Jared Spigler stays pretty busy down in the Big Apple. So when the opportunity came to spend most of the summer in upstate New York, he didn’t have to think twice.
“It’s great to get out of the city and come to a place like this,” said Spigler, who is playing the lead in “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! The Allan Sherman Musical,” opening tonight at the Theater Barn in New Lebanon. “It’s like actor’s therapy. I’m not running around missing trains. I’m relaxed and exploring performing in a new way.”
At Theater Barn and Mac-Haydn
‘Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! The Allan Sherman Musical’
WHERE: The Theater Barn, 654 Route 20, New Lebanon
WHEN: Opens tonight and runs through Aug. 21; show times are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $27-$25
MORE INFO: 794-8989, www.thetheaterbarn.org
WHERE: Mac-Haydn Theatre, 1925 Rt. 203, Chatham
WHEN: Opens today and runs through Aug. 21; show times are 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $34-$14
MORE INFO: 392-9292, www.machaydntheatre.org
“Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!” is the 1992 creation of Rob Krausz and Douglas Bernstein, based on Sherman’s Grammy Award-winning song (for Best Comedy Performance) of the same name written and performed by Sherman.
The song was based on letters received by Sherman from his son who was struggling with his first summer camping experience. It reached as high as No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list during the summer of 1963.
In the play, Spigler plays Barry Bockman and Patti DeMatteo is his beloved Sarah Jackman.
“It’s based on Allan Sherman’s life, and it’s interesting to discover more about the character and realize that he had quite an amazing life,” said Spigler. “He was a funny, comic singer, but there’s a lot that goes on in the background. It’s quite a story.”
“It’s all of Sherman’s music tied together with a thinly veiled story of the love story between Barry and Sarah,” said director Allen Phelps. “It did very well off-Broadway, won a Grammy, and as you may well remember, Sherman’s lyrics are all over the top.”
The Theater Barn mounted a production of the play more than 20 years ago, soon after its off-Broadway success in 1992.
“I was going through our archives and I was looking at it again, and it really is super funny,” said Phelps. “The last time we did it we didn’t have the same technical expertise we have now. When the script calls for projections of slides, the technology we have will make it much nicer.”
Spigler is making his Theater Barn debut in “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!” and will also play the lead role in “The Wedding Singer,” being mounted Aug. 25-Sept. 4.
“Allan Sherman was a little bit quirky, a little goofy, and there are things in his life that I can relate to,” said Spigler. “In my personal life, I’m a little bit goofy, too. But it’s a thrill to do this show, and I’m also excited about ‘The Wedding Singer.’ A friend of mine told me I had to audition for The Theater Barn and I’m glad I did. It’s been a great experience.”
Spigler is a native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and currently a resident of West Harlem.
“My day job right now is bartending, but I’m staying busy with a lot of new work workshops and readings and collaborating with a lot of different people,” he said.
“I was so happy to get this role because when I went to audition it was the most well-run audition I ever attended. It was an inspiration to come back, and the atmosphere up here in New Lebanon has been amazing.”
Also opening today with performances at 2 and 8 p.m. is the Mac-Haydn Theatre production of “Sister Act,” running through Aug. 21.
Mac-Haydn regular Monica M. Wemitt plays Mother Superior, Anesse Fields plays Deloris and Rasheem Ford is Eddie. The musical play is based on the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith. “Sister Act” opened on Broadway in 2011 and was nominated for five Tony Awards.
Reach Gazette reporter Bill Buell at 395-3190 or [email protected]