The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

30 Jan
Barry Williams

Show Biz: Never a Dull Moment

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 3 comments

‘It Happened Here’
‘It Happened Here’

I began rehearsals for my new Musical Review, MARRIED ALIVE, yesterday. I met for the first time the other three talented actors who comprise our cast. Cathy Barnett, who plays my wife, Jessalyn Kincaid, who plays the idealistic fully and committed to it for the first time young bride and Allan Snyder who is her groom. As a part of the actor’s ritual of forming bonds with a new cast, we went to lunch together. We were all sharing stories of various productions we had worked in and some of the unusual things that can occur during any live performance. Allan who is in his twenties, and has several roles in common with me such as Curly in OKLAHOMA! and Tony in WEST SIDE STORY reminded me of a frightful experience I had during a performance of WEST SIDE STORY.

This was I think in the late eighties, the place, The Jones Beach Theatre on Long Island, NY. Now, The Jones Beach Theatre on Long Island is like no other theatre I have ever played. Originally built for the Water Olympics, it is a stage that literally floats in the Atlantic Ocean. The front row of the outdoor 8,000 seat stadium is separated by a “moat” of ocean water. Backstage, to cross from stage right to stage left, you literally step onto a water-craft and are speedboated around to the other side. At night the theatrical lights attract all types of fish including sharks… exciting stuff.

Just as in Romeo and Juliet , Juliet’s Romeo dies at the end of the this play and so does my character in WEST SIDE STORY, Tony. It is at this point in the show that Maria has a long monologue chastising the prejudices that brought about Tony’s death while I would lay in the middle of the stage “dead”. I had been doing the show for several months and was comfortable with my character and role and used the opportunity, laying on my back, in the middle of the stage to “rest”. In fact, during some performances I would literally fall asleep.

On this particular night, my tremendously talented Maria, played by Christine Andreas, who would cry at this point during every performance, leaned over my face and dropped a tear directly on my closed and now sleeping eye. Well, that startled me from my restful repose, and in front of a full house of thousands, dead Tony arched his back in shock and confusion and then recognizing my error attempted to play dead again. Anyone who was paying attention during this most dramatic point of the entire play could not have failed to notice Tony momentarily coming back to life. I was more embarrassed than I would have been forgetting a line or even breaking audibile wind onstage.

These are some of the things that occur while performing previews with an audience or patiently enduring long runs. With just four people in our new cast of MARRIED ALIVE, each of us has a lot of material to be responsible for and I can’t help but wonder if there might be more stories to share with you during our upcoming run.

Ciao,

Barry

 

3 Comments

    Jonathan Shipley
    on Jan. 30th, 2008

    Perhaps, if you ever do a production of “West Side Story” again it can be “Dead Side Story” and Tony DOES actually come back to life…as a zombie….Just a thought.

    Show Biz
    on Feb. 9th, 2008

    Awesome Post! Thanks for providing such a wonderful blog.

    Gary Gressel
    on Mar. 25th, 2008

    Saw you this weekend in Married Alive! You and your castmates did a great job. New Theatre is such a great venue, especially for a small number of actors on stage. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in the Kansas City area!!!

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