Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spotlight On...Luke Darnell

Name: Luke Darnell

Hometown: Morristown, NJ

Education: I was born into a “theatre family” and grew up in and around theatre and learned much by doing and observing. I studied at Worth-Tyrrell Studios School Of Performing Arts in Morristown, NJ and with various teachers in NYC and L.A. Currently studying acting at Matthew Corozine Studio and voice with Michael Warren and Martin Hurt in NYC.

Select Credits: Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac! Carl Perkins in the Las Vegas company of Million Dollar Quartet, Jake in The Understudy (Cape May Stage, NJ), several roles/productions of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Regional credits include Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Arvada Center, Ogunquit Playhouse.

Why theater?: I almost had no choice! ;-) Both my parents were actors and I’m a fourth generation performer (3rd generation AEA member) so I almost HAD to go into theatre! Well, that, and I happen to love it.

Who do you play in Cyrano?: Christian, the tongue-tied cadet who borrows Cyrano’s eloquence to win the love of the beautiful Roxanne.

Tell us about Cyrano: It’s the classic story of Cyrano de Bergerac, a brilliant speaker, poet and swordsman, who lacks confidence with women because of his looks, particularly his very large nose. He is in love with the beautiful and equally eloquent Roxanne but believes he has no chance with her. She falls in love at first sight with the handsome cadet, Christian, who is “speechless, dumb” with women until Cyrano agrees to feed him the words he needs to win her. Comedy and tragedy ensue. Our script was adapted for 8 actors by Gabriel Barre (who also plays Cyrano), Rick Sordelet and Alexander Sovronsky based on the Anthony Burgess translation. It’s raucous, incredibly fun, and moving.

What is it like being a part of Cyrano?: It’s been a whirlwind, so far. With only 8 actors in the cast, almost everyone is playing at least 2-3 other roles, beside their primary, and playing instrumental underscoring and accompaniment so there is little, if any, down time. It’s both terrifying and exhilarating!

What's your favorite showtune?: It’s not your typical showtune but “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a perfect encapsulation of Rose’s story, brilliant story telling with a tremendous arc and haunting musical accompaniment.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?:
 I’d go back and watch my grandparents in vaudeville.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Something Rotten! It’s clever and hilarious. Also, keep an eye out for Between Riverside And Crazy which I had the good fortune to catch lat year at Second Stage Theatre starring the incredible Stephen McKinley Henderson. I hear there’s a Broadway run coming up.

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?: Disco...Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Chic!

What's up next?: Possibly some music gigs in the near future. No acting work booked at the moment but audition season looms...