13 May 2009
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Hunter Bell is currently living a childhood fantasy.
The 2009 Tony nominee for Best Book of a Musical — for [title of show] — told Playbill.com at the recent Tony nominees press reception, "[The Tony Awards are] something I watched as a kid. I looked at that box, and I wanted to be in that world. I wanted to crawl in there and be with Angela Lansbury and Kathleen Turner. I have a videotape of the greatest Tony moments that I compiled myself — a VHS tape! It starts with The Act with Liza and goes up to Mystery of Edwin Drood. There are some good years represented there. So [the Tony Awards] was this thing that was a passion, so to be part of it in a real way is totally surreal."
Bell may be the only member of the show's cast or creative team nominated for a Tony Award, but the writer-actor said he will "gladly wave the flag and support the team."
"The bittersweetness," Bell added, "is I love Jeff [Bowen]'s score. I think we all deserve to be here. From Acme Sound to Larry [Pressgrove]'s arrangement's to Michael [Berresse]'s direction to the girls' [Heidi Blickenstaff and Susan Blackwell] performances. I want everybody to be here because I believe in it."
Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen (back) in [title of show]
photo by Carol Rosegg
The Tony nominations were announced just days after the regional premiere of [title of show] — the four-person Broadway musical that chronicles the creation of that musical — at the 14th Street Theatre at PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland, OH. "We went out and saw it," Bell said. " We loved it. We workshopped that production at Baldwin-Wallace [College Conservatory of Music] and PlayHouseSquare in Cleveland. Jeff and I were thrilled. It's being done a lot of other places and hopefully will be done at a lot of other places. It totally worked — it wasn't weird or insider-y."
When asked whether it was strange to see another actor play the role of "Hunter," Bell said, "Totally! The name is Hunter, but it was a great actor named JR Bruno, and he was great. It's like going to see any other play. It's weird for the first time, but we're super-proud."
As for future projects, Tony nominee Bell said, "Jeff and I are working on another project that we're out in Los Angeles for . . . [and] we're writing the show for the Rosie cruise. That one is Out Loud and Proud . . . And, we're creating '[title of show] Show' stuff, and then we're out there just sniffing around. You're stuck with us. You won't see the last of us," he laughed.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.