Thursday, July 10, 2014

Spotlight On...Bill E. Dietrich

Name: Bill E. Dietrich

Hometown: Columbus, Georgia

Education: BFA Musical Theater, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music

Select Credits: Jekyll & Hyde (Original Broadway Cast), National Tours: My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, Evita (20th & 25th Anniversary), Annie, Man of La Mancha, and Hello Dolly with Madeline Kahn. Regional: Baby, Peter Pan, South Pacific, The Rocky Horror Show...

Why theater?: I ask myself that all the time. Usually when I write my rent check. It’s the thrill of being able to transport yourself and an audience to a whole different reality. I didn’t really want to be an airline pilot, so I chose actor. I’ve worked with some wonderful people and traveled to some beautiful places. And the theaters I’ve been fortunate to perform in have been stunning. Besides, you really wouldn’t want me to serve you a Dover Sole. Just ask the last guy I served one to.

Who do you play in Eddie and the Palaceades?: I play Eddie Doyle, lead singer of the Palaceades. ROCK AND ROLL!!!

Tell us about Eddie and the Palaceades?:
There is a beautiful old theater, The Palace, in Brass City, Connecticut. The mayor would rather line his pockets with cash, than restore the landmark. Eddie and his band got their start at the Palace. I’m sure you can see the conflict brewing already. Through Eddie’s stubbornness and tunnel vision, his family life begins to show the strain. Will he save the Palace? Does he bring down the Mayor? Will he and Gracie ever kiss again? You have to come see the show!

What is it like being a part of Eddie and the Palaceades?: Having a great time. It’s also very helpful to have Roy O’Neil, the author, involved in the process. Surprised he hasn’t slugged me for mangling his words during rehearsal. I promise Roy, I’ll be solid!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Having been brought up in a musical household, it was obvious it would be musicals that drew me in. And as loud as I sing, I’m perfect for the outdoor venues. Who needs a mike? When it comes to inspiration, I admire many many artists but I have to inspire myself. Otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I’d love to get in on the new Les Miz as Thenardier or one of the managers in Phantom of the Opera. Do you know people?

What’s your favorite show tune?: Right now, all 10 songs I’m singing in the show!

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: If Audra McDonald directs a show, I’ll  be in that. Can you say Tony #7?

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: It would be called, “Why Are You Watching This? Go Make a Tuna Melt!” and can I play myself? I’m a SAG member and have a great tuna salad recipe.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Even before it won the Tony I’ve been a big fan of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, but they are probably sold out so come see Eddie and the Palacades!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: It might sound egotistical, but then this is an interview about me. "Fanfare For A Common Man," a song I co-wrote about my Grandfather while on tour with one of the Evitas'. The Chillbilly Band, Back Home. Available on the iTunes. Get your today!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I love to… ah,.. I really enjoy… um,.. let’s go with Netflix. Anything British.

What’s up next?: If I knew the answer to that, my mom would sleep easier. Hopefully something fun and exciting, like Eddie and the Palaceades. Did I mention I’m playing Eddie?

For more on Eddie and the Palaceades visit midtownfestival.org.

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