On June 2, Harlequin Productions will offer one performance, the name of which all but dares critics to slam it. That show, concocted by Aaron Lamb, is entitled Miscast! (The exclamation mark is very much Harlequin’s.)
Usually when actors are accused of having been miscast, it’s no compliment. Consider, for example, the notorious example of John Wayne essaying The Conqueror, aka the Mongol Genghis Khan, or Sofia Coppola’s wooden appearance in Godfather III. Worse, Emma Stone was panned for playing a character of mixed ancestry including Chinese, Hawaiian and Swedish in 2015’s Aloha.
What Lamb and Harlequin will present, however, matches none of those missteps.
Instead, Lamb recruited musical-comedy performers beloved by his company’s subscribers, then worked with them to choose songs they’d never get to sing in a conventional production.
Thus, a performer like Amy Shephard, who’s known for her renditions of classic torch songs, may be asked to perform a baritone role or a character much younger or older than herself.
“I’m over the moon,” Shephard exclaims. “I think every single actor, especially those who work in musical theater, dreams of getting to do a ‘miscast’ show, because there’s so many wonderful roles and songs out there that … you’ll just never have the opportunity to play on stage.”
Shephard will be joined for the evening by Lamb, Charlotte Darling, Elise Moore, John Serembe, Matt Shimkus, Katherine Strohmaier, Aubrey Thomas and others to be determined at press time.
Company subscribers who donate at the $100-per-month level may see the show gratis. For all others, the ticket price includes light hors d’oeuvres and membership in the 2019 season.
Strohmaier is the musical director of Harlequin’s latest full production, Man of La Mancha, which opens June 20 and runs through July 27. Lamb directed that show and is also Harlequin’s acting artistic director. Shephard will lead the company’s Teen Shakespeare Conservatory program, which commences June 24.
Harlequin Productions’ State Theater,
202 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia
7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 2
Free – $75