December, 14th 2010
By: toto_too514
Edited by: Marcy

The first of my two nights of Randy was the POP! panel discussion at New YorkUniversityTischCenter for the Arts. The panel took place in a small “black box” rehearsal theater. The audience, which consisted of some students and faculty as well as a few fans, was seated in three rows arranged in an arc facing the POP! creative team.  I would estimate the crowd at around 35 or so. 

Randy was seated in the last chair to our right, to the left of co-star Brian Charles Rooney. He was dressed in dark blue skinny jeans, a pair of well worn adidas high tops, the beige argyle sweater which he also wore at the Paris Con, w/ a black & grey hoodie underneath. His hair is noticeably longer, but the curls are much looser and seem to only remain on the top! When he arrived, his hair was, shall we say windswept!

The host of the panel, a very exuberant man named Chad started the panel by asking everyone to introduce themselves. Randy, being seated the furthest from Chad, went last. He gave a brief bio, including where he was born and where he went to school etc. He mentioned that after his rather intense musical theater program at CCM, he needed a break. He then when on to say that he did “some television” and then began to concentrate mostly in classical theater, both in NYC and regionally. But when POP! came up he was more than ready to get back into musical theater.

He was asked about the premise behind the show, which begins w/ Andy Warhol being shot. He explained that the scene entailed him having to walk on stage in complete darkness and he was always worried that he would miss the chalk outline on the floor! He then gave us Andy’s first line – “Ouch.”

Another question asked about how he prepared for the role and he responded that he knew Andy through, first “The Velvet Underground” and then Andy’s screen tests. He also said that a lot of Andy’s mannerisms were dictated by the script, but he found the most difficult part was to keep being Andy while still engaging a theater audience…. because, as he said, Andy Warhol was not a good theater persona.

We were treated to three songs from the show… w/ Randy starting w/ “Paper Bag.” He seemed a bit nervous and brought his song sheets to the front w/ him – which he then proceeded to drop! He was accompanied by a piano, and actually lost his place once… but quickly recovered. By mid-song he seemed to become more comfortable and his singing was stronger and he began to add some of Andy’s mannerisms.

Randy did seem engaged by the rest of the discussion, but mostly he looked like the kid in the back of the room hoping the teacher doesn’t call on him!

There was a small reception after the panel, but Randy did not stay for that. The situation in the program really didn’t allow for pictures or recordings… so no pictures tonight.

As for POP! it will be staged in WashingtonDC this summer… but most likely w/ local actors. While talking to Brian Charles Rooney after the show, he mentioned that they contacted him about auditioning for the role of Candy, but that the auditions were being held this week in DC and frankly auditioning for a role he won an award for just didn’t sit well w/ him.

It was also mentioned that there was so much buzz surrounding POP! when it played at Yale last year, but that it then just fizzled. The writer and lyricist said that basically they needed to step back from it for a while. That it was a whirlwind of stress going basically form a Thesis project to a workshop to a full production in just nine months. But perhaps the DC show might regenerate interest again. They will also be giving a concert performance in April in NYC. No official word who will be involved w/ that (either the original cast or the DC cast) , but they were keeping their fingers crossed that maybe a CD might result from that concert!

All in all a very interesting and enjoyable evening… time for sleep now, so I can get ready for day two of Randy tomorrow at Joe’s Pub. Should be able to get some video and/or pics then!

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Written by Trish - Edited by

POP! Forum at NYU