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Bryan Fenkart got some rather jolting news recently when he stepped off-stage after performing his regular role as a member of the chorus in the lively Broadway musical “Memphis.”
The show’s stage manager told the Astoria actor that Chad Kimball, the longtime male lead in the production, was ill and that Fenkart would be standing in for him the following day — a matinee Wednesday with afternoon and evening performances.
“What I felt was a cocktail of joy and terror,” Fenkart recalled. “I knew that I had done everything I could for weeks rehearsing the role. But you never really know what’s going to happen until you are shot out of the cannon.”
The prospect of playing lead character Huey Calhoun was particularly daunting for Fenkart for several reasons. “Memphis” is not only Fenkart’s debut on a Broadway stage, but one of the first times he has combined his acting and singing skills in a musical theater production.
“Memphis” has also grown up with Kimball in the role of Huey, for six years, in much less lavish productions in Massachusetts, California, and Washington state. “In the 2 1/2 hour show, Huey is offstage for only about four minutes.” said Fenkart.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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