So here's the deal. Actors love to orginate roles. At least this one does. I got to do it in Johnny Appleweed. Granted, Jesus is a pretty common role, but not in that context. When you originate a role, the entire process is a blank canvas. No one coming to see the show has any pre-conceived notions as to what they're going to see. You have nothing to hold you back outside of the collaboration between Actor and Director. I love that.
Then there's the flipside. A popular show that has a well recorded Original Cast Album. A show people have seen. A show I've seen. I can only speak for me - I have no idea if this is a universal feeling. When I see a show or hear a cast album, and I like it, I think what role could I play if I ever got the opportunity to do this show? And should I ever get the opportunity, I reflect on the show and recording and make a mental list of the things I "can't" do, choices I "can't" make - for fear of being seen as an imitator rather than an actor. Incredibly vain, I know. And in the end a self-defeating process. There's a reason actors on recordings and in shows make the choices they make - they're well thought out and they work. To discard them as though they were independent of the show and unique to simply the actor, and not part of the dynamic of the show is absurd. I'm slowly learning this. Allow me to be less vague...
The Urinetown recording is slightly different than most recordings I've heard in that along with the songs there's a lot of dialogue as well. Whose dialogue? Why Lockstock's of course. And brilliantly delivered. Very funny... blah, blah, blah... So when I got the role of Lockstock, I vowed to be "different" - to not be like the recording. Well it's sillly. It might work for some shows, but not this one. I've learned or at least feel confident in my supposition that a lot of the choices Jeff McCarthy (the Lockstock on the recording) made were born of the overall style of the show. They're melodramatic, just like the show. They're overdone to make a point, just like the show. They're loaded with sarcasm, just like the show. You see what I'm getting at? If I refuse to be melodramatic, overdone or sarcastic simply to "not be Jeff McCarthy" I'm robbing the show. And cops shouldn't rob.
So there you have it. I'm doing the show like I would any other. I'll make choices in this show like I would any other, and if I sound like Mr. McCarthy it'll be because we both arrived upon the same conclusion regarding that moment because it was right and because it gave strenth to the show as a whole.
By the way... being a cop was pretty well predetermined for our Officer Lockstock. His father was one, his father before him, his father before him, and on as far as any living member of the family can remember. So simply put, any male member born into the family is expected to be...
A chip off the Lockstock block.
Over and Out