Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

NUNN ON ONE: THEATER My breakfast with Andre (Ward)
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2017-11-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Calling all Parrotheads! Escape to Margaritivalle is taking audiences on a vacation in Chicago. Mixing Jimmy Buffett's classic tunes with a Tony Award winning director Christopher Ashley to form a new musical sounds like a recipe for a good time.

Margaritaville is a place where people can escape and fall in love or make new friends.

Andre Ward joins the ensemble with an impressive resume. His musical background includes The Producers, Rock of Ages, and Something Rotten! Ward played multiple roles in the musical version of Xanadu including Terpsichore, Suthiba, and Hermes. Television appearances include Master of None, Broad City, and Elementary.

He met up at a breakfast press conference to talk about this new endeavor and his return to Chicago.

Windy City Times: Hi, Andre. What is your background?

Andre Ward: I am originally from Las Vegas. I started theater when I was in the fourth grade. My teacher said I talked too much in class so my grandfather took me to the local children's theater. That is where I started acting.

I got my degree in musical theater from Utah. I then came to New York and have been there ever since.

I have been very blessed and fortunate.

This is my second show with both Chris Ashley and Kelly Devine. They are some fantastic collaborators.

WCT: Is this your first time in Chicago?

AW: No; in 1998, I opened Ragtime when they redid the Ford Center for the first show in the newly remodeled Oriental. This is like coming home for me.

WCT: How was being in Something Rotten? I love that show.

AW: Oh, my goodness, that was like a piece of candy for me. It was so wonderful. Michael James Scott, who originated the role, is a friend of mine so it was beautiful.

WCT: I noticed it's a fast-moving show.

AW: There are 11 tap numbers. I could eat whatever I wanted!

WCT: Is there a favorite musical you have been in?

AW: Besides Escape to Margaritavlle? [Laughs]

Xanadu was such a gift to me. It was a piece of cotton candy. I worked with Kerry Butler, Cheyenne Jackson and Jackie Hoffman. I learned so much about comedy and working with an audience.

I got to work with Whoopi Goldberg when she came in for the last half of that. We went on together so I opened as her sister. We became fast friends. She is the consummate professional. What you see is what you get!

WCT: Were you on roller skates?

AW: I was, and had a ball. I didn't think I would like it, but I did.

WCT: What's the best show you have done that no one has heard of?

AW: I did a show called Lucky Duck. It was with Henry Krieger and Bill Russell. I played a free range chicken in a retelling of The Ugly Duckling.

Marcy Harriell was the lead and Bobby Spencer was the prince, who went on to Jersey Boys and Next to Normal.

It was a hoot and a half.

WCT: Talk about your role in Escape to Margaritaville.

AW: I play Jamal. He's the dishwasher at the Margarita Hotel and Bar. He is also the masseuse. He's a man of many talents and does lots of things around the hotel.

This is some of the best times I have ever had in a show. I have been in it since the first reading. It has been great to see the show grow and change.

WCT: With opening a show, is it constantly changing?

AW: Yes—and that is the glory of it. This is the fourth time I have originated a role in a show. It is a gift. It feeds my creativity and one of the reasons that I do what I do.

I get to learn from really great people like Mike O'Malley and Greg Garcia. They have given us a funny, but grounded, book.

WCT: Margaritaville is a pre-Broadway show?

AW: Yes, we will be at the Marquis Theatre opening March 15, 2018. Our name is already on the marquis at the Marquis.

WCT: What is the story of Escape to Margaritaville?

AW: It is a classic boy-meets-girl tale. They fall in love. It is a celebration we participate in. Jimmy Buffet's music is the jewel in the center. If you are theater goer and have never heard his music, it's really great. I wasn't familiar with all of his music, but I fell in love the moment I did at the first reading.

WCT: You are not sick of any of the songs already?

AW: No; that's the thing, I have done several musicals with well-known songs but this is, by far, the most infectious.

WCT: Do you have a favorite song?

