Cabaret 2015: Cast Interview with Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones' first interactions with Lyric Arts began with Rent, at the end of our 2013-2014 season. We've very proud to have him back on the Main Street Stage for our 16th Annual Cabaret Fundraiser. We caught up with him to get a little bit better feel for the man behind the performance, a theme we'll definitely explore in this year's Cabaret. We want to provide an inside glimpse into the lives of the talent that chooses to perform at Lyric Arts. And on this very sunny, warm mid-April afternoon, we'll start with Patrick.

LA: How did you become familiar with Lyric Arts?

Patrick: I auditioned for RENT and was awarded the role of Tom Collins. 

LA: How would your life be different if it wasn’t for Lyric Arts?

Patrick: I would definitely not be as fulfilled—musically and emotionally. Lyrics Arts gave me another chance to share my love of theater. 

LA: Why do you choose to share your passion on this stage?

Patrick: The people! I auditioned to be in RENT. I came back because I fell in love the people and the culture that is Lyric Arts. 

LA: What moment are you really looking forward to this year for Cabaret?

Patrick: Stepping out onto the Main Street stage and being greeted post-show by the loyal members of the Lyrics Arts community. 

LA: What’s been your very favorite number to perform in your acting and singing career so far?

Patrick: I'll Cover You-Reprise from RENT. I am always overcome with emotion by the sense of heartbreak that is present in that piece. 

LA: Describe a favorite bonding moment with someone at Lyric Arts

Patrick: I'm not sure I can pick just one. I had the chance to have a lunch date, post RENT, with two of my favorite people, Nykeigh Larson and James Ehlenz. They were two people that welcomed me to Lyric Arts right away and I am so thankful for that! 

LA: How and when did you decide to pursue a career in performing arts?

Patrick: I wouldn't call it a career. I wish I could!! I have just always had the itch to be on stage and share my passion with others. 

LA: What other hidden talents might lurk below the surface?

Patrick: I am an accomplished swing dancer and can still do a lot of the fancy lifts. 

LA: If you could live in any time period, when would it be and why?

Patrick: I would have to say the 40's or 50's. It was a simpler time that wasn't so dominated by social media. I feel like they were able to have more meaningful, face-to-face conversations without so many distractions. Call me old fashioned! 

LA: If you could star in any film, which would you choose and who would you play?

Patrick: This is a very loaded question considering that I am major film buff. I would have to say Kevin Spacey's character "Verbal" in the film "The Usual Suspects."

LA: What are your favorite musicals?

Patrick: Next to Normal, Jekyll and Hyde, Spring Awakening, Les Miserables, Once

LA: If people asked what it feels like to spend your time and talents at Lyric Arts, what would you say?

Patrick: It is a wonderful community that is way more talented than it gets credit for. The amount of work that goes into each production is amazing and I am so honored to be a part of it! Every time I step foot into the building, I am overwhelmed with excitement! 

"Young Frankenstein" Audience Review - Roxy Orcutt

I was thrilled to be in audience of Lyric Art’s production of Young Frankenstein this opening weekend for a number of reasons. One: Lyric Arts is awesome, Two: Young Frankenstein is awesome, and Three: I was sharing the evening with my 13-year-old stepson Quinn, who has yet to experience the mad genius of Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder OR Lyric Arts, for that matter (outside of a workshop or two) and I was looking forward to watching his reaction to the show. Young Frankenstein may be the perfect show to bring young person with a great sense of humor to. While the jokes were crammed full of innuendo, of course, it was so fun to not only get a kick out them myself, but watch Quinn laugh along too. It’s a testament to the writing of Gene Wilder holding up all these years (Young Frankenstein was originally produced in 1974!) that a glued-to-his-Smartphone teenager could laugh at Roll is Ze Hay, among others, but it’s also a testament to Lyric Arts creative and technical team as well. There wasn’t a dull moment. From the opening scene of the villagers merrily dancing in front of Victor Frankenstein’s castle in Transylvania to the absolutely show-stopping Puttin’ on the Ritz number, Lyric Arts truly knocked it out of the spooky graveyard with this production.

Having just seen the majority of the cast in Rent this summer at Lyric Arts, it was truly impressive to see these actors totally disappear into their roles in Young Frankenstein. I didn’t see an ounce of Mark from Rent from Kyler Chase as he portrayed Fredrick Frankenstein, and his eyebrows may have well leapt off his face and become characters of their own. In fact, as I was watching the show, I heard an audience member behind me whisper “he even sounds like Gene Wilder.” High praise, indeed. Nykeigh Larson as Inga and Brendan Veerman as Igor (who I adored in Barefoot in the Park) were also highlights for me. But, the show was completely stolen when our Monster came to life in the form of Tom Goerger-who was not only amazing and hilarious, but also a dead ringer for Peter Boyle.

In nearly every review I write for Lyric Arts, I can’t help but praise the set design. And, again, the Young Frankenstein set was spectacular. The castle and hidden passageways, the cottage the set must be for a brief, hysterical scene, among other transitions-the grace and technical skill it takes to make these set changes so flawlessly and clever are beyond reproach.

Recalling Young Frankenstein as I am writing this, I am seeing the show in black and white. Trust me, it was full color when I saw it, and my vision is just fine, but I find it interesting that black and white, like the original film, is how I am seeing Lyric Arts production in my mind’s eye. It may be a trick of my subconscious, but I think it is further proof that the stage production is on par with the classic movie it is based on. Not that the Lyric Arts production of Young Frankenstein is a scene-for-scene re-enactment of the film, it truly is its own wonderful entity unto itself, but if you are going to be compared to a movie, let it be a Mel Brooks movie.

The audience couldn’t have asked for a better Halloween-season show from Lyric Arts, and I was so pleased to share the experience with Quinn, and help foster a new generation Young Frankenstein (and theater, and satire) fans.

Roxy Orcutt
Roxy Orcutt

Roxy Orcutt, The Halloween Honey, is a local author and theater enthusiast. Her book, "History and Hauntings of the Halloween Capital," explores Anoka, MN, its spooky tales, colorful characters, and why it is named the "Halloween Capital of the World." It is available for sale online at www.HalloweenHoney.com.