Tell us about your character.
Elisha Whitney, like Eli Whitney - inventor of the Cotton Gin, likes his gin. Though in his case it comes from a bottle. He's an arrogant, pompous "older" executive who needs help from an indispensable assistant (Billy Crocker), and who enjoys women and letting down what little hair he has. Talk about typecasting! I don't even know why they made me audition for the role.
What was a challenge you faced while working on this show?
The dialogue was pretty easy to learn as most lines flow from the scenes, which helps with memorization. The toughest dialogue to learn is that rife with non sequiturs, where lines have no relation to what was said immediately before. For this role the hardest challenge was being a happy drunk in several brief scenes. With no build up to ease into it, I had to come on stage already ripped and then rock the physicality and hammer the punch line - in character. That has been the hardest aspect of this role. Fortunately, I'm retired and have spent weeks and weeks rehearsing at home.
What do you hope the audience takes away from Anything Goes?
There is real joy in Anything Goes, as well as belly laughs. And the enjoyment that comes from seeing the marvelous large-cast tap dancing choreography that is featured in this show is very rarely felt. As a story, Anything Goes is silly and ridiculous. As a musical, however, it's almost without peer. Finally, as performed by a cast that is incredibly talented from top to bottom, Anything Goes truly stands out in the DMV Community Theatre scene.