AW: I am partial to "Volcano" because I sing it in the show. "Cheeseburger in Paradise" is pretty cool. I won't spoil anything but you have to see Lisa Howard in that number.

WCT: Where have you eaten the best cheeseburger?

AW: In New York, there is a restaurant across the street from my home called Maison Harlem. It just opened a couple of years ago. It has the best burger I have had in a long time. I order it quite a bit.

WCT: How is the dancing in the show?

AW: Kelly Devine is a Tony Award-nominated choreographer. It is thrilling, explosive, and powerful. I don't know if the audience is ready for what they will get. It's pretty spectacular.

WCT: Will Jimmy Buffett be there for opening in Chicago?

AW: I hope so. He surprised us in Houston, and New Orleans for both last shows. He joined us to perform "Margaritaville." He's the real deal.

WCT: Where are the other places the show has been workshopped?

AW: We did technical rehearsals and opened in New Orleans. We just came from Houston. The audience was phenomenal there. The Astros won so it was really great to be there then!

WCT: One of my friends is gay in the cast. Any others?

AW: We are a diverse cast in so many ways. There is nothing in your face in the show, but it is an all inclusive, celebratory show. That is what makes our show so special. We are present. We are here. As a gay man, I am here. I love that.

WCT: For the dress code should people wear the Jimmy Buffet Hawaiian shirt?

AW: Absolutely. We have people wearing the regular theater going outfits. There are Hawaiian shirts, as well as parrot-head and cheeseburger hats. I get to look into the audience and see the wide array!

Escape to Margaritaville runs through Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St; visit BroadwayInChicago.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Beautiful, The Carole King Musical 2017-12-17 - Playwright: Douglas McGrath ( book ); Jerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ( words & music ) At: Cadillac Palace ...


Gay News

Grammy-nominated out musician Marsha Malamet featured on new Jason Gould CD 2017-12-17 - LOS ANGELES—Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum songwriter and openly gay musician Marsha Malamet is featured on the new Jason Gould CD "Dangerous Man" released Dec. 15, ...


Gay News

'Don't Give Up' is Maggie Szabo's song dedicated to transgender youth 2017-12-15 - Maggie Szabo is a Canadian singer-songwriter who has been winning over audiences worldwide with her stunningly soulful vocals and empowering pop anthems. Hailing ...


Gay News

Soloway's musical satire "Jesus Has Two Mommies" presents benefit for EI 2017-12-15 - The Annoyance Theatre will present a special benefit for Equality Illinois featuring a one-time viewing of a recorded performance of Faith Soloway's musical ...


Gay News

Rock musical Lizzie extends, Broadway's Ciara Renee joins cast 2017-12-15 - CHICAGO ( December 14, 2017 ) — Following a brief hiatus for the holidays, Firebrand Theatre is pleased to announce its hit rock ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Rock 'n' Rock Musical 2017-12-13 - Book by: John C. Ashton. Music and lyrics by: Foreigner, Scorpions, Great White and more At: Raven Theatre Complex, 6157 N. Clark St. ...


Gay News

MUSIC Matisyahu talks new CD, religion, LGBTs 2017-12-13 - Matisyahu ( nee Matthew Paul Miller ) definitely made an impression when the public got to know him more than a decade ago. ...


Gay News

Lakeside Pride honors Strawn 2017-12-13 - Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles members presented Member Resources Director Brandon Strawn with its Founders Award in recognition of his longtime contributions to the ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Laverne Cox, 'Queer Eye,' Patti LaBelle, Rogers-Berlanti wedding 2017-12-12 - Emmy Award nominee Laverne Cox is set to host the Lifetime beauty-competition series Glam Masters, set to air Wed., Feb. 28, a press ...


Gay News

Resistance songs highlight Artemis Singers "Rise Up" Concert Jan. 13 2017-12-12 - EVANSTON, Ill. Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present "Rise Up," a call-to-action concert of progressive, energizing music, with guest artist Melanie ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.