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 2018-08-15
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Richard Koons and his act of 'Love'
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The Phantom of the Opera musical was a phenomenon that spawned more than 12,000 performances. Now it has inspired a sequel called Love Never Dies. Original character Christine Daae is invited to perform at Phantasma in Coney Island. The Phantom is involved in bringing her there and drama ensues when he's discovered.

The legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber returns as composer, and is the writer of the book.

Out actor Richard Koons tackles the national tour as the character Squelch. A graduate of The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Koons studied vocal performance. Past credits include playing Edna in Hairspray, Old Deuteronomy in Cats, and Horton in Seussical.

Windy City Times: Tell our readers about Love Never Dies.

Richard Koons: The show has been through a few versions. This is the one that Simon Phillips directed. It is most like the Australian production that was videotaped. It has a few new things and is completely different than the CD, because that is from the 2010 London version.

WCT: Who is your character?

RK: His name is Squelch and he is part of a trio: Squelch, Fleck and Gangle. We are the minions for the phantom. It takes place 10 years in the future from where the first musical left off. There are characters from Phantom such as Madame Giry, Meg Giry, the Phantom, Raoul and Christine. You find out that Christine and Raoul have a son named Gustave.

At the end of Phantom, Meg comes down to find the mask and it ends. With this show we find out that Meg and Madame Giry have whisked the Phantom away, saved him from the mob in Paris, and brought him to New York. He has created the first side show in Coney Island. He can live a life he never had anywhere else. He has taken on the name Mr. Y. as in mystery. He uses the three of us to do his bidding. We show up in this amazing carriage to kidnap Christine to Coney Island.

The set designer gives everyone a feast for their eyes. It is really revenant because I just saw the movie The Greatest Showman. It is very much like that!

It is gorgeous but also dark and creepy. It's one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most beautiful scores. It is a pleasure to listen to and sing every night.

WCT: You wear makeup?

RK: Yes, and they made me shave my head, too. We are in an off-kilter world even in our makeup. I have one very large eyebrow and one itty bitty one. I have one earring on one side and blue makeup on one side.

WCT: Are there any gay characters?

RK: We always tease the master of ceremonies, Stephen Petrovich, that he's like the character in Cabaret.

For Squelch they made him a high tenor, but he's the strongest man in the world. You would think his voice would be rough, but I'm singing in the stratosphere all the time. I'm not sure why his voice is that high compared to his physical aspect.

If I had to pick the character that is the closest to being gay, it would be Stephen's Gangle.

WCT: How is it traveling and having a family at the same time?

RK: My son Rhys is now 6 years old and lives with my husband, Russell, in New York. When my son was born he took a backseat to my career. Since my husband is a school teacher I just did concert singing during the school year and would only do Broadway shows during the summer. I went off and did that my first year with Cats. During his fifth year I was cast in Love Never Dies.

When I was growing up Phantom came out and it always meant something important to me. I couldn't pass up the opportunity and knew it would be hard for us. Thanks to FaceTime I talk to him every day. He likes to watch me put on my makeup.

I made sure he wasn't scared of this production and he wasn't. He enjoyed it and has seen the show several times. When we are in Boston it will be a car ride to visit him. I am never longer than 10 weeks without seeing him on the tour and usually it is only four weeks.

It can be hard, but I want him to know he can do and be whatever he wants. The best way is for him to see his parents thriving in what they love to do.

WCT: You have had so many costumes in shows, such as Edna in Hairspray. Do you like that part?

RK: If I had the choice I would only wear one costume. I just hate changing my clothes!

I have done some great character roles like Santa in Miracle on 34th Street and Edna in Hairspray. The costumes make your character.

The pants for this character make me look like I weight 60 more pounds than I do. They are hand painted. It's beautiful, but heavy. It is fun to dress up.

WCT: Is there any musical you wanted to be in but haven't?

RK: I am in the Phantom family, but I want to do Phantom of the Opera. If my career ended today at least I have been in this. How many people can say they opened a Webber show and stood next to him onstage? He came to Baltimore and worked with us for a few days. When he walked on the stage at curtain call you could see the emotion and tears in his eyes. The show means so much to him. It was a pleasure to do the show for him. He's been such a big part of my life growing up.

WCT: Were you able to speak to [Andrew Lloyd Webber] directly?

RK: Yes. He went out to dinner with us and we got time with him. He's writing his memoirs right now and I think it will be released in March. He wasn't going to make the opening in Detroit because of it, but he did make it after all and flew out for it. He spent the night with us again!

Love Never Dies haunts the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., on Feb. 14-Mar. 4. Visit for tickets and information .

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.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Richard III 2018-08-15 - By: William Shakespeare. At: Ingraham Park, Evanston. Tickets:; free. Runs through: Sept. 9 Richard III transforms before the audience's eyes ...

Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-08-15 - Buddy, American Blues Theater @ Stage 773, remounted through Sept. 15. Far more concert than story, the short, mostly-sweet life of Buddy Holly ...

Gay News

REVIEW Holding the Man 2018-08-15 - Playwright: Tommy Murphy; adapted from a memoir by Timothy Conigrave At: The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222; ...

Gay News

THEATER Spotlight on Hurricane Damage 2018-08-15 - Four gay men cross generations and decades in Hurricane Damage—Kevin Brofsky's funny, sad, hopeful and emotionally layered exploration of dreams snuffed out by ...

Gay News

REVIEW The African Company Presents Richard III 2018-08-14 - By Carlyle Brown. At: Oak Park Festival Theatre, Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Tickets: 708-300-3896 or; $20-$32, free children under ...

Gay News

Martha Wash, singer of 'It's Raining Men,' to star in WaistWatchers The Musical 2018-08-13 - The production that has had audience members "burning off pounds just laughing," according to the Los Angeles Times, WaistWatchers The Musical! makes its ...

Gay News

Goodman New Stages Fest includes Sarah Schulman, Ricardo Gamboa and Paula Vogel 2018-08-13 - This fall, Goodman Theatre presents its New Stages Festival—a free annual celebration and discovery of new plays by some of the country's finest ...

Gay News

Casting announced for natioanl tour of Hello, Dolly! 2018-08-11 - CHICAGO ( August 9, 2018 ) Producer Scott Rudin and Broadway In Chicago are delighted to announce the cast for the first national ...

Gay News

THEATER FEATURE 'Pillowtalk' a love story for post-marriage equality world 2018-08-08 - The audience won't hear the Toni Morrison quote that serves as an intro to playwright Kyoung H. Park's Pillowtalk, running Aug. 17-18 at ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Rick Stone the Blues Man 2018-08-08 - Playwright: JackieTaylor At: Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St. Tickets: $55-$65; 773-769-4451. Runs through: Aug. 26 Since its debut in ...


Copyright © 2018 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.








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.