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I'm bound for Drury in Missouri!

5.15.2008


Not really. But if wishes were children and wishes came free and true--I would be.

I would complete a degree in Theatre at Drury University because one of my all-time favorite Broadway veterans teaches there. His name is Robert Westenberg, and I highly esteem him.

He was in the original cast of Sunday in the Park with George as the soldier (Alex in the second half), and went on to replace Mandy Patinkin (who is also worthy of his own post) as George (pictured to the right with Bernadette Peters). His soldier is hilarious--I think Robert excels as handsome proud idiots. There wasn't much singing for him in Sunday, but he was cast in another Sondheim musical "Into the Woods" that offered more songs.

He again plays two characters in Into the Woods, the wolf and Cinderella's prince (top picture). He and the Rapunzel's prince are my favorite part of the show. The "Agony" songs are such hilarious performances. The best part is when Robert sings "the girl must be mad." I also love "Any Moment" with Joanna Gleason. Robert was actually nominated for a Tony for his role as the prince. The adorable thing is that he fell in love with the actress who played his character's love interest. *Swoon.* Cinderella was played by Kim Crosby, and now they are married with three children.

While not in the original cast, Robert also played Javert (below left) for many years in Les Miserables, Harry in the 1995 revival of Company, and Dr. Lyman Hall in 1776, all on Broadway. His last original Broadway cast was in The Secret Garden, where he was once again reunited with Mandy Patinkin, in which they played brothers in love with the same woman (see duet: "Lily's Eyes").

In off-Broadway productions he's played two of my favorite male roles: Henry Higgins and Captain George (pronounced "Gay-Org") von Trapp. Most recently he was in the national tour of The Full Monty.

Since he's faculty at Drury University, they list his e-mail and phone number on the university page. Now all of you might be thinking, "Crazy-ass Maryann's going to stalk him." But you're wrong! I won't! I'll just go enroll as a student like a normal person...perhaps a teacher's assistant... In the fall he's teaching "Introduction to Theatre", "Acting I", "Acting Workshop: Auditions", "Musical Theatre Revue"...I'm crying on the inside. Seriously. What am I doing with my life? WHY WASN'T I A THEATRE MAJOR AT DRURY UNIVERSITY? If only I'd known...my whole life could have been different...

Fortunately I don't have to include Sunday in the Park with George in my 100 part series of musicals I've never forgive myself for not seeing because it's coming to the 5th Ave theatre this season! Into the Woods and The Secret Garden on the other hand...


For you all to enjoy, here he is performing "Any Moment" from Into the Woods with Joanna Gleason. Look out, lots of kissing (well, for a musical).

4 comments:

The Librarian said...

I love Into the Woods! you rock, Maryann, and don't worry, you can always go back to school.

Maryann said...

Yay! Have you seen it live or the video??

StoryGuy said...

Hi Maryann!

I have totally stumbled onto your blog! I didn't like the album art for the soundtrack to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" so I was looking for images to make my own - and the search brought me to your site!

I just wanted to say I love "Into the Woods" - and Any Moment is probably my favorite song in it! Joanna Gleason totally cracks me up!

I bookmarked your blog... I found it inspiring!

PS... I have a website, in the hugely off chance you might be interested...

http://www.shepmedia.com/Paul'sCorner/index.html

or Biblestoryguy.com

Maryann said...

Thanks!