Today, we shine the spotlight on Lawrence-Michael Arias, who plays the role of Daddy Brubeck in our upcoming production of Sweet Charity.
Lawrence-Michael C. Arias (Daddy Brubeck) is honored to join this phenomenal cast and return to Hillbarn Theatre, having appeared previously as Mitch in SPELLING BEE and Sir Bedevere/Galahad’s Mom in SPAMALOT.
What, if anything, do you have in common with your character, Daddy Brubeck?
I think Daddy Brubeck is this wonderfully, charismatic and magnetic person. I think he is also a worldly person and very self-assured, and he’s not afraid to take what he wants. I like to think that perhaps I possess a small smattering of these qualities. At least I like to think that.
Also, we have the same fondness for facial hair!
What inspired you to accept a role in Sweet Charity?
I auditioned because I love this show! Cy Coleman is one of my favorite composers! Add Dorothy Fields’ amazing lyrics — the way she can turn a phrase! – book by the hilarious Neil Simon, and add iconic choreography of Bob Fosse; I mean, Come on! How can you go wrong!
Also, I was excited to be able to do another show with my husband, Alex Hsu, who is choreographing (“Splendidly,” if I say so myself!).
And finally, how could I resist my wonderful Hillbarn family?
What do you think the audience will be discussing on their way home after seeing Sweet Charity?
We have a phenomenal cast! Monique Hafen as Charity will knock their socks off! And the supporting roles and ensemble are so chock-full of talent, most of them would normally be playing leads, but they’re here willing to take ensemble roles to be in this production! And our crew? All amazing!
When did you discover your love for the theatre?
Not sure if this counts, but it was my first day of Kindergarten, and we were going around the room introducing ourselves. Being first day of school, everyone was being timid and shy so the teacher kept asking everyone to speak up. When it came to me, I stood up, and with as big a voice as I could, spoke my name. The teacher was so pleased she made everyone clap for me. I think I’ve been seeking the limelight ever since!
What do you love about performing on stage?
I think as a self-avowed “people-pleaser” there is nothing more magical than being able to move people (a house-ful at a time!) and, hopefully please them, with my performance!
What is your favorite and most memorable role you ever played?
I’ve been blessed with so many wonderfully memorable roles, whether because of the role, or the production, or oftentimes, both! Some roles that come to mind include Mendel in FALSETTOLAND (StirFry Theatre), British Admiral/Merchant in PACIFIC OVERTURES, Roy/Mrs. Taylor in BATBOY, red guard in RED (all three at Theatreworks), Sir Bedevere/Galahad’s mother in SPAMALOT (Hillbarn), Sancho in MAN OF LA MANCH (Western Stage), Barnaby in HELLO DOLLY! (Pismo Light Opera Theatre), Agwe in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND (Sunnyvale Community Players), Tawny Jo in PAGEANT and Mitch Mahoney in 25TH ANNUAL…SPELLING BEE (also both at Pintello Comedy Theater), Judas in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Merlyn in CAMELOT, Moonface Martin in ANYTHING GOES!, Rooster in ANNIE, Pseudolus in A FUNNY THING…FORUM (all at South Valley Civic Theatre)
What advice can you give to people wanting to get into the business??
I would say, “study your craft, be tenacious in your pursuit, and be passionate about its execution!”
If you could pick one actor/actress to perform with on Broadway, who would it be?
That’s easy: my amazingly talented triple-threat-of-a-husband, Alex Hsu!
Do you have any wacky rituals you do before curtain call?
I’m raised Catholic, so I make the sign of the cross right before stepping on stage.
What is one thing you are incredibly proud of?
When I was younger, I knew I wanted to start my own theater company. And I knew that the very first show I would do was William Finn’s Falsettoland. I was very proud to have been able to produce that Equity approved show as our inaugural piece for our company, StirFry Theatre, in 2010 and again in San Francisco in 2012. I am most proud of not only being able to produce it, but to be able to present it with an immensely talented, professional, Asian-American cast.
Don’t miss your chance to see Lawrence-Michael Arias, in Sweet Charity May 5-29, at the historic Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City. Tickets available at hillbarntheatre.org