ALBANY – Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill loves to lure New York City-based actors to her Capital Repertory Theatre stage in Albany, and if one of them just happens to be a Capital Region native, that’s makes things even better.
For the month of October, Schenectady native Cathryn (Salamone) Wake will make her debut at TheREP, performing in “Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors.”
The show begins with previews Friday night, officially opens Tuesday night and runs through Oct. 23.
“I always feel fortunate to be surrounded by wonderfully talented actors on our stage, but the cast of ‘Dracula’ is exceptional,” said Mancinelli-Cahill. “To have Cathryn in the cast is a double treat. She grew up in Schenectady, but never auditioned for Capital Rep, so I’m glad we found each other at last. She’s a very skilled actress and a chameleon in this show. A joy to work with. I’m just so glad we have an opportunity to give her a great homecoming on our stage.”
A graduate of Colonie High School, Wake was playing the lead female character in “The Fantasticks” off-Broadway within a year after finishing up her college education at Pace University in 2013.
Then in 2016 she landed a role in her first Broadway production, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” a play which won two Tonys and was nominated 12 times. She has continued to work steadily in regional theater from the East coast to the West Coast, including back-to-back gigs up at the Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls during the summers of 2018 and 2019.
When she was a student at Hudson Valley Community College, Wake played Annie Sullivan in a Curtain Call Theatre production of “The Miracle Worker” in 2010, and a year earlier while still in high school she was the lead in “Little Women” at the Schenectady Civic Playhouse.
Sharing TheREP stage with the multi-talented Wake — she is also a musician who can play the clarinet, sax and mandolin — will be Kathy Fitzgerald, whose Broadway credits include “Wicked” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” David T. Patterson, another Broadway veteran, will be Dracula, while also in the cast are Dan Rosales and Jeremy Webb, two New York City-based actors. Capital Region favorite Brenny Campbell will cover many of the roles.
“To have so many Broadway veterans in the show is exhilirating,” said Mancinelli-Cahill. “These actors know how to work, they have a deep knowledge of the American theater and an acting vocabulary that just makes rehearsals a pleasure to watch.”
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TheREP Associate Artist Gordon Greenberg is directing and is a co-author of the show with Steve Rosen. “Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors” was developed at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and premiered as a radio play in May of 2020 with a cast that included Christopher Sieber and John Stamos.
While Mancinnelli-Cahill is delighted to have Wake in the show, the actress is just as excited about performing at TheRep. Here’s what she had to say about her return to the Capital Region and her overall acting career in a conversation with the Gazette earlier this week.
Q: Have you worked at Cap Rep before or with any of the actors or crew?
A: I had previously worked with Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen on their version of “A Christmas Carol” in San Diego at The Old Globe. Because “Dracula” is in a very similar style as “A Christmas Carol,” Gordon asked if I wanted the job. I am thrilled to be returning to the Capital Region to perform professionally. I was involved in the community theater scene here in high school and Hudson Valley Community College and I owe much to the area.
Q: What have you been doing the past three years to keep busy during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
A: I built a sound booth in my closet in New York City and began my voiceover career. It involved taking everything out of the closet, finding a new home for the things originally in the closet, lining the walls with acoustic foam tiles and running LED strip lighting along the corners and ceiling. I learned a lot about sound-treating a space, and also that some New York City noises – namely police sirens – simply can’t be kept out.
Q: Why did you want to be a part of this show?
A: This is a very funny version of “Dracula” that I believe will delight, scare and move audiences. I’m honored to be performing with four dynamite actors on stage in a 90-minute wild ride that doesn’t stop until the final blackout.”
Q: What does the future hold in store for you?
A: This will be my third show in a row, the first being a new Off-Broadway play called “53% Of” at Second Stage, and the second being “Ragtime” at Bay Street Theater, where I played Evelyn Nesbit. After “Dracula,” my brother, Tyler Salamone, and I are producing a web series of “Ironsworn,” a tabletop fantasy role-playing game where the story is completely improvised based on the results of dice rolls. It’s called “Basement Fort” and we’ll be headed into production immediately when “Dracula” closes. I’m delighted to be busy and grateful that things are finally picking up where we left off before the pandemic.”
‘Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors’
WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 251 North Pearl St., Albany
WHEN: Previews begin Friday, show opens Tuesday and runs through Oct. 23; performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; with matinees 3 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12
HOW MUCH: $62-$22
MORE INFO: Visit www.capitalrep.org, or call (518) 346-6204