SOM

Here is one in a series of interviews with principal cast members in The Sound of Music at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis:

I got a chance recently to interview Eddie Curry, the continuously busy actor/director/artistic director/casting director at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. He is one of those local Indianapolis actors who has made good. And he made good pretty much in his own back yard. Eddie is cast as Max Detweiler in B&B’s current production of The Sound of Music and I was very pleased that he took the time to answer some questions.

Eddie Curry: Artistic Director / Actor / Director at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Eddie Curry: Artistic Director / Actor / Director at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre


Q: Let’s start at the very beginning, Eddie. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Curry: I was born in Salem, Indiana in the southern part of the state in Indiana. I spent my elementary school years in West Washington County and then moved to Charlestown, Indiana in Clark County near Louisville at the start of my 7th grade year. I lived there through high school graduation in 1985.

Q: Was anyone in your family a performer?

Curry: No one in my family was a performer prior to me…that I am aware of, that is. There maybe some now, but I have a huge family.

Q: What was your first theatre experience? That is, what was your first role?

Curry: My first organized theatre experience was as a munchkin in a high school production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. I was in the sixth grade.

Q: Where did you study theatre primarily?

Curry: I spent four years in the theatre department at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. I majored in theatre performance and minored in communications with an emphasis on radio/tv/film.

Q: And what was your favorite college role?

Curry: My favorite college role was Jonathan in Arthur Kopit’s Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You In The Closet And I’m Feeling So Sad. You better Google that title to make certain I remembered it correctly.

Q: That sounds right to me. That’s a very funny farce. I’ve always thought you were a wonderful comedian, I see you started out early with that.

Curry: Yes, I guess I did!

Q: Did you go into the acting profession right after college?

Curry: I did. I worked regionally here in the Midwest, bumping jobs back to back for a couple of years right out of college. They weren’t all fabulous performing jobs, but at the very least those were character building years.

Q: What other jobs did you have along the way?

Curry: I have had odd and end jobs over the years. I waited tables at Shoney’s for three days. I drove a limo for three days. I worked at Nutri System for about 5 weeks, and I was a substitute teacher, but none of those jobs lasted very long.

Q: So what would you say was the turning point in your career. When did things really start to gel for you professionally?

Curry: Oh, the turning point in my career was meeting Doug Stark. I auditioned for him at the end of the summer in 1989, and I never really left. I arrived at a good time for me, and I gradually climbed the ladder.

Q: Wow! I can see how that was a major event for you. So what has been the highlight of that climb?

Curry: Being named Artistic Director at Beef and Boards. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be in that position at this theatre.

Q: I know you have played many, many parts in your career here. Do you think you could pick a favorite role from all of those?

Curry: Ken, I have just been so lucky over the years. I have had the opportunity to play some real gems. Forced to pick one, I think the one that “pushed” the most, and I ended up being extremely proud of, would have to be Leo Bloom in THE PRODUCERS. And, I probably connected most with Rev. Shaw Moore in FOOTLOOSE. And, a particular favorite is Nathan Detroit. But all this talk makes me feel like I am cheating on Max Detweiler, whom I also love. Now I feel bad.

Q: Hah! It’s tough to pick just one when you have had the opportunities you have had – have made for yourself. You have a load of talent, plus I have to say you have been blessed in your path to success as an actor. Were there any low points along the way that you can think of?

Curry: There was one year that I made some really bad personal choices, and work was hard to get. But I came out of that, and never looked back.

Q: That’s the way to do it. That’s good advice. What would you say to a young person who really hopes for a career in theatre? What advice would you give them?

Curry: Well, my perspective naturally is musical theatre. I would say: become as close to a triple threat as you can possibly be.

Q: You mean be a great dancer, singer AND actor – right?

Curry: That’s right. It is hard work, but dance, voice and acting elites get the jobs first. You will pave yourself a better path if you give yourself the largest advantage. The discipline to pursue it correctly will almost always separate those who can from those you don’t have enough to make it. Enough talent. Enough drive. Enough heart.

Q: Wow – that is great advice, Eddie. Look, just a few more questions and I promise, we’ll be done here. What other activities do you enjoy?

Curry: I enjoy being at home with my family the most. Beyond that, I am a Hoosier – born and bred. I love my basketball teams; the Pacers, the Indiana Fever, the Butler Bull Dogs and Indiana University. I like to see Indiana State do well, and I will cheer for anybody playing against the Kentucky Wildcats.

Q: Hah-ha! Final questions: I know you’ve been in our current show, The Sound of Music, before. What roles did you play? And finally, what is your next project going to be?,

Curry: Okay – the first time I did The Sound of Music at B&B, I played Franz/Herr Zeller. The first time I played Max, I actually rehearsed and opened it for another actor who had been cast, but booked a movie. He came in after the opening weekend and took over the role. I replaced him one more time during the run, when one weekend he had to shoot additional scenes for the same movie. This is the second full production in which I have played Max. So I have done 3.5 The Sound of Music before.

Q: And your next project?

Curry: I will be directing FATHER OF THE BRIDE and LES MISERABLES. Then I will be the Ghost of Jacob Marley in A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Q: That sounds great. It must be nice to know what you will be doing the rest of the year.

Curry: It is.

Q: Well, thanks so much for talking with me about all this, Eddie. I am sure my readers will find your story very interesting.

Curry: Thank YOU, Ken!

If you are interested in attending Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music at Beef and Board Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis, ticket information can be found by calling 317-872-9664. The show opens May 16 and runs thru June 30. Further info about the show can be found at http://www.beefandboards.com .

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