Monday, February 2, 2015
Exclusive Q&A with Broadway Icon, Lee Roy Reams part 1
I had the opportunity to speak with Mr Reams, which I considered a privilege indeed, over the phone. He was in Boca Raton, FL, where he'd just been at a Super Bowl party the night before. And then I switched on the digital recorder, and so began our Q&A....
Buddy Beaverhausen: My Lord! You've been in so many terrific, even classic, Broadway musicals! Sweet Charity, Oklahoma, Hello Dolly, 42nd St., La Cage aux Folles,Beauty & the Beast, The Producers! What's the secret to your success in choosing a role?
Lee Roy Reams: I have no secret other than that I've been fortunate enough to work with wonderful people. Especially people like Carol Channing, Gower Champion, Comden and Green, Jule Styne, Lauren Bacall, Bob Fosse. So, the "secret" is working with good people! If they're all good at what they do, the chances are you'll have a good product. I've been lucky to have worked with the best people in the business. It's just luck of the draw, and I've been fortunate that way!
BB: Have you ever been in a flop?
LRR: Yes, only two and they were both off-Broadway.
BB: Any roles on Broadway that you coveted but eluded you?
LRR: Not really. I had originally wanted to be in On Your Toes but lost out on that part. However, around that time, I was cast in 42nd St, which had a longer run so I was lucky. Also, La Cage aux Folles! When it first came out, I was too young to be cast but, later, when it came around again, I was able to do it and had a very successful run off Broadway at Papermill Playhouse. And I'm in it again, right now, on the road at The Wick Theater in Boca Raton through February 15.
BB: I have to tell you that I work with a friend from Covington, Kentucky [Lee Roy's birthplace] and he says hi, even though he doesn't know you.
LRR: Uh-huh. [laughs] Well, tell him hello back from me and good to hear from a neighbor in a sense.
BB: Seriously, though, I'd like to ask if you have a favorite Broadway role of the lot.
LRR: Not really. I do love doing La Cage because it's a leading role and, once I make my entrance, I'm on all night. Also, Jerry Herman is my favorite composer/lyricist. I had great success with La Cage as I had great success in Carol Channing in the first revival of Hello, Dolly. I also directed her in a later revival of the show, which was a joy.
BB: What is it about your career, perhaps, that people don't know and you wish they did?
LRR: [chuckles after mulling this over for a moment] That I'm not only an actor but a singer and dancer. I came along at a time when a lot of people didn't do all three but I did. Also, that I've directed. I directed a revival of Dolly and people thought I'd given up being onstage, which I had not. So, I sort of shied away from directing. I wanted to continue to do both, but for some strange reason it confused people.
[Part 2 to come.]
Please join Richard Skipper in NYC February 25th! He will be interviewing Lee Roy Reams LIVE ON STAGE to benefit The Spiral Theatre Studio at 300 West 43rd Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10036 at 8PM! The evening with Lee Roy Reams will begin with a Wine and Cheese mixer at 7:30 PM, and interview of Lee Roy Reams at 8 PM promptly. Call Richard Skipper if interested. 845-365-0720 $30.00 RESERVATIONS A MUST! Please reserve today!! SEATING IS LIMITED! www.RichardSkipper.com