Joe Egg Star Michael Gaston Gets New Roles in Intrigue and Landscape

News   Joe Egg Star Michael Gaston Gets New Roles in Intrigue and Landscape "It's probably the best job I've ever had in theatre," Joe Egg star Michael Gaston revealed to Playbill On-Line about his current role in the Broadway revival. The actor, who will also appear (on video) in the upcoming Off-Broadway play Intrigue With Faye as well as Landscape of the Body at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer, spoke of how his Broadway debut has boosted his career options.
Michael Gaston
Michael Gaston

"I've been a bald, character actor since I was 24 years old," conceded Gaston. "You can't be a leading man when you're bald and 24." Recalling being cast in a 42-year old role in Lost in Yonkers at the age of 28, the actor boasted "My son was played by a 21-year-old actor, it was nuts! Now, I'm actually 40 and I don't look any different than I did when I was 28, but I'm starting to sort of land in the really great parts that are in my age."

Another new discover for Gaston is not having to audition for roles — a privilege he wished he had when he was called in for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. "Frankly, I didn't think [the audition] went particularly well. [Director] Laurence Boswell was very charming and supportive, but I thought, 'You know, that just wasn't so good.' I was in a long time — there was nobody there when I went in — and when I came out there were like six guys in the waiting room and all of them were English actors. I was shocked to find out that I got this."

Now that Gaston has played opposite Joe Egg leads Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton, the actor will soon make another supporting turn for another starry stage coupling: Benjamin Bratt and Julianna Margulies in the MCC Off-Broadway production of Intrigue With Faye. However, his new role will not conflict with his current one as he only appears in the production on video.

"It's one scene. [Margulies] plays a shrink in this play and her clients agree to be taped...I'm one of her clients. I'm this sort of hostile, aggressive client who is such a pain in the ass, he starts twitching in the eye. But it was really fun, it was a two-page scene and I guess I'm gonna be on two stages at the same time." Gaston joked that if the video didn't work in performance, "They can call me in I guess: I probably still haven't come on yet. I don't go on in Joe Egg until 9:30."

The actor is lined up to appear next in the Williamstown Theatre Festival's production of Landscape of the Body, beginning in July. The actor played the summer fest last year in David Eldridge's Under the Blue Sky opposite Tate Donovan, Annabella Sciorra and Marsha Mason. Anything else on the back burner? A dream role? "I think all of us have a few tucked [away] and some of them will just never happen. You get to a certain age and you lose enough hair and you know Romeo is not there. You're not gonna get that job, [unless there is] some freakish production where everybody is 70 and you're 50. I would love to play Lenny in Of Mice of Men. I'm talking to a bunch of different people about trying to do it. I actually did a donor reading at the Roundabout with Michael Hayden and Ralph Waite. I would just love for that to happen."

Gaston concluded "There's a nice trend going for me. It's not like I'm setting the world on fire, but really nice things are starting to come to me and I feel really blessed."

(L-R) Megan Mullally (<i>How To Succeed in Business</i>, "Will &amp; Grace"), Michael Gaston, and Laura Innes ("ER") backstage at <i>Joe Egg</i>.
(L-R) Megan Mullally (How To Succeed in Business, "Will & Grace"), Michael Gaston, and Laura Innes ("ER") backstage at Joe Egg. (Photo by Francis Legge)