The Understudy

by Theresa Rebeck
directed by David Kennedy
December 29, 2010January 30, 2011

A prostitute, a toy soldier, and your first love

Meet the stars of The Understudy!

By Johnny Van Heest

This week,  the actors are on stage for The Understudy rehearsals. I was able to sneak down to the stage for a bit for a photoshoot with the actors. Aside from being extremely funny when running lines, these guys are pretty hilarious even when they are not in character. It perhaps comes as no surprise that these three actors, Jenn Harris, Brad Coolidge, and Cody Nickell, all have experience working in comic theater, television, and film.

To give you an idea of the caliber of actors we have for this show, I wanted to introduce them with a little bit of a background.

Playing Roxanne is Jenn Harris. If you watch 30 Rock as religiously as I do, you may recognize her from this season's episode titled 'Reaganing'. Jenn appears towards the end of the episode as a prostitute with a fake leg who approaches Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin under a bridge. She's also done quite a bit of work Off-Broadway and throughout New York including a musical adaptation of Silence of the Lambs titled Silence! The Musical. Jenn was also in Confessions of a Shopoholic, which, I must confess, I didn't get to see because I was too busy shopping.

Ironically so, Jenn actually understudied for Julie White in a production of The Understudy.

Brad Coolidge, along with being easy on the eyes, has also done a number of gigs on both stage and screen. He has performed in comedic productions of the Shakespeare variety such as Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night, and if you ask me, good comedy began with Shakespeare. Brad got some good press a few years back when he worked at FAO Schwartz as a toy soldier. You know how people feel about a man in uniform…

Since Cody Nickell  is the one actor in the bunch who will be returning to the Wilma's stage, some may remember him from Outrage. You may also remember his wife, Kate Eastwood Norris, who won the Barrymore for her role as Eleanor/Aunt Esme in our production of Rock 'n' Roll.  I, however, remember Cody from a film that hit the LGBT film festival circuit called Dorian Blues. Dorian Blues is a funny, teenage coming-of-age-while-coming-out story that won the Audience Award at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Cody plays Ben, the protagonist's first love and unfortunately, his first heartbreak. Cody has also lent his voice for MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch. Check out Cody as Colonel Sanders.

If you check out the meet the artists page, you can learn more about this talented group!

Up next I'll introduce you to the playwright, Theresa Rebeck.

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