A New Role for Charlie!

Apr 13, 2014 | 3 comments

At Pygmalion's Closing

At Pygmalion’s Closing

No sooner had he taken his final bow as Alfred P. Doolittle in Pygmalion than son Charlie was on the audition trail again.  That’s the way it is in the acting world.  Not only that, but he was asked to audition for two different plays at two different theaters with overlapping production times.  He would have to choose “If I’m even cast in one of the roles,” he said.

We talked about it briefly on the phone a few days back.  It seemed a toss-up as to which role he most desired and, though the auditions were imminent for both plays, he felt he would have a day or two to decide which role to take, should he “get lucky” as he put it.  My Proud Mom Attitude, though perhaps unspoken, was that luck would have nothing to do with it.  “He’s talented and does his homework,” thought I, “and he’ll be offered whatever he auditions for.  Period.”

Then yesterday, I read on his FaceBook page, “I am Polonius.” Wow!  The play, of course, is Hamlet and the theater company is Theater by the Sea in San Pedro.  He apparently was the last one to audition for the part and (no doubt in my mind) the best!  They chose him on the spot.  Whoo Hoo!

Polonius

Polonius in Stained Glass

Polonius is a pivotal character in the play.  He is chief counselor to the king and father of Laertes and Ophelia.  He has been described as “a busy-body who is accordingly officious, garrulous, and impertinent.”  In Act II, Hamlet himself refers to Polonius as a “tedious old fool.”

It is Polonius who connives with King Claudius to spy on Hamlet and when Hamlet unwittingly kills Polonius, it provokes Ophelia’s plunge into madness and death and, eventually results in the duel between Laertes and Hamlet.  It is also Polonius who delivers the famous “Neither a borrower nor a lender be…” speech toward the top of the play – perhaps the world’s best known father-to-son advice.

What a plum of a role! It will be interesting to see how Charlie-the-actor develops the part – which character traits he emphasizes and how.  I can’t think that Polonius has much in common with Alfred P. Doolittle except that they were both fathers who were key to the storyline.  I wonder if by playing them back-to-back Charlie will get any insights as to their similarities or if he will find that there are none.

And, I can’t help but think how proud my own father would have been to see his grandson in this role.  I wonder if Charlie even knows that Hamlet was his grandfather’s favorite play and that Polonius one of his favorite characters!

3 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Congratulations to Charlie! Definitely tell him that his grandfather loved the play and would be thrilled!

    Reply
  2. Nancy

    “There are no accidents”….And yes, Charlie’s grandfather would have been proud.

    Reply
  3. Jo Lucas

    What a plum roll. Way to go, Charlie. A wonderful part. Enjoy.

    Reply

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