Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 4: Meet Alan Naylor.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you appear on local stages and roles you have played.
Alan: Hi I’m Alan. I’ve been all over the DC area at The Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Studio Theatre, Atlas, Theater Alliance, Adventure Theatre, and First Stage amongst others. Some of my more recent roles have been Lockstock in Urinetown, The Angel in Going to a Place Where You Already Are, in Dr. Chilton in Silence!, and The Peddler in Caps For Sale.
Who do you play in Ruthless! and how do you relate to your character?
I am stepping into the heels of Sylvia St. Croix in Ruthless! I suppose I relate to her in the way almost every theater artist relates to characters in this show. A battle between the force of the ego and a desire to also place others in the “spotlight.” In addition Sylvia left the business for awhile and worked for a come back but without the same kind of identity she had before. Similarly, I left performing for a number of years and only recently came back to life on the stage. It is not the same as before, though it is difficult to succinctly articulate how my relationship with the work and art has transformed.
What is it about Ruthless! that made you want to be part of this show and cast?
Honestly, I had very little time to make a decision to join the cast and I relied on the reactions and support of many friends. I didn’t know how successful I could be playing a woman and a grandmother, but this role has so much vivacity and gregariousness that it seemed like an excellent challenge to try and fill some huge high heels (both literally and metaphorically).
There are so many references to other classic musicals in the show. Which of these shows really epitomize your character and why and how?
Gypsy 100%! Sylvia is Mama Rose to a ‘T,’ except that she had a career before that took her to the heights of stardom. All the worse when you fall from that height though…
You all have great solos-your time in the spotlight. What are the name of your solos and what do we learn about your character while singing these solos.
“Talent” – I am the source for your future success.
“Where Tina Gets It From” -Again I will get you there.
“I Want the Girl” – Again I will get her there (noticing a theme…?) but also, here you see a more visceral desire at the heart of Sylvia and many stage performers to see themselves at the center of attention and praise.
What song that you don’t sing is your favorite and why?
“I Hate Musicals” it is just so darn witty, snarky, and catchy. Not to mention Kathy sings the pants off of it!
If you could write another ending for the show and for your character what would it be?
Oh I wouldn’t. Almost everyone gets exactly what they deserve and it is so ridiculous. No other way would be right.
What is the best suggestion or advice that Director Matt Connor offered you in shaping your performance? How would you describe Matt’s directing style
Matt has a very relaxed “just do it” kind of style. To quote him, “Never edit before you do.” So it really is just kind of a throw paint on the wall and see what sticks kind of process while trying to use the biggest, brightest, most garish colors you can imagine. I think some of the best advice other than “don’t edit” I have received is about the perception of the “Diva” and not ever letting anyone else see that you may be sweating or angry. Just be above it all.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you in Ruthless!?
A pain in their side from all the laughter.
What are you doing next on the stage?
Next up I am doing Sweeney Todd at Olney Theater Center.
Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 1: Kathy Halenda by Joel Markowitz.
Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 2: Sophia Manicone by Joel Markowitz.
Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 3: Tamarin Ythier by Joel Markowitz.
Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 3: Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 4: Alan Naylor.
Review of Ruthless! The Musical by Nicole Hertvik on DCMetroTheaterArts.