Friday, April 4, 2014

An interview with Rick Pendzich!

Rick Pendzich returns to the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre stage in LEND ME A TENOR. His past MCT appearances include JEEVES INTERVENES, THE FOURTH WALL, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS and HAY FEVER.

Tell us a bit about your character, Max:

To use Mr. Saunders' words, Max is the "factotum, gopher, and all-purpose dogsbody" for the Cleveland Grand Opera Company.  Basically, it's his job to do whatever Mr. Saunders tells him to do.  Max is quite suited for this job, because he's kind of a doormat.  Even though he has dreams of singing professionally and marrying his girlfriend, he doesn't have the confidence to make things happen for himself.

What are some of the benefits and challenges of performing in a farce/comedy?

The great part about this play is that it's so well-written.  Ken Ludwig writes in a way that not only gives you great dialogue and jokes, but almost gives you a built in rhythm that makes it all land.  This is also what makes it difficult; it's all so rhythmic.  If you space out for a second and drop the ball, you have to build the rhythm back up.

Anything fun you’d like to share with readers about LEND ME A TENOR, rehearsals, etc?

Everyone is hilarious, but I must say that I've probably laughed the most in my scenes with Drew Brhel.  We have similar senses of humor, so we crack each other up a lot.  When we can keep it together, though, it's a great thing.  Sometimes, I feel like we're two volleyball players setting the ball for one another, so the other one can spike it.  I must also say, singing the duet with Steve Koehler has been a joy.  It's such a sweet, pure moment in the show.

What are some of your favorite moments in theatre that made you who you are today?

I really learn something new from each show.  Sometimes it's about the craft; sometimes it's about life.  The cool thing about being an actor is that I get to go through a bunch of different situations (most of which, I would never have the chance to in real life) and take away a lesson.  From comedies to dramas, children's theatre to Shakespeare: they all leave you with something new.  The bonus is that I get to share that with a room full of people and other actors.

What do you like about being a theatre artist in Milwaukee?

I really feel that Milwaukee theatre is a community.  We see each other around all the time, and we all support each other.  Milwaukee audiences are part of it too.  We're all proud of our city's art scene and the local artists that contribute to it.  I love when people come from out-of-town and say, "I had no idea Milwaukee had so much going on."  It's such a blessing to be a part of that.

Thanks Rick! We can wait to see you and the rest of the cast April 10-27.

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