‘The Book of Mormon’ opens in Seattle tonight at the majestic Paramount Theatre. This is a production you definitely don’t want to miss. Get tickets! Get your friends together and get to the show! See ticket availability here. Michael Buchanan originally from Gig Harbor, WA is touring with the company. He was kind enough to take a few minutes to speak with Equality365. Get out there and see the show LOL!
Tell me a bit about yourself?
I am a North westerner. I grew up in Gig Harbor mostly. So, I can’t wait to get back to the area. I have always been a musical theater kind of guy. I went to school at University of Puget Sound for opera actually. I eventually found myself in New York. I lived there about fifteen years now.
Did you just dream of a career on Broadway while you were growing up?
I really did. There was a voice teacher, Jean Wright, who came to our school to give little master classes geared toward getting students for her business. I was hooked. She really gave me the passion for singing. She really wanted to teach me art songs and such while I was only interested in musical theater and pop songs. She told me I needed to learn the technique first. Then, through school there was this trip to New York. I think it was about fifth or sixth grade. I begged my parents to be able to do it. There were a lot of car washes and chores that had to be done to be able to go. With the trip we were able to attend a couple of shows on Broadway and even meet a couple of performers. After that, I was completely hooked.
What shows did you see?
We saw ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Cats’. It was magical. It was just so great!
What attracted you to ‘The Book of Mormon’?
The job (laughter). The job has to be the big emphasis when you want to be a working actor. At the moment I was doing a couple off Broadway shows. My agent called and said that ‘Book of Mormon’ wants to see me for the national. I thought that was just awesome. I had a lot of friends in the original Broadway production but hadn’t been able to see the show because of the demand. I went in and sang my song and a week later they called. It was amazing!
What is your favorite part of the show?
(Laughter) That is always a hard question because it is all so good! It keeps us really busy. I think one of my favorite parts is when we are nearing the end of Act I and the Mormon boys get to don a different kind of costume and get to do a slight hip-hop sort of song. It is a lot of fun.
What has been your favorite role so far?
Hmmm good question. I was able to do the Chicago version of ‘Urinetown’ almost ten years ago. I got to meet some amazing Chicago actors and ended up winning an award for my part. It was a great highlight of my career.
What would be your dream role?
Ohhh good question. I have to be selfish on this one. To be honest, my dream role has not been written yet. I wasn’t to be able to originate something on Broadway that is my very own.
I noticed “Aerial Stunts” listed on your resume. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Wow (laughter). I probably put that on the resume after I did the production of ‘Pirates of Penzance’ at the Guthrie. It was quite an amazing show. They brought in this movie stunt person. I am forgetting his name at the moment. We worked with him for two weeks. We were supposed to open the show and repel down from the rafters and do Tarzan-like entrances. I was perched over the top balcony. I zip lined across the ceiling and down to the stage. It was pretty cool.
Do you have a message for LGBTQ?
Definitely! I always loved to work with people that are interested in the arts as a career especially in towns where the funding hasn’t caught up or the acceptance is pretty iffy. I just tell them to keep doing what they love and keep the passion alive. That is what will fuel a career in whatever you want to do. I mean, this kid made it through Gig Harbor. It is a thriving place now but it wasn’t always that way. I enjoy talking to kids there now and seeing them thrive.
Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
Just anything? Come see the ‘Book of Mormon’ and say “Hi” to me. (laughter).