Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Rick Gabriel, who is performing, as General Henry Waverly, in White Christmas. 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 have watched the movie with my dad since I was six. To have a chance to be in it and being in a Lyric Arts production.was plenty of motivation.
LA: For those that are unfamiliar with White Christmas can you tell us about the show?
RG: Two showbiz types end up in Vermont to watch two young ladies they were getting to know. Their former commanding officer, General Waverly, runs the inn where the two girls are going to perform. He isn’t having much luck running the inn, so they decide to help out by rehearsing their Broadway show at his inn. A lot of twists and turns occur and create some confusion.
LA: Talk about the character that you play in White Christmas. How have you developed this character?
RG: I play General Waverly. I am relying on the issues that many young men who get out of the armed services face today. How do they fit back in to our society and what are they going to do.
LA: Why should people come and see White Christmas?
RG: A great talented cast who can sing and dance (I don’t do either in the show).
LA: What is your favorite musical to watch?
LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?
RG: Be with family and friends
LA: Which do you like better White Christmas the movie or the stage version?
RG: There is enough of a difference that I like them the same.
LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?
RG: Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. It is a historical character who many people don’t like.
LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?
RG: Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof.
LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
RG: I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit where I taught school for 8 Yrs. Moved to Milwaukee and taught in the area for 4 yrs. Came to Minneapolis in ’86 and have taught here since in Anoka-Hennepin. I have directed for 38 Yrs and am now doing the acting side of things. This is my 4th show since I stopped directing.