Sunday, July 27, 2008

Theatre Choices

Christopher Wallenberg writes the pre-show piece for the new Theresa Rebeck play opening in Williamstown. The play's title is The Understudy, and Wallenberg writes about how the careers of the real actors mirror those of the actors in the play.

For instance, real life actor Reg Rogers, who plays the eponymous character in Rebeck's play, has never really got his big break in the world of show business, but....

While Rogers's costar, Bradley Cooper, may not command $2.3 million per picture like his character in the play, the 33-year-old is a hunky young rising star, having appeared in films like "Wedding Crashers" and "Failure to Launch," in addition to several seasons on the hit TV series "Alias." He also has a slew of high-profile films lined up in the next two years.

While Cooper is reluctant to draw explicit parallels with his character, he says that he can identify with at least one aspect of the play - the ways that actors can become overly preoccupied with their careers.

"My character has set his sights on getting this one movie role," Cooper says. "But he's making all these wonderful discoveries [during the rehearsal with Harry] about things that are ultimately going to be more important in his life. Yet the minute that other light starts blinking - which is the other potential role - that's where all his focus goes. Which I find funny, but also just relatable."

In a twist that underlines the unpredictable nature of show business, Tony award winner Julie White ("The Little Dog Laughed") was originally slated to play Roxanne, but was forced to drop out when she took a part in the "Transformers" sequel.

Bolds are mine.

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