The Fantasticks- meet cast member Janice Zucker!

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?  I play Hucklebee.  The role was originally written for a man—but for this production the role of Hucklebee has been changed to a woman!   She is the mother of Matt who is one of the two young lovers.  She comes off as a very strong and tough character but she actually is a softy underneath it all! She’s also very passionate for things that she believes in and is not afraid to let people know exactly how she feels!  She has a great friendship with her next door neighbor Bellomy.  They both scheme and plot to get their children together.  But outside influences put a strain on their relationship and their friendship is jeopardized! BUT their children’s demises eventually bring them back to being friends! 

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “Hucklebee?”  That I can play a totally different character than I’m used to playing!  In most of my past roles—I have been the comic relief.  Not in this show.  As our director Eleanore Tapscott put it, I am the straight man to Bellomy’s character!  In a few parts of the play—my character has to get very angry and that’s just not me. (And that’s why they call it acting!)  I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there—but I realized that I just need to think about one particular person who makes me crazy (and not in a good way) and channel all that anger into that part of my role!  One other thing is that I’m not much of a dancer but I have found that simple movement is definitely my kind of choreography!  (Thanks to Jason who is our choreographer.)

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?  First of all this is a great cast.  Everyone is very talented and I’m honored to be a part of it!  The story is kind of a modern day Romeo and Juliet—only this one has a happy ending!  The songs are wonderful and the text is rich with humor which the cast does SO very well!  I think the story teaches us about friendships and lovers and how things can change very quickly in both of those relationships!  The story also teaches us that life has its ups and downs and that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side!  People make mistakes but it’s what they learn from them that help them to grow.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?  As I said up above—this is a VERY different character for me than I have played before!   It’s also very much an ensemble show which has meant that everyone is on stage most of the time.  That has meant that most of us have been called for almost every rehearsal!  In the past—I haven’t liked a lot of my costumes—but I LOVE my costume for this show and the best part is that I only have one costume.  That means NO costume changes which at times can be very challenging!  The last show I was in I had 4 or 5 costume changes and some of them so fast that they had to be done right off stage!  I also am working with a prop that is used manually throughout a lot of the show—that is definitely a first!

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?  Well—I’ve been singing my entire life!  I acted in high school and then not for a very long time.  I went back to school in the late 90’s to finish a very long overdue undergrad.  I graduated in 2001 from GMU with a degree in Musical theatre and as they say the rest is history.  Since I graduated, I’ve done a fair amount of shows around town!   Even though I really enjoy doing musicals I’m just not a dancer--so I do a lot of straight plays as well!
Out of all the community theatres in the area—I’ve always thought that LTA was the cream of the crop.