Unmasking The Malcontent: v. XII

“How fortune dotes on impudence! I am in private the adopted son of yon good prince. I must be duke. Why, if I must, I must.” — Mendoza, THE MALCONTENT, Act II, Scene V.

This week, we say goodbye to the brilliant, handsome, witty, and wonderful Bill Brochtrup (on many occasions he has asked me if he is any of these things; I can assure you with utter certitude that he is all of them and more); he had his final performance with the Cuckold cast this past Sunday. This leaves us with one Duke Pietro (Mark Doerr, also brilliant, handsome, witty and wonderful in his own delightful way) doing the work of two. 

Bill Brochtrup (R), with Marisol Ramirez and Jules Willcox. Photo: Geoffrey Wade

Mark is not the first of us to find himself so suddenly in demand; during Previews week, Ann Noble was called upon to play Maria for each and every performance, as Devon Sorvari was out of town changing her name to Devon Brand (and getting married; that part’s sort of a big deal, too). Furthermore, Lynn Milgrim is currently pulling double shifts as Maquerelle while Saundra McClain is out of town directing “The Fantasticks” at the Ensemble Theater Company of Santa Barbara. (“The Fantasticks” opens this weekend; next week, Saundra returns to her bi-weekly playdate with us.) This sudden plummeting of the Pietro population is very different, however; Devon’s wedding and Saundra’s production were known entities since before day one, so the cast and schedule could be constructed with those in mind. Losing Bill has been a surprise for us all, however, and leaves a scheduling void the remaining Pietro cannot fill. 


Geoffrey Wade is our new Pietro!

Enter Geoffrey Wade, a very, very brave man. He will take part in one speed-through this week and two put-in rehearsals next week, and then, next Friday night, he takes the stage after virtually 8 hours of rehearsal. (I say “virtually” as Geoff happened to be present at our dress rehearsal and previews in his alternate capacity as official photographer — you may have noticed that all the pictures he takes are gorgeous — and so has, I’m sure, absorbed a bit of the play through proximity and osmosis). The stakes are indeed high, but I have the utmost faith in him.

For as long as I’ve been hanging around Antaeus, I have known Geoffrey Wade: he was present at my very first Classical Styles class session, has attended virtually every Antaeus project I’ve been involved with since, and has always been an active advocate of the Academy programs and the A2 Company. His general mensch-iness aside, he is also a versatile and fascinating actor; his resume spans from the National Tour of “Crazy For You” to “Six Degrees of Separation” with the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, to Lou Pepe’s 2010 production of “Orpheus Descending” here in Los Angeles, to an eerily picture-perfect portrayal as “Lincoln” at the Lincoln Amphitheater in Indiana. The man is very, very good. More than that, this is not his first time taking the wheel for us halfway through the race. Last season at Antaeus, he took on the role of General Griggs in the midst of “The Autumn Garden,” and he finished it’s run with grace and style. So much confidence do we have in Geoffrey Wade that someone in the cast (I can’t recall who, so I’m just going to pretend it was me) has granted him an intimidating nickname of his very own: “The Closer.” 

Geoffrey “The Closer” Wade makes his debut in THE MALCONTENT June 10th, a Becco performance featuring Bo “Bolevole” Foxworth in the title role and Adrian LaTourelle as Mendoza (and if you needed one more thing to convince you, the evening of June 10th will also feature copious amounts of me). 

A2 Ensemble Member, Abby Wilde, continues to share her experiences working on our production of The Malcontent . This is the twelfth installment. For tickets, visit www.antaeus.org


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