Onstage / TEN QUESTIONS FOR Kevin Craig
Charlie in THE FOREIGNER at Kavinoky
Photo courtesy of Anthony Alcocer
What’s your relationship to this show?
When Kavinoky produced The Foreigner in the early 2000s, I was lucky enough to catch the show with one of my best friends whose father, Gerry Maher, played Charlie. It was one of the first pro shows I saw in Buffalo, and I was instantly hooked on the theater, the show, and the community. Following in such legendary footsteps, and sharing the stage with pros like this cast, is a huge honor and definitely a “full circle” moment.
What’s the best acting advice you were ever given?
Brother Tim Ward at Niagara [University] had a famous saying: “F***ing make something happen!” This has always stuck with me, and reminds me of the best parts of rehearsal where you are finding the story, the characters, and, ultimately, the conflict that propels a story.
What’s your best “the show went on” moment?
We were doing BUA Takes Ten in [Buffalo United Artists’] old space—RIP Evergreen Conference Center—and we had gotten to the emotional apex of one of the last pieces. Suddenly, a security guard busts in having a loud conversation on his cell phone: “Nope. No. There’s nobody in here, totally empty. Uh-huh. Yep,” etc, until somebody finally stomped back to the door to get him to shut up. I had to pause briefly, and collect myself to prevent a Patti LuPone moment, but we were able to carry on and get to the end. I think they started having someone stationed at the door during the show after that.
What’s the role that got away?
I always wanted to be Elder Cunningham in Book of Mormon. That must be an absolute blast to do every night. I turned thirty-one last year, so playing any eighteen-year-olds is probably out of reach by now.
What line from a former play have you never forgotten and why?
I’m very prone to getting lines stuck in my head like songs, and one that comes to mind every few weeks is Peter Palmisano playing a movie star who takes the Broadway stage in Tom Dudzick’s Don’t Talk to the Actors. He had this line—“Characters in plays cannot be average. They have to be larger than average. Larger than life! LAAAAARGE!”—and the way he delivered it made for such an earworm! He is then silenced by the director character’s dog-training clicker, which he has employed to control the wayward cast. I don’t agree with the sentiment of the line by the way!
What “against type” role are you dying to play?
I have always, always, always wanted to play Cathy in The Last Five Years. The keys of her songs actually work in a Tenor II voice, so if anyone wants to mount this, I’m all ears!
What’s your classic actor nightmare dream?
The most recent one involved me doing a show at MusicalFare, and leaving to stop home in the middle of a show for reasons unknown. I somehow get lost on the 290 and never make it back for Act II. It’s fuzzy now, but I may have ended up in Pittsburgh in the dream.
What would you change about this headshot if you could?
I probably would have done well to get a haircut before these were taken, but, ya know. Live and learn. I’m kind of a messy guy so I guess it shows my personality!
What’s been the best thing you’ve seen this season and why?
Ooh, this is a tough one. Can I have a tie? I loved Minding Frankie at Irish Classical. Such a simple story, beautifully acted and directed. Also loved my man Adam Yellen in John at Road Less Traveled—super intense slice-of-life acting, and I’m a sucker for shows that leave you with more questions than answers.
Plugs for the rest of the season?
I am pumped to return to Shakespeare in Delaware Park to play Fool in King Lear! This is my first summer on the hill since 2009.
Kavinoky welcomes The Foreigner beginning April 27 (kavinokytheatre.com, 829-7668).
Read more on this month's theater scene here.
Playwright Donna Hoke writes about theater for Spree and Forever Young.