Chat Transcript: Cast of "Party

Chat Transcript: Cast of "Party CHAT TRANSCRIPT: THE CAST OF "PARTY" Four cast members from "Party" were on hand to chat with Playbill On-Line members and present the "naked" truth about this outrageously comical off-Broadway play on December 18, 1995. "Party" is the brainchild of playwright David Dillon who also serves as the director of the show.

CHAT TRANSCRIPT: THE CAST OF "PARTY" Four cast members from "Party" were on hand to chat with Playbill On-Line members and present the "naked" truth about this outrageously comical off-Broadway play on December 18, 1995. "Party" is the brainchild of playwright David Dillon who also serves as the director of the show.

"Party" is continuing a successful run at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre, 432 West 42nd St., in New York. For tickets, call 212-239-6200.

ON HAND TO CHAT WERE:
David Pevsner, who plays Kevin. David recently appeared as Jeffrey in the Miami premiere of "Jeffrey." Other appearances include "And the World Goes 'Round" at the Riverside Theatre, Sonny in "Grease!" at the Fox in Atlanta and Carl in the Baltimore Waltz" at Portland Stage.

Craig Dawson who plays Ray makes his stage debut in "Party." He is the legendary maitre'd (who the NY Times termed "The Mayor of 45th Street") from Sam's and Barrymore's, two of the most popular Broadway restaurants.

Jason Mauro who plays Andy also makes his stage debut in "Party" and is known as "The Talk Show Kid" on the Ricki Lake and Charles Perez shows. Tony Meindl takes on the role of Brian and has appeared on off-B'way in numerous productions. Credits include: "Like a Brother," "The Scales" and "Titus Andronicus" among others. He is also an accomplished swimmer who has won 8 Gold medals in the Gay Olympics.

The Playbill host for the event was Katia Lundy. Following is an edited transcript.

Playbill On-Line: Tell us a little about the play.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Its a play about friendships and nudity and Truth-or-Dare and shot glasses and a lot of laughter and penises and, this is David talking, good times.

Playbill On-Line: Do you find that people are often afraid to go see your show because of the amount of nudity involved?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jay Mauro - no but I think it can be shocking when the first guy gets undressed.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony -- Yes -- my mother.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Because of the audience demographics and us being a crossover show, I sometimes wonder if people even know there's nudity.

Playbill On-Line: Here's a question from Saver 6

Question: What colleges did you guys attend?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony -- California State University in Los Angeles

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason -- C.W. Post College -- Ithaca College

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - Central; Connecticut State U. in New Britain

Playbill On-Line: This Q's from DeeMura

Question: Jason: You have a wonderful flair for comedy. Where did you develop you comic timing?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jay -- Well I happen to have a manager who is very funny to look at so, every time I have to be funny I just think of her. Just kidding, Doreen

Playbill On-Line: This Q's from Saver6

QUESTION: I guess a show like that would never make it to Cincinnati because we're conservative.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony -- I thought Cincinnati was supposed to be a pretty hip town.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Except for the nudity we're actually a pretty mainstream show.

Playbill On-Line: Q From DeeMura

Question: Jason: What's your birth sign?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jay - Gemini honey.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Dee, honey don't you have any questions for anyone else

Playbill On-Line: From MonuMax

Question: I hear Achilles, who plays Peter, recently got engaged. How does his fiancé, and her family, feel about him doing the show?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): She feels fine about it. Just another acting job for him, she loves when he kisses David.

Question: Hi.. Love the show. Kellum . . . I was so impressed with your characterization.. Are you really that exuberant and delightful? What a warm character!! (P.S. Nice tush if I may say also:) )

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Kellum isn't here, that was Tony 's tush

Playbill On-Line: Saver 6 seeking advice:

Question: I'm a student at The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. It's a high school. My first passion is Music Theater and I know that's what I'm going into. Anything you guys can tell me?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Don't let your teachers discourage you at any point if this is truly what you want to do. You'll learn more in the field than you would at school anyway.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - always follow your dreams. If you bang on enough doors one's bound to open!

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - study, study, study

Playbill On-Line: This Q comes from Sryder780

Question: Have any of you been offered any film work yet--as a result of the play?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David: did a scene in an independent film called "David" searching recently.

Playbill On-Line: Q from MonuMax

Question: I loved the show. Saw it twice. Has anyone ever become "aroused" during the show?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): No one has ever become aroused during the show, but I'm sure if it ever does happen you'll read about it in The New York Times

Playbill On-Line: From MonuMax

Question: Did you guys have to audition in the nude?

Playbill On-Line: From Rontano

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - I didn't have to, I was just asked if I had any tattoos or piercing

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - Yes, I did.

Playbill On-Line: Q from Rontano

Question: I noticed that each of the two times I saw the show different character got "Whipped" (the whipped cream incident). Does this rotate or is it a surprise each night to each actor??

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - No it just must have been an understudy.

Playbill On-Line: Q from DeMura

Question: Who in the cast sings and what has been the favorite musical you've performed in?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - "Grease!"

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - "She Loves Me."

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - Favorite musical - "Rags" off Broadway revival.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - "Roar of the Greasepaint."

Playbill On-Line: From BenBalt2m

Question: Is the script to "Party" going to be published?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): I heard it's supposed to but, of course but we don't know for sure.

Playbill On-Line: From Saver 6

Question: My teachers are all on my side, but what are my chances of making it big. Given I have the talent.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): It's a crap shoot, but I'm here doing this after 18 years just cause I was in the right place at the right time.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Just keep studying and have faith in your talent. Talent, like cream, rises to the surface.

Playbill On-Line: This comes from Enobarb

Question: Is Vince Gatton here? Is he still a member of the "Party" company? I worked w/him in a show a few years ago and would like to say "Hi!"

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - no he's in LA doing the show. I'm the new Andy now.

Playbill On-Line: Q from Rotano

Question: Have you ever had to fight off ardent admirers who were affected by your performances??

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - Just over the phone.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- we have them but we don't have to fight them off, they're usually friendly.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - All they really want is a picture or an autograph . They are harmless.

Playbill On-Line: From LesMis246

Question: Is anybody here in Equity?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - yes we all are.

Playbill On-Line: From Monu

Question: Have any "big stars" come to see the show?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Lily Tomlin, Patty LuPone, Rip Taylor, Kaye Ballard, Joel Grey.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - Robyn Griggs from "Another World" and "One Life to Live."

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Joe Mantello, Nathan Lane; probably more but we don't always know.

Playbill On-Line: What were the opinions of these celebs. Positive?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Patty loved it

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Joe Mantello who directed "Love!, Valour! Compassion!" and was in "Angels in America" loved it and has seen it twice.

Playbill On-Line: From DeeMura Question: Jay: How many auditions did you have to go through before you were offered the part?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason- About 5.

Playbill On-Line: From Psarg11

Question: Do you feel self-conscious at all on stage? Boston, MA

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- No. Craig- not at all.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason- In the beginning I did, when my mother, father, grandmother, and sister came. But now it's second nature.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - no because I have a great body. Tony - I am really embarrassed now. Jason wrote that.

Playbill On-Line: smile This comes from HieroGrfx

Question: Does anyone know when the rights to "Party" will be available for community theatre productions?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): No idea, haven't a clue.

Playbill On-Line: From LesMis246

Question: What do people get paid off-B'way?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Not enough

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jay - Millions.

Playbill On-Line: Craig, how did the name "The Mayor of 45th Street" come about?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - It was given to me by Wendy Wasserstein and reported in the NY Times because of my almost 20 years of hosting restaurants on 45th St.

Playbill On-Line: This comes from FrnkButle

Question: Did you have to adjust to nudity on stage?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jay- All you really have to do is concentrate on the show and you just forget about it.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- not really I just sort of do it, I have so much business at the end of the show that I really don't think about it.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony- easy for them to say. They only get naked the last 15 minutes of the show.

Playbill On-Line: Craig, do you miss your hosting days at all?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- actually I'm still doing it as well as managing Barrymore's restaurant.

Playbill On-Line: From LA Larry

Question: Have any of your parents seen the play, and what was their reaction?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- my mother did and she loved it along with her four girlfriends from Cape Cod.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - my parents were just so ecstatic to see me off-Broadway that they really looked past the nakedness and theme of the show.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- My mother saw it and loved it but looked at the floor when I got naked for the rest of the show.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - My parents saw me in another off-Broadway show just before I was to do "Party." They don't want to see me naked

Playbill On-Line: From DeeMura

Question: For the Cast: Is comedy more difficult than drama, and which do you prefer?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- Comedy is definitely harder, more technical and more disappointing when it doesn't work, so it has to work.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - I agree with David but I prefer comedy.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - even though it seems like Craig has all the funny lines in the play, a lot of it is about how well we set the jokes up for him.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): It's true, so it's hard.

Playbill On-Line: From AmazinKat

Question: I once performed in "Hair" and had to go nude onstage. At first it was uncomfortable for the cast and by opening night we were cool with it and it pretty much brought us closer. Was it the same for you?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - its like a costume, has no effect one way or the other really

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - I must admit that you do bond very quickly with a cast when you are all performing naked.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - The funniest part is being totally naked backstage and running around naked and totally feeling un-self-conscious about it

Playbill On-Line: This comes from NF123

Question: Your show's very funny, but I wonder how believable it is. I mean, I've never stripped at a party in front of my friends. Had any of you guys done that in real life?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- Our playwright based the show at a couple of parties he went to and actually played a similar game.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Well, actually a couple of us played the game after the show one night and although I was sworn to secrecy not to speak about it, it was a lots of fun!

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- We played the game during rehearsal as part of the process.

Playbill On-Line: From MonuMax

Question: What is the funniest thing that ever went wrong during a show?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- A lot of times we have what we call a meltdown where we just all sort of lose it. The whipped cream ran out . . .

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - One night my whipped cream bottle was empty!!!! And the other night somebody fluffed

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - And not their hair --capiche? Playbill On-Line: From Pkspks

Question: Will "Party" ever go on tour? when?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): We know nothing.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Who knows? Rumors circulate that it could indeed go on tour. But it will probably work best playing in individual cities with separate casts.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - Lets play Salt Lake City.

Playbill On-Line: Is it your wish that "Party" goes on tour?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - not with me.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - No but I would love to be in the movie version.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - And I would love to be in girl "Party."

Playbill On-Line: That's a keen idea. Maybe someone will hear. Dan Lenk asks.

Question: Has the New York version changed that much from the Chicago Production?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - When it started in Chicago, it was four hours long with no intermission so it's been pruned over the years.

Playbill On-Line: Q from DramaticM

Question: What are the odds of making it off-Broadway (or on-Broadway, for that matter) if you're much better at straight plays than musicals?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - There are just as many straight plays as musicals

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- There's less opportunity

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Off-B'way is really the venue for straight dramatic pieces. B'way has more musicals because commercially there is more at stake.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- If you're good and lucky and ambitious you're chances will be good in any venue.

Playbill On-Line: From MonuMax

Question: Has the show affected anyone's "love life"?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- No I still have none.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig- No it has not.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - It's made for some interesting adventures - shall I say?

Playbill On-Line: From La Larry

Question: What are the chances of "Party" becoming a movie, and would you like to be in it?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - I can.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - Probabìy slim, but I would love to do it.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony- Speak for yourself, guys. It's either going to be a huge Japanese film with subtitles, or a romantic French comedy.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - I can't imagine that its going to become a movie but if they offered it to me I'd do it.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - I imagine it as an Aaron Spelling "Love Boat"-like show with different guests at the party every week getting naked.

Playbill On-Line: Tony, I heard that you were an accomplished swimmer. Do you plan on competing in next year's Gay Olympics?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Thanks. But do you mean next year's Atlanta Olympics or the next gay games in Amsterdam in 1998?

Playbill On-Line: I meant the gay Olympics, but do you have your eyes on the Olympics in Atlanta too?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - ooooh no. I'm much too old and out of shape now to be competitive at an elite world Olympic level. But I will probably compete in Amsterdam

Playbill On-Line: From Monu

Question: My favorite line in the play is "I don't have eyes in the back of my head." What are your favorites?

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - "Ya got any livestock in the apartment?"

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - All of our ad-libs.

Playbill On-Line: From Hmrr

Question: enjoyed the show...any "jealousy" involved with one another?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David- No, except for that bitch Tony.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): No, except for that bitch Jason.

Playbill On-Line: From FrnkButle

Question: are any members of the cast not gay?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - I don't like to speak for everybody - I'm gay.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - I agree with David.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - Yes there are straight members.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - I am a lesbian who enjoys wearing clogs.

Playbill On-Line: From DeeMura

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - Its always very hot on stage.

Playbill On-Line: From Dan Lenk

Question: How do you guys feel about the criticism that this show serves to demean gays by creating deeper stereotypes?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - The consensus that I get is that people recognize friends of theirs in our characters more than most other gay-themed shows. As written yes, the characters may seem stereotype. But as actors it's our job to diversify the characters characterizations and hopefully make them more real. I hope we succeeded.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Well it is true that there are certain stereotypes upheld in all the characters, but this show is so much about an unapologetic celebration of being gay without having to talk about AIDS. We have careers, we are funny, we are sexy and sexual and we have penises. This stuff isn't often depicted on the stage.

Playbill On-Line: From LA Larry

Question: How much longer do you expect your New York run to last?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - Longer than "Cats."

Playbill On-Line: We have time for one more Q and this one comes from DeMura

Question: What other kinds of things are you all looking forward to in the future: film, TV, more stage?

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - I'll consider any offers.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Jason - An actor will be happy as long as they are working! ("Beverly Hills, 90210").

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - Films for Catalina and Falcon.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): Tony - Hard Hat Harry's 100th reunion. special.

Playbill On-Line: Thanks, David Pevsner, Craig Dawson, Jason Mauro, and Tony Meindl. I hope you had a good time smile

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): We loved it.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): Craig - Thank you.

PartyGuys (David Pevsner & Craig Dawson): David - Mais oui.

PartyGuys2 (Jason Mauro & Tony Meindl): and we love you, Kit-Kat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Playbill On-Line: "Party" is continuing a successful run at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre, 432 West 42nd St., in New York. For tix, call 212-239-6200 in New York.