Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PHX STAGES Q/A: Terry Gadaire

Terry Gadaire
by Gil Benbrook

From leading man to comical featured character, Terry Gadaire has graced the stages of many Valley theatres, earning rave reviews along the way.  Herbert Paine from Broadway World has called him "eminently gifted" and, as Herbie in Scottsdale Musical Theater Company's Gypsy, I said he "delivered a stirring, affecting performance."

Gadaire is back with SMTC starring as Henry Higgins in their production of My Fair Lady which opens this Thursday, August 18th and runs through this Sunday, August 21st.  This is a role that Gadaire has prior experience playing, having performed in a concert version that Phoenix Theatre presented with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in 2014.

Terry took a few minutes in between rehearsals for My Fair Lady to sit down and answer the PHX Stages Q/A:

Name: Terry Gadaire

Where you were born and or raised: I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Anaconda, Montana

What brought you to Arizona?  After being in the Navy in San Diego, I relocated to Las Vegas and then to Phoenix for an Insurance Company for whom I was a branch manager.

What your parents did/do for a living:  My father was in the U.S. Navy for 34 years and retired in Montana.  My Mother was a full time mother of six children.

Siblings: I have three brothers (two of home I have lost) and two sisters.  I am the youngest of six.

Family/Children: Three wiener dogs; (Kirby, Tallulah and Cooper)

Day job/part time job: I work for an investment advisory firm in Scottsdale for going on 11 years now.

Gadaire as Henry Higgins in
My Fair Lady - 2016
Scottsdale Musical Theater Company
photo: SMTC
First show you ever saw: The first “Broadway” show I saw was Cats.  First live theatre show was Our Town when I was in elementary school.

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: In the 4th grade when I auditioned for the school Christmas play.  I ended up getting the lead, but that wasn’t what got me hooked.  What really got me was that during the audition, the whole process of reading for characters and understanding the different intentions seemed to resonate with me.  I was never comfortable with sports but theater made total sense to me and it just clicked.  I loved being able to perform my interpretations of characters in front of my peers

The one performance you attended that you will never forget: When I was a freshman in college, I went to an international competition and saw Agnes of God…wow..that performance and all the technical aspects was riveting to me.  Those women on stage had me entranced with their performances and the set was incredible and added even more to the dialogue.  That production went on to Vienna to compete and has stuck with me to this day.

First stage kiss: My junior year in High School when I was Barnaby in Hello Dolly and I got to kiss Irene Malloy (who happened to be THE gorgeous stage goddess to all of us at the time).

Gadarie (center) with the cast of The Producers - Scottsdale Musical Theatre Company - 2015
photo: SMTC
Best stage experience you’ve had so far acting? Boy, this is a tough one.  I have been blessed to have many to choose from.  But for a dramatic piece I would have to say playing Mozart in Amadeus was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences.  That character had a whole range of humor, pathos and pure emotion and it was the first time I played an historical figure to which I could research, etc. However, for comedy, I would have to choose playing Roger DeBris in The Producers.  Pure Mel Brooks’s genius and a role any actor would relish.

What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect of your current show?  My Fair Lady is one of my ALL time favorite shows from both a musical and book standpoint.  The most fulling thing is that I get to play Henry Higgins in a full and un-edited version of the show.  I was honored to play him in a concert version in a joint collaboration between Phoenix Theatre and the Phoenix Symphony several years back.  So to have the chance to do the entire show and with a 23 piece orchestra is a treat!

Most challenging role you have played onstage? You know, although Mozart was definitely taxing and challenging, I would have to say that playing John Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet was more difficult.  Mostly because at the time, I didn’t see myself in that role.  Barrymore was bigger than life and a matinee idol and heartthrob and there was swordplay in the show!  This show made me let go of my pre-conceived ideas of who the man was in real life and trust the words and the director.  It also helped that I had prior combat training from David Barker for the sword fight.  The show ended up being very successful and I was personally proud to be able to make the audience laugh and even make some of the older ladies who knew Barrymore swoon….it was a hoot!

Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about? I am excited to say I will be in Theatre Works Love is Here to Stay…A Gershwin Cabaret in late fall of this year.

What was the first show you performed in and what did you learn from it that you still use today? Aside from my 4th grade theatrical debut, I would have to say my first show was as a freshman in high school and it was Our Town.  It was a classic.  I learned a lot from the senior theatre majors both onstage and offstage.  What I took away from the show and the experience is a feeling of finally finding an outlet to express all the ideas and feelings inside my head and heart and I also found a place where I belonged.  I also learned that it wasn’t always important to have the leading role; but that the supporting or featured roles were written by the playwright for a reason and they had a purpose to serve.  The end result was to always be true to the story as a whole ensemble.   It is also where I learned the meaning of teamwork, humility and camaraderie.

Gadaire as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz
Don Bluth Front Row Theatre - 2012
photo courtesy Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
Leading role you've been dying to play: Well, I would have to narrow it down to 2 to be honest.  I’ve always wanted to play Billy Flynn in Chicago and I would also love to play Albin in La Cage aux Folles.

Leading role of the opposite sex you wish you could play:  A true female role that, if I had the right equipment to play (lol), would be: Drama:  Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard
Comedy:  Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clacket in Noises Off.

Guilty pleasure show you’d love to perform in: I would love to perform in Hairspray (as Edna Turnblad) or any of the pageant girls in Pageant.

Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I usually make myself find time to review my lines (at least the first act) regardless….it just makes them fresh in my mind after everything leading up to a performance.   And then I say a quick prayer hoping I don’t get in my own way, and to be able to do what we worked so hard to do….just perform, be real, and enjoy the process.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: That would have to be when I had to fill in as the Bellhop at the last moment in Lend Me a Tenor.  Being a fast paced Farce with a million entrances and exits presented its challenges.  During my first performance, I knocked and made my first entrance WAY before I was supposed to and interrupted a very awkward scene between the two characters on the couch.  I had to remember I was the bellhop and pretend I see this all the time and awkwardly excuse myself and leave only to come back in again later…..very stressful and funny now that I can look back at it!   A close second is the time I was playing Harker in Dracula and we unknowingly impaled Dracula’s sleeves in his casket which did not allow him to “rise dramatically” out of the coffin a short time after.
Worst costume ever: Wearing only underwear in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (I was much younger!)

Best costume ever: I think my favorite would have to be Roger Debris’ Chrysler Building Gown in The Producers.  I was lucky enough to get one that was used on tour and designed by William Ivey Long and it weighed 31 Lbs. but it was amazing and made quite the entrance.

Gadaire as Man in Chair - The Drowsy Chaperone
Fountain Hills Theater - 2011
photo: Patty Torrilhon
Your go to audition monologue/song: I love the monologue from Drowsy Chaperone as it has a lot of color and character to play with.  And for songs I can always fall back on Count Your Blessings or 42nd Street.

Worst audition experience: None of them are necessarily “fun”, but the worst would have to be for a theatre in San Diego for 42nd Street.  The dancing callback was brutal and as I always say…”I am an actor who can move and be taught the steps…I am not a dancer!”

If you could go back in time and catch any performer or show, what would they/it be? I would love to have seen Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady and also Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in The Producers.

Famous past stage or screen star(s) you would have loved to have performed with: Lucille Ball, Jerry Orbach, Betty Davis and Robin Williams.

Actor/actress in the Phoenix area you'd love to perform with: Actress:  Katie McFadzen
Actor:  Ron May

Your personal acting idols: Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Street, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett and Kevin Spacey.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Kristen Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris

Current/recent show other than one of your own you have been recommending
to friends:  Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Favorite play(s):  Amadeus and The Normal Heart

Favorite musical(s): (That I have seen)  Chicago, On the 20th Century, Wicked and My Fair Lady
Some favorite modern plays/musicals:  Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Fun Home,  Kinky Boots, A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder and of course Hamilton

Favorite showtune(s) of all time: As a show as a whole, I still love the music and lyrics from Phantom of the Opera.  As far as orchestration I love the Titanic’s music.

Most listened song/music on your iPod/Phone?  My favorite song playing now is Lost Boy by Ruth B. and 7 Years by Luka Graham.   I also listen to a lot of Jazz and love Diana Krall and Jamie Paul.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned: John Denver and The Cars

Gadaire backstage at Fountain Hills Theater
as King Arthur in Spamalot - 2013
photo: Patty Torrilhon
Last good book you read: The Girl on The Train

Must-see TV show(s): Game of Thrones and How to Get Away with Murder.

Guilty pleasure binge watching tv show: Master Chef or Project Runway

Last good movie you saw: Spotlight

Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption

Music/book/movie that makes you cry: Song:  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as sung By IZ
Movie:  I always cry when I watch “Finding Neverland” and “Longtime Companion”

Favorite restaurant in the Valley: Ocotillo or Elements (at Sanctuary)

Favorite cities:  San Diego and Victoria B.C.

Sports teams you root for: Cardinal and the S.F. Giants

Something about you that might surprise people: I went to Culinary School

Special skills:  Improv and Cooking

Career you would want if not a performer:  Talk Show Host

Worst non-theatre job you've had: Survey Taker/Marketing

Best non-theatre job you've had:  Radio Disc-Jockey

Three things you can't live without: Music, My Dogs, and Movies
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Believe….in yourself and that you have something to offer that is different from everyone else in that audition room.  And to not take rejection personally.  It just means that your “something” wasn’t what they were looking for so use it as a tool to figure out how to grow next time.  Also, BE PREPARED!!!!

What you love most about theatre in Phoenix: It never ceases to make me proud to see so much genuine talent in the Valley and that I am so blessed to call many of them colleagues and/or friends.  I also love the theaters that are taking risks to do non-mainstream theatre and to expose people to thought provoking art.

Gadaire as the Emcee in Cabaret
Desert Stages Theatre - 2014
photo: Wade Moran
What you think needs to be changed, improved or be different about theatre in Phoenix: Sometimes people can be so fickle and complacent about the arts.  We all agree that they are necessary and vital in our communities, but it seems that they get taken for granted until it’s almost too late.  It’s as if the thought process is that others are safeguarding them when in all reality the arts are all of us…..and all of our voices and visions, and viewpoints and opinions are heard through them in all different mediums.  We all need to take a part in making them happen.  Not only financially, but by giving time, by going to a show, by supporting those trying to make a difference in the arts…whether that is a child, a student or an adult who is having trouble doing their craft…..give them gas money….feed them or simply say thank you.  It is a start and better than doing nothing.

And, the “Inside the Actors Studio” 10 questions:
1. What is your favorite word? Serendipity

2. What is your least favorite word?  Hmmmmm….not sure you can print this…but it starts with a C and ends with a T and it isn’t can’t.

3. What turns you on? Spontaneous Generosity

4. What turns you off? Disrespect

5. What sound do you love? Laughter

6. What sound do you hate? Dogs Crying

7. What is your favorite curse word? Son-of-a-Bitch

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? News Anchor / Talk Show Host

9. What profession would you not like to do? Politician

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
You have always been Good Enough…..

For information on My Fair Lady at Scottsdale Musical Theater Company, CLICK HERE

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