Christopher Walken, star of Broadway's James Joyce's The Dead, has played odd before. He has played creepy. He has played menacing.
Now, for the right price and with a little luck, he can be playing on your voice mail's outgoing message.
The cast of The Dead cooked up the idea of raffling off five offers of Walken's singular voice on donors' answering machines in exchange for contributions to the company's effort to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
A minimum $25 donation at the curtain call of The Dead will put you on a voice-mail raffle list that continues to the end of the BC/EFA fundraiser, April 24. After the fundraising period for the annual "Easter Bonnet" competition, five names will be selected and Walken will record messages either by remote or directly onto answering machines brought to the Belasco Theatre.
It was not immediately clear if messages would be unique (will he sing?) or general, but presumably, Walken would identify himself on the recordings. His intense voice is known from films such as "The Deer Hunter," "The Dead Zone" and "Pulp Fiction."
In The Dead, Walken plays Gabriel Conroy, the tight-collared Irish husband in Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's intimate adaptation of the Joyce short story. The actor takes a vacation from the role April 3-23, being replaced temporarily by Stephen Bogardus. Messages will be recorded after Walken returns to the role April 25.
Faith Prince co-stars as wife Gretta Conroy.
The 2000 BC/EFA "Easter Bonnet" fundraising period runs March 13-April 24 and involves companies from national tours, Broadway and Off Broadway. The "Easter Bonnet" performance dates are April 24-25 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, with fundraising results announced April 25.