PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Mamma Mia!'s Newest "Harry," Graham Rowat

By Matthew Blank
28 Aug 2012

You're a tech fan. What's the coolest gadget you've acquired this year? My wife bought me a PS Vita for my birthday. If you've heard of it, let me say that it's a pretty great device with a slowly growing list of strong titles. If you haven't heard of it, you're not a nerd and probably better off.
Last good movie you saw: "Sleepwalk With Me"
Some films you consider classics: "His Girl Friday"
"Singing in the Rain"
"North by Northwest"
"Rear Window"
"Star Wars"
"Blade Runner"
"The Thing"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Prince
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Call Me Maybe"
Favorite cities: Nelson, BC, Toronto, Las Vegas
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: My first CD was of Bach sonatas featured in the film "Truly, Madly, Deeply." I was in college and wanted to appear classy and deep. I then won a copy of Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls" through a radio call-in contest. Thankfully, diamonds and pearls are also classy.
When you first realized you could sing: My teacher told me to sing my song ("Stranded at the Drive-In") like an opera singer. Out came a rich, resonant sound I never knew I had. My class finally understood Danny's angst.
First stage kiss: With Sandy in my high-school production of Grease. She was my teen crush so there were a lot of layers there.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: I shared a stage with my Dad in the Peterborough Theater Guild production of The Foreigner.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Singing "Dentist!" in my high-school run of Little Shop of Horrors.
How you got your Equity card: Through a reciprocal agreement with Canadian Equity when I joined the Broadway company of Beauty and the Beast in 1997.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Iced Americano, Manhattans.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I have a stretching routine I've kept since theater school. I've let the green half-tights go though. Actually, they walked away.
Most challenging role you have ever played: I had the occasion to go on as the title role in Dracula, the Musical. The number of technical elements for the part were dizzying: automation, prosthetics, flying harnesses, glow-in-the-dark contact lenses, palmed blood vials, stage jumps to crash pads, a mid-air somersault with an articulated cape that had to snap wide on the button of the act.

Managing to sing and act in addition to juggling all those elements was the hardest thing I've ever done.