For Jarel Davidow, the opportunity to spend another summer in Lake George was one he couldn’t pass up.
A New York City-based professional actor, a Brooklyn native and Astoria resident, Davidow is working at the Lake George Dinner Theatre for the third consecutive year, performing in “The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (Abridged)” at the Holiday Inn Resort. The show opened last month and runs through Oct. 16.
Directed by Lake George Dinner Theatre artistic director Terry Rabine, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” was first performed in 1987 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’
WHERE: Lake George Dinner Theatre, Holiday Inn Resort, Route 9, Lake George
WHEN: Through Oct. 16. Lunch matinees: Tuesday through Thursday and select Saturdays, seating at 11:30 a.m., curtain at 1 p.m. Dinner shows: 6:30 p.m. seating, curtain at 8 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $69, show-only $40
MORE INFO: 668-5762, ext. 411, www.lakegeorgedinnertheatre.com
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, all founding members of the company, the play had a nine-year run at the Criterion Theatre in London and has become one of the most produced shows in history. It has been staged around the world in a variety of languages, and boasts the self-proclaimed world record for the shortest-ever performance of “Hamlet” (just 43 seconds).
It is typically done by three actors playing multiple roles. Joining Davidow on the Lake George Dinner Theatre stage will be Matthew Reddick and Corey Tazmania. Davidow has performed in “The Love List” and “Moonlight and Magnolias” at the Lake George Dinner Theatre the past two years, while Reddick and Tazmania are making their LGDT debut.
Reddick is a Gansevoort native who has worked with Glens Falls Community Theatre and Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs, and Tazmania is a New York City-based professional actor who has worked in regional theater for the past 10 years.
Davidow spoke to The Gazette about working downstate, and what he likes about coming north.
Q: Are you keeping busy working in the New York City area?
A: I do a lot of voice-over work and commercial work, a lot of radio and television ads, and recently I was with the Garage Theatre Group in [Teaneck] New Jersey in a production of “Enron.” It was a pretty meaty role for me because I played Jeffrey Skilling, the lead guy behind the takedown of that company. It had some comedic elements to it, but it was very dramatic, a very hard-core dramatic part and very fun for me to play because I usually get cast in a lot of comedic roles.
I also had a small role in a soap opera, but the theater has always been my first love. When I’m done here I’ll head back to New York and do the audition grind again. It’s the life of an actor, and I love it, especially when I’m working a lot.
Q: Have you performed in this show before?
A: I’ve done a lot of Shakespeare before but never this show. I saw the original guys doing it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it was a huge hit. When I saw it I loved it, and I certainly knew it was a show I felt capable of doing, and something that I would do eventually. It’s my kind of humor, a perfect and loving sendup of what Shakespeare is all about. When Terry asked me if I was interested, I jumped at the opportunity.
Q: How do you feel the show is going?
A: It really is one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see, and you really don’t have to know much about Shakespeare at all. My niece, who is 21, came up with a friend of hers from New York and they thought it was great. They’re not actors, they’re not in the business at all, and totally unsolicited, she said it was the best thing she’s ever seen me in, and she’s seen me in quite a few things. That made me feel pretty good.
Q: Where did you get your training as an actor?
A: I did my undergraduate work at Rider and I got [my] master’s at The Actors Studio at the New School. I was in the very first graduating class, and we had access to so many great people, like Arthur Penn, Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn. It was very exciting to be a part of the master’s program and be in that first class.
Q: Are you enjoying spending your summers in Lake George?
A: This is my third time back here, and it’s no exaggeration when I tell you that this is my favorite job ever as an actor. It’s a great venue, the audiences are wonderful, and I love the Adirondacks, so for me you can’t beat the location. I’m a hiker, so every day off I have I’m out hiking or climbing a mountain.
I’ve done Prospect twice already this year. I did Hadley Mountain the other day. When I was a kid I went to a boy scout camp up in the Adirondacks, so I feel like I’m a real upstate kind of guy. Coming up here is just a real treat for me.