We at ShawChicago are SUPER PUMPED to bring you an all star cast for Bernard Shaw’s fine feminist farce, Misalliance! Directed by Barbara Zahora, travel with us and this Chicago all-star cast to 1909 when a woman broke through the glass ceiling! We are so excited to welcome Chicago theatre star Gary Alexander to our stage!
GARY ALEXANDER (Julius Baker) is very pleased to be back with ShawChicago where he has appeared in 13 previous productions, including, most recently: Geneva, Major Barbara, The Importance of Being Earnest, Man and Superman, Saint Joan, James Barrie’s Quartets, Widowers’ Houses, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and The Millionairess. Last season, Gary appeared as Will in the hit comedy, The Book Club Play, at the 16th Street Theater and as Autolycus in Winter’s Tale for the Shakespeare Project of Chicago. For SPC, he also created and directed Spooky Shakes, an original adaptation, for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2015 Halloween Happening in Millennium Park. Other acting credits include: guest artist for Loyola University’s McElroy Shakespeare Celebration; King Lear, Fair Maid of the West, and Merchant of Venice for the Shakespeare Project; Drury Lane’s A Christmas Carol; the Goodman Theatre’s Binky Rudich; the Ravinia Festival’s Anyone Can Whistle, Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music, and the revue, The Music of Rodgers and Hart. He has appeared in leading roles with Light Opera Works (Carnival, Candide, and Student Prince); and in Lion in Winter for Rising Moon; Vikings and Mirandolina at Noble Fool; and Burying the Bones at Stage Left.
1. What is your role in Misalliance?
Mr. Gunner, aka John Brown, aka Julius Baker
2. What is your favorite thing about your character?
I love how he’s such a mix of moral certitude and complete and utter insecurity. Playing contrasts like that is always a blast.
3. What’s your favorite thing about acting?
It’s a challenge and a joy to be able to enter into the life of a character–to know everything about them. And to draw on my own experiences to make everything they experience as grounded in truth as possible. The process (which begins when you first read the script and doesn’t end until the last word of the last performance) is always challenging and can be incredibly exhilarating–especially when I discover something completely unexpected about a character I’m playing. And ACTORS! They are some of the funniest most delightful people around.
4. What are you most looking forward to in this production?
Playing with these fine, fine actors and working with multi-talented Barbara Zahora as director. Oh, and that amazing Shaw language. And the great, smart ShawChicago audiences! Pretty much the whole shebang.
5. If you could describe Misalliance in three words, what would they be?
Highbrow screwball comedy.
6. What’s your favorite food/s?
True to my Italian roots, I love good authentic Italian food. (I cook a lot!)
7. When you’re not acting, what are you doing?
Probably teaching a yoga class. Or singing (I have a regular singing job at an Episcopal church). Or cooking. Or watching political news. Or at the opera–I go to the opera a lot.
8. Who’s your biggest inspiration?
From an acting perspective, probably the great Uta Hagen. I had the privilege of doing a week-long master class with her almost 20 years ago. It was an amazing experience–she had (and instilled in us) such a respect for the craft of acting. Like any great teacher, she was demanding and incredibly generous at the same time.
9. What is your favourite play and why?
Often it’s the play I’m in. But I would have to list the following: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, St. Joan, Angels in America, The Seagull, August Osage County, King Lear, Twelfth Night.
10. Anything you want to say to the audience?
It’s such a privilege to have you along for the crazy ride that is Misalliance! Thank you for supporting ShawChicago and the work we do.