On the Road With ‘Young Frankenstein’
The Monster is alive and coming to Kansas City! But don’t nail your windows shut just yet. Instead, come out and see him live on stage Feb. 16-21 in Mel Brooks’ new musical Young Frankenstein. The show, which will be at the Music Hall, 301 W 13th St., received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Musical in 2007-08.
I recently spoke with Stephen Carrasco, an actor in the production, who is on his way to great things. He has been traveling with tour shows, has performed on Broadway, shared the stage with Kristin Chenoweth, and is now showing the country again why he deserves to be on Broadway with the best of them!
Hi Stephen! How long have you been on the road with Young Frankenstein?
Well, we started rehearsals back in August, so have been on the road ever since. So about five months. But it’s great. It’s been so much fun making people laugh every night!
What were you performing in prior to this?
Well, I made my Broadway performance last year in White Christmas.
Oh, thank you! It was an amazing experience. And outside of regional theater, this (Young Frankenstein) is my first national tour.
Do you aspire to be on Broadway more?
Oh, definitely! Most of us do and have done at least one or more. But yes, it’d be ideal to work where you’re settled and be where your friends are. But we’re so grateful to be where we are now and we’re having a blast on the road!
How was it working with Kristin Chenoweth in Music in the Air?
Well, that was the first time I got to work with a real celebrity. It’s when I discovered what star quality was, you know? The moment she walks into a room, all eyes are on her. She is everything you’d imagine her to be. She’s kind, generous and makes you laugh. The person you see on TV is who she is in real life. It was a privilege to spend those two weeks with her.
With the new show Glee, a lot more stage actors are getting more roles on TV. Would you like working on Glee or something similar?
Oh yeah, I’d love to! There are auditions all the time for stuff like that in New York and Los Angeles. Our lead actor, Roger Bart (Desperate Housewives), has the ideal job. A little bit of TV, film and stage. But yes, I’m so glad Glee is bringing theater to the forefront. Like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have brought dance back. I’m grateful for it! It opens up more work for me and my friends!
Also, openly gay stage actors like Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock) and Nick Adams are getting a lot more recognition and getting TV roles. How do you feel about openly gay actors getting the recognition they, we, and you deserve?
It’s about time! I have this unconditional faith in America where injustices will eventually be worked out. Like with gay marriage, it’s just a matter of time. Being gay in America is no longer going to be something you have to confess. It’ll just be accepted. And it’s amazing to have pioneers like Nick and Cheyenne and all the gay actors in Hollywood that are taking more steps forward. It makes me proud to be a gay man.
Right! I think we're getting there.
I feel very lucky to live in a time where I can watch it change. It’s so cool. Like seeing Ellen [DeGeneres> have her own talk show, which is so successful. And everyone who opposes it is slowly losing the battle. It’s fantastic!
Speaking of Cheyenne and Nick, who would you rather have a makeout scene with?
Oh, I don’t know! Hmm, can I pick both? Is that bad?
Of course that’s not bad!
(Laughs) I’ve met both of them and they’re very nice guys!
Have you ever had a relationship with an actor in the same play you were both in?
Oh, yeah. I’ve had a showmance or two. Not in this company, though. Oddly, we don’t have that many gay people in this male ensemble, which is uncommon. But yeah, it’s natural to fall for someone you work with. None have worked out (laughs). I am very single!
Are you involved with Broadway Bares, the charity event for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS?
I would love to, but I’ve been out of town every year they do it. I finally got to go see it for the first time last year. It was amazing. But I’d love to!
Tell me your favorite scene in Young Frankenstein.
I really like “Surprise.” It’s when Elizabeth (Dr. Frankenstein’s fiancé