Actor Relishes Boy Toy Role

By Richard Schultz, Oct. 3, 2014.

Joshua James Campbell

Joshua James Campbell plays Spike in Arizona Theatre Company’s current production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (read the review by Richard Schultz here).

The hilarious comedy – winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play by gay playwright Christopher Durang – mixes Chekhov shout-outs with contemporary cringe-worthy flair.

Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia are living a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, while their sister Masha travels the world as a movie star.

Just as their cleaning woman, Cassandra, issues a warning about terrible events in their future, Masha returns for an unannounced visit with her 20-something boy toy Spike in tow. And so begins an unforgettable weekend building to a fever pitch of rivalry, regret and racket.

Echo spoke with James Campbell about his role as the boy toy.

Echo: Have you ever performed in a Christopher Durang play?

James Campbell: This is my first time with Durang and it’s shockingly exhausting. You need high energy for his type of comedy. It’s high paced and over the top. In rehearsal, the cast grew more comfortable with a bigger style of performance.

Photo by Jeff Smith

Echo: Tell me about your character of Spike.

James Campbell: The show is about three siblings and the family turmoil. Spike is the boy toy and younger than Mosha. He is one of the non–Chekhovian characters. The show includes lots of talking, but trust me that Spike is all action. The character of Vanya flirts with Spike.

Echo: So, is how Spike is like you?

James Campbell: Spike is nothing like me. In my ’20s, I played younger romantic roles such as a prince. In this show, I wear minimal clothing. It’s a bit weird to be the boy toy.

Echo: So what did you base your boy toy character on?

James Campbell: Durang writes so well with full characters. They all have heart and are very real. In addition, the director allowed all of us to play. I slowly started making my way into the Spike world. Since Spike is very comfortable with his body, I started taking my clothes off early. Spike is a peacock and likes to flaunt what he has. He likes people to look and compliment him.

Echo: Anything special you did to prep for the lack of clothing onstage?

James Campbell: I needed to eat healthy all the time and upped my regular workouts.

Charles Janasz, Ali Rose Dachis, Suzanne Bouchard, Joshua James Campbell and Suzanne Warmanen in Arizona Company’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Photo by Jeff Smith

Echo: Do you have a favorite moment or scene in the show?

James Campbell: Spike does a reverse striptease where he put his clothes back on. He does with an audition monologue from a TV show that he almost got.

Echo: What else would you like audience to know about this comedy?

James Campbell: You don’t need to know Chekov and his plays to get this show. Spike is the foil. Some audiences may not love him, while others are quite taken with him. Without a doubt, I have a good time playing Spike.

Keep readingShow less
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less