Meet Rick Gabriel who is performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Rick Gabriel, who is performing as Harold Ickes in Annie. Read on to hear what he has to say about his experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

RG: I hadn’t seen the play or movie till my granddaughters watched the movie (the newer version).  Then after seeing it 50 times (low estimate), I realized it would be a fun show to be in. 

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

RG: Orphan finds dog, finds a home, finds a family, energizes everyone.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

RG: I play four characters in the show:  Police officer Lt. Ward, homeless person in Hoovervile, Santa Claus, and Harold Ickes, a cabinet member for FDR.

LA:Why should people come and see Annie?

RG: As a show, it is filled with optimism which seems to grow during the holiday season.  You can’t but smile coming out of the theater after seeing this show.

LA:Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

RG: First, the orphans are amazing!  This group of young ladies is as professional as any group I have worked with in my 44 years in theatre.  They inspire the rest of the ensemble to work harder.  The rest of the cast bring talent, energy, and characters to life.  Oh, Hudy the dog is a great Sandy as well.

LA:What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

RG: The pace, timing, acting, choreography, singing,  …..oh wait.  That’s the whole show.

LA:What is your favorite aspect of the show?

RG: The professional attitude of the cast, crew, and staff of Lyric Arts.

LA:What is your favorite musical to watch? 

RG: I love Wicked.

LA:What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

RG: Be with family, and friends while watching some of the old Christmas movies.

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

RG: The stage version has many more songs, with a different focus – optimism in all that Annie touches.  The movie is a story about relationships.  I prefer the stage version.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

RG: The audience gives you the energy to do 24 shows.  Every show is different because of the audience and that is exciting.

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

RG: Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar.  He is a real person who had an affect on history.

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

RG: Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, or  Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

RG: I am from Motown (Detroit) and have taught school for 38 years.  Skiing, sailing, golf are my hobbies I share with my wonderful wife Karen.  Theatre has been in my life since singing in Oklahoma in 1963.