Friday, October 3, 2008

The Mayor's latest role

"We go to gain a little patch of ground..." Mayor Sebastian Giuliano said Thursday evening before a packed audience.

But it wasn't a Common Council meeting about Miles Lane, it was at a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet at Oddfellows Playhouse.

In this staging of the classic, Giuliano plays the small, but pivotal role of the Norwegian Captain.

"I go to every performance at Oddfellows, and inevitably end up having a discussion with Jeffrey Allen about the play and the performance," Giuliano said this morning. Allen, the play's artistic director, asked the mayor if he was interested in a cameo.

"I told him I was," Giuliano said. "As long as it didn't get too complicated."

Giuliano admits to always having an interest in acting, though he hasn't been on stage since his high school days for school productions.

"In high school English class, when we were studying these plays we would have to get up in front of class and act out these roles, and I always enjoyed it," Giuliano admitted. So when the opportunity arose to resurrect his interest in drama, Giuliano jumped at the chance.

"I'm having a ball," he said. "Not just with the acting, but watching how the play is directed and staged. These are things the audience never thinks about, and shouldn't think about when they're watching the play. But little things like where a character stands in relation to another character can make a huge difference."

The play previewed Thursday evening at Oddfellows to a large crowd, despite a certain vice-presidential debate.

"I had to miss the debate," Giuliano lamented. "But I didn't think we were going to hear anything new there anyway. We had a good crowd out for the preview, and everything seemed to come together on stage. It went off without a hitch."

The show runs Friday October 3 and Saturday October 4, and both shows have sold well.

"We've got a full house tonight (Friday), and a near full-house Saturday," Giuliano said.

I suspect that the role of the Norwegian Captain does not normally draw an audience to Hamlet, but considering the day-job of the actor playing this part, more than a few in the audience will be drawn to see the mayor proclaim, "God b' wi' you, sir."

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