gigi opening @ The Freud Playhouse at UCLA on February 16. He took time from his hectic schedule of rehearsals to speak briefly about Gigi, his other work and his new CD.
How do you feel about the short run of A Catered Affair? 

A Catered Affair was a great show. What John Doyle, Harvey Fierstein and John Bucchino were attempting to do was quite bold and risky. Perhaps it was a show not quite large enough to compete on the Broadway commercial landscape, but I was very proud to be a part of it. 

What is your favorite musical of all time?   

I’ve been fortunate to be a part of so many great shows it’s hard to pick just one.  Of course I have a special affinity for Grey Gardens and West Side Story.

What was it like to do soaps? 

It was a great change of pace to work in the soap opera world. When I was doing As The World Turns I was also doing Grey Gardens – so those were some very long days! But it was terrific by day to be in front of the camera and by night to be in the theater, onstage in Grey Gardens – one of the most fulfilling artistic experiences I’ve has this far. 

Let's talk more about Gigi. Tell me about your role and how it differs from others you've played. 

The role of Gaston is vastly different from any role I have played in my career this far. In some ways Gaston might share some similarity to Joe Kennedy in that Gaston is rich and has a lot of class. Gigi is a comedy of manners of sorts, different from other things I’ve done – which are more American – emphasis on the hard “r “– and there is a quality that we’ve been trying to capture with top hats, canes and gloves and how that changes your behavior. The social norms and etiquette involved in this world are something we are all learning, and something that has informed Gaston – and I get to fall in love with the incredible Lisa O’Hare, who is just so charming and hilarious. I am having a terrific time! I didn’t know Lisa before, I just met her ten days ago, and I fall in love in this show at every performance, which is always terrific.

Anything else of note happening in your life at present?

I’ve got a new CD – something my wife Jenny Powers and I have been wanting to do for a while. We are in the final stages of mixing and mastering, and we will have an official release date to announce soon. Jenny is currently starring in Dangerous Beauty, the new musical premiering at the Pasadena Playhouse.

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Gigi, which is directed by David Lee and also stars William Atherton, Lisa O'Hare, Jason Graae and Millicent Martin plays @ The Freud Playhouse UCLA from February 15-27.

UCLA Central Ticket Office:  310/825-2101


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