John made his Civic Theatre debut in Les Miserables. He returns in the role of Professor Henry Higgins the high-brow phonetics master working with Eliza Doolittle. He chatted with us about his background and the challenge of playing this character as he raises his own daughters.
What are you most excited about playing Higgins?
I am most excited about being a part of such an iconic show… It is a classic and I am fortunate to be able to play such a key role. It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding characters I have worked on.
What is your favorite line or song from the show?
My initial answer has to be Rain in Spain since I have had the pleasure of hearing my 2 and 5 year old replaying the scene at home for the past few months…
However, as far as my musical pieces in the show, it is definitely Accustomed to Her Face. This song in and of itself portrays such a broad spectrum of emotions. We get to see Higgins come to the realization that he is in love with Eliza, and try to fight it, all at the same time. His emotional wall goes up and down as he fights his own feelings. It is a roller-coaster ride I get to take the audience on.
What has been challenging to you as an actor so far about embodying this character?
Identifying with the absurd casual misogyny of this character and period of the early 1900s. It flies in the face of my own beliefs (especially as I attempt to raise two strong and empowered young women.)
When you aren’t on stage, what are you up to?
I have been performing in various community theater productions since I was 10 and was able to travel while working for Carnival Cruise Lines for almost ten years. I met my wife while we were both performing as dancers on ships and we now have two beautiful daughters (Melody, 5 and Amelia, 2). My family and I still share the love of dance, music, and travel.
My days are spent working as an apartment community manager in the Grand Rapids area, however, our spare time is spent involved in a local dance studio and having our own ‘dance parties’ at home. We enjoy exploring new places and adventures, as well as traveling back to England to see family every chance we get.
What has your involvement in theatre been like?
I have been involved in the Grand Rapids theatre scene for the past 4 years… I have been amazed with the level of quality and professionalism the production teams and onstage talent bring to the shows. I am truly blessed and humbled to share the stage, and this experience, with so many talented people.
What is your favorite show/play of all time?
I have always loved and appreciated Les Miserables, however, my love became a passion when I was able to play the role of Thenardier in the Civic Theatre production of the show in 2014. This was an experience of a lifetime and one I truly cherish.
What is something that people should know about the My Fair Lady cast?
There are some crazy singing chops in this cast! The audience is in for a treat…