Opening night is fast-approaching, so Saturday was spent working on the set for Tom Griffin's The Boys Next Door. I stopped by to see the cast and crew's hard work, and also to talk to them about their journey with this classic show. It was incredibly insightful and the set looks amazing! Check out the pictures below of the construction process (you can drag your mouse over each picture for more detail!) and read on for an exclusive interview with The Boys Next Door!
At set construction, I had the opportunity to ask some of "the boys" for some inside information.
Casey: What can audiences look forward to with The Boys Next Door?
Eric Armstrong: The Boys Next Door is such a powerful show because it combines a strong mix of comedy and poignancy. There will be moments that bring tears to your eyes, but it also is a show that relies heavily on physical comedy, even slapstick in ways.
Will Rutherford: The majority of these characters truly have no filter! Not only does this show have a great amount of visual comedy, it also is word-heavy and can be chaotic, but in the best of ways. The humor comes in all forms because the characters are so three-dimensional and real.
Andrew Mayle: This show is genuinely funny. Audiences don't need to worry about feeling bad laughing at these characters, because this play focuses on the realism of life. So please, just laugh with us! There's nothing insulting here.
Joshua Antoon: On a completely different note, I think audiences are going to be impressed with the new technical capabilities that we'll be able to showcase with this play. We upgraded our lighting system last year, and this show will really reveal what we can do.
Casey: Is there anything that has surprised you about doing this play?
Mayle: The cast immediately had great chemistry. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all really like our characters--and did so immediately. We're still using nuances we began with at our first read-through.
Antoon: While The Boys Next Door might not be considered "high energy" from an audience perspective, it truly is for the actors. Not only are we working to keep the pacing up, but there is such an intensity to playing these characters that I am always exhausted by the end of each run--and I know my fellow actors would agree. And while I have done this show before, I've never played this character. I know the greatest challenge for the cast has been constantly staying in a thought process that is so different than your own.
Rutherford: Meanwhile, I have the opposite challenge. While the other characters are getting more excited and the intensity is amplifying with them all onstage, I need to stay calm as their caretaker.
Armstrong: My challenges are also different because I play a range of characters with a range of different accents. Keeping them straight requires a lot of focus and I try to make them all vastly different.
Casey: Any final thoughts?
Mayle: We can't wait for you to see it!
Antoon: This show is very prop-heavy, from donuts to golf clubs, so we're very focused right now on integrating that aspect--and now we'll have the standard adjustment period with the set. Overall, the stress and anticipation of opening night is building and we're starting to feel ready to reveal our hard work!
Armstrong: The Boys Next Door has something for everyone, but would probably best be appreciated with a bit of parental guidance. Nothing stronger than PG happening here though!
Rutherford: I think audiences will really enjoy seeing these characters off in their own little world. It's been great doing my first mainstage show here!
Above, "the boys" pose in character! From left to right: Eric Armstrong, Joshua Antoon, Andrew Mayle, Will Rutherford, and Elisha Carleton.
The Boys Next Door runs May 5-6 & 11-13 at the Ed Schaughency Theater of the Beaver Area Middle-High School. All performances begin at 7:30 pm and tickets are $10. To reserve your tickets, call our box office at (724) 494-1680. You can also purchase tickets online or at the Hostess Gift Shoppe in Beaver. There will be an additional $.50 processing fee for online tickets. All seats are general admission and reserved tickets not picked up by 7:15 pm will be resold if necessary. Come "Fall In Love with the Theater!" And stay tuned for our next Theatre Thursday, featuring a review of The Boys Next Door.