|Eric Nogas (right) and Jeff Graham (left) as Gangsters posing as pastry chefs, with Edmond Guay (Man in Chair)|
PHOTO: Jan Cartwright
It takes a tough man to make a tender pastry. In the Farmington Players production of The Drowsy Chaperone (through May 18 at the Barn Theater), Eric Nogas and Jeff Graham play gangsters posing as pastry chefs. Eric describes them as “stereotypical happy-go-lucky Broadway gangsters with stylized movement and lots of wordplay. The show is set in 1928 and the two gangsters are former vaudeville stars.” While Eric finds it a “blast” to play the tough guy, his biggest challenge is that “almost all of our movements had to be choreographed. To really get the most out of the part and make it as funny as we can, the gangsters have to be in-sync in almost every scene we are in.”
Eric sees the gangster role as the perfect character for him and for his progression as an actor: “As I grow as an actor, I looked for bigger parts with a more lines and more stage time. In Drowsy, there will be times on stage when all eyes will be on the two gangsters. That is both terrifying and exciting at the same time, but I am up for the challenge.” Drowsy is Eric’s fourth stage role at the Barn and his third musical (after Spamalot and Into The Woods). As he says, “I love being in musicals at the Barn. They always bring out the best talent both on the acting side and production side of things and Drowsy Chaperone is no different. It is more of an ensemble show which I always enjoy.”
Eric also enjoys working with director Cynthia Tupper, saying, “While Cynthia has a vision, she allows actors to express their creativity and try out different things and will do what is best for the show.” Audiences love this show because it is “an homage to musical theater and the golden age of Broadway. The show within a show concept is unique and audiences love how we go back and forth from real time to 1928. These characters are big, comedic, and play for laughs.”
Eric lives in downtown Farmington with his wife Christa, son Jack and daughter Sydney. By day, he words as a recruiter and runs a branch of Snelling Staffing Services. In addition to acting, Eric also designed the sound for Drowsy and the last three Barn musicals, which makes 14 consecutive shows either working or designing sound at the Barn. Next season, he will serve as Assistant Director for the Farmington Players production of Unnecessary Farce.
The Drowsy Chaperone has 6 remaining performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater through May 18. The show is proudly sponsored by Tru-Vista Wealth Advisors. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.