In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of Rockville Musical Theatre’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, meet Jeff Rathner.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you in the past year on local stages?
I was last seen on stage with RMT in 2013 in Guys and Dolls. I started dancing at 17, worked in Dinner Theatre for a few years. I was in the Wally Saunders Dance Company in Baltimore. The I took about a 25-year break from performing, returned to dance with the Rockville Civic Ballet in 2010 to be in The Nutcracker and 4 other ballets.
Why did you want to be part of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at Rockville Musical Theater?
They are a nice group of people to work with, and I thought I would be a good fit for this show.
Why is this musical relevant today and what does it have to say to audiences?
It’s relevant today just like it probably will always be relevant – people inflicting their views and moral judgments on others. Just look at the 12 Republican candidates running for their party’s nomination. If you want to be more pointed, it makes a case for legalized prostitution in this country.
Who do you play in the show and what songs do you sing? If you have a solo tells us what it is and what the song means to the character and to you.
I play Melvin P. Thorpe and my song is “Texas Has a Whorehouse in It.” It’s a way for Melvin to express his point of view and demonstrate the power of the media to influence public opinion.
Have you appeared in other productions of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and who did you play, and how is this production different and unique?
This is my first production.
What is your favorite song in the show and why?
The “Aggie Song.” It’s just fun.
Which character in the show is most like you, and why?
Mona, for her liberal views and forgiving nature.
What do you admire most about your fellow castmates’ performances?
They put it all out there.
How would you describe this score?
Creative, moves the story forward, and a fun spin on country-western music.
What was the best advice or suggestions that Director Duane Monahan about laying your character and how has Musical Director John Marlowe helped you with your performance?
Duane has helped me to keep my character pointed and John is very good at explaining things and helped me with the interpretation.
How would you describe Duane Monahan’s choreography and what was the hardest thing to learn?
He’s keeping it basic and simple. The hardest thing is staying in formation with the group.
Why should audience goers come to see The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas?
Cause it’s a whooping good time.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing The Best Little Whorehouse at Rockville Musical Theater?
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas plays from July 10-26, 2015 at Rockville Musical Theatre performing at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre – 603 Edmonston Drive, in Rockville, MD at The Rockville Civic Center. For tickets, call the box office at (240) 314-8690, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of Rockville Musical Theatre’s ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’: Part 1: Zoe Alexandratos.
Meet the Cast of Rockville Musical Theatre’s ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’: Part 2: Paul Loebach